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A Fresh Start

On starting over and reconsidering one’s online presence.

For as long as I can remember I have always had an online presence of some sort. Beginning in elementary school when I was making Geocities pages for my Warhammer hobby, complete with animated GIFs galore, there has never been a time in the past 25 years where I have been without an online representation of myself or my interests.

I blogged my way through university media courses and continued with the habit as I wrote self-depricating blog posts under a pseudonym in my early twenties. When I found myself interested in photography and never without a camera in hand my mediocre-at-best images could be found on Flicker, Tumblr, and whatever other social media services I could wrangle. As my photography interests gave way to a small business, and the many other venutres which followed, I seemed to always have my fingers on a keyboard writing code to make a website do what I wanted to. In more recent, years my Internet presence has typically consisted of a personal website to showcase the community focused work I executed, while excluding any regular activity on the few social media platforms I may still have accounts for.

The relationship I have with the Internet, and how I interface with it, is forever changing. Always in flux, and a slave in many ways to bouts of severe depression and imposter syndrome, the way I represent myself online never seems to be clear, consistent, or envisioned with any sense of focus. While others may argue this is far from reality, when I take a moment to step back and review the various shapes and forms my online self has taken over the years this is the conclusion I come to.

So, I have decided to pause things for a bit.

As the northern hemisphere settles into what is certain to be a long and lonesome winter, I have chosen to enjoy an extended period of quiet time. I will be reflecting upon the things I value most and planning for the actions I have yet to take. A large part of this process will be considering what role the Internet should have in my day-to-day life, although I am well aware that I can’t get completely away from it. I want to take stock of what I value about having an online presence and how that might manifest itself in the future.

In the past, this process has typically unfolded in such a way that I always end up believing that what I need to do is create a personal archive of everything I’ve created to date; writings, photos, professional work, and community projects. This ideal has never come to fruition and I have always ended up in failing at achieving any semblance of the goal I had in mind. In an attempt to build layer-upon-layer of content spread across multiple versions of an ever evolving understanding of myself, all I would end up doing is wasting a great deal of time, energy and resources.

I vow to myself that this time the process and outcome must be different.

So I am starting fresh, with this very post.

Over the coming months, as I uncover how my values manifest themselves through the actions I take I am interested in identifying how, if at all, these values and actions translate to a renewed online presence and digital version of who I am. Asking questions like: why am I creating this content?, do I need to share it online?, and, how do I hope others will engage with it? will be some of the things I consider as I move forward from this place of new beginnings and renewal.

October 28, 2020 Internet Notes


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