Friday, July 18, 2014

The Blogging Luddite

Having a garden hose bath on a hot day isn't so bad!
I'm never one of the first people to embrace a new technology. In the past, I've been so resistant to all these new-fangled gizmos that when my work gave me a cell phone and requested that I keep it with me in the field in case of emergencies, I felt like I was being forced to wear a radio collar. How do you escape to the field if they can just call you whenever they need something?!   And this wasn't back in the dark ages when cell phones were brand new, I'm talking about relatively recently, probably around 2005.  Everybody else already had one, and I was being stubborn.  I was the same way with using my phone for texting.  I didn't have it, didn't think I would need it, and obviously didn't understand it, until my work started paying for it.  Now I can't even remember what life was like before it.    

Do you see two frogs? 
I never investigated Myspace, or Facebook, and I'm probably missing out on a whole unexplored work of tweets and whatever the new thing is the kids are doing these days (see what I mean, I don't even know what it's called!).  I even refused to learn typing in high school because I wanted to insure that I would never find myself seated behind a computer.  Ha!  My first student job in the biology department when I got to college required data entry skills, and I finally had to admit that avoiding computers was not going to improve my long-term job prospects.  Determined to right a wrong I inflicted on myself, I signed up for a college typing course, and let me tell you, that lady was one tough teacher!  I thought it would be a breeze, and took twenty-one credit hours that semester, thinking typing wouldn't really count, nor would the weekend kiln building class I wanted to take.  Remember, a normal semester is twelve to fifteen hours.  Needless to say, that semester was a busy one, and I had typing homework nearly every night.  But it was worth it,  because I can type.  I can type letters, emails, texts, reports for work, and even my very own blog!  

My blackberries are finally getting ripe!
I followed several blogs for years before I started my own, and then it was even more years before I actually wrote anything on this blog.  It took me a while because writing a blog seems so... I don't know, self- indulgent, or ubber yuppie, or ...embarrassing.  And there's a little twinge of guilt too.  I think one of my biggest hang-ups was the reaction I had to a friends website, years ago.  It was probably around 2000, when spending much time on the internet was still fairly new to a Luddite like me, and I had never heard of a blog, when a friend of mine moved out of state and became really involved with her work.  We didn't get to see each other anymore, and I would email her occasionally in an attempt to stay in touch.  We were both busy so we didn't do a very good job at staying in contact, but she did send me a link to her website, which she created herself.  

The perfect blackberry.  Yum.
She didn't call it a blog, but that's basically what it was, minus the option to submit comments.  It was updates on the things she was doing, with pictures.  I remember having a snarky thought like "oh, you don't have time to send me an email, or call, but you make time to put together this elaborate website where you're bragging about all the cool concerts you went to.  Hmph".  This in an unfair thought, I know, but I had it just the same.  When I thought about creating this blog, I remembered my reaction to her website, and sometimes have a twinge of guilt when that little internal voice says "oh, I can find time to write about silly chicken antics, but I don't make more time for friends and family (or time for work, or housework, or exercise, or any of the other things that I think I should be doing) ".   

Do you ever just want to dive into your food face first like this bug? 
I appreciate the people who share their stories with me on their blogs, so I try to think of the blog as generous instead of self indulgent.  Not just because I like to share my pictures and words with you (Hi Mom!), but also that some forms of self indulgence aren't bad.  Spending time writing and dwelling on the things I enjoy is a fun hobby that allows me to organize my photos and my thoughts, and exercise creative writing skills that don't get much use when writing technical reports for work.  And here, I can use as many commas as I want!

Brandon's Saturday morning breakfasts are becoming photo worthy.  Thanks to my blackberries, right?
I'm not as shy as I used to be about being someone with a blog.  After all, I read that over six million people do it, so I'm not the only one who enjoys it!  Probably, if I hadn't been so late to adopt social media I wouldn't even question it.  

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