Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Illusions

If you look to the right of this page, you'll see a list of followers. That list isn't real. You see, some of those people stopped following this blog some time ago. Meanwhile, there are those who've followed without signing up. So how many people are actually following my blog? No idea. With certainty, I can say one: Becky, AKA Neko. And the truth is that I don't need to write a blog for her; I give her updates on my life on a daily basis. Nefi MIGHT be following it, but with her life currently in chaos due to her upcoming marriage, I doubt she's reading regularly.

So I have to wonder...WHY, pray tell, am I maintaining a blog with one audience member? Better yet, why am I maintaining a blog for an audience member whom I speak with daily? It makes little sense to do so. It's like the practice of writing a journal that you intend to let no one read. I tried that last one, and eventually stopped because it was a nonsensical exercise. The only reason I could think of to keep such a journal was in the hopes of writing about a secret love and having said love discover it...then fall madly in love with the author. And does that EVER happen?

So I've been contemplating abandoning this blog. Why bother if no one is reading? Not even a small audience is following along.

I've also been contemplating leaving Giant in the Playground. I've been a member for three years and eight months. That's a pretty good haul. And in that time, I've had many good things happen for me, and have committed numerous good deeds. But...

Well, "the kids are growing up and moving on." I started the Depression Thread, and it seems to run fairly well without me. I have been discovering this last while suffering through my latest medical adventures. If anything, I head in there to use the DT myself, to which the masses reply, "Golly, Bor...Your life sucks, and I'm sorry. *HUGS!*" I get sympathy at best. Advice...? Nope. Oh, it has nothing to do about caring; I know these long distant friends care. It's because they don't know what to say. Many of my issues are so overwhelming to the average person that they simply don't know what to say.

Or...is it that they assume I'll just be okay? Hmmm...There's an idea. "Rob has been through so much, and continues to go through so much. He's always survived. Surely he'll survive again." That thinking would be great, except that...I don't really get words of encouragement. And that's what's lacking.

Y'know, maybe things were better when I was suffering financially. Support was easy to receive in the way of cash landing in my PayPal account. But words of encouragement seem to be incredibly hard to come by. That is so backwards in this current world economy. I can't get words, which are free, but I can get money, which isn't easy to come by. Go figure.

So that's where I am mentally. I'm contemplating several things. One is leaving GitP. Another is discontinuing this blog. And finally, I'm thinking about abandoning some of the illusions I live with. The idea that my internet popularity would be maintained was probably the silliest of all things of which I convinced myself. "Friends" on the internet are rare. I managed to make myself believe I had many of them. But what I ACTUALLY had were a lot of acquaintances, with a few friends. Unfortunately, some of those friends have faded away into their own lives. The rest were never as close as I imagined. It's time for that illusion to end.

7 comments:

Loulou said...

Words are more difficult than money a lot of the time, because words require thought and are subject to interpretation. I'm sure the last thing any of us want to do is to make you feel that we're making light of the current issues you're going through. Words are cheap, it's true; but the *right* words can be a form of Unobtainium.

Also - *smacks upside the head*. Some of us follow via Google Reader, you know?

Really though, I would like to comment more often, but find myself at a loss. This happens often with other friends' blogs too - I feel like they've left me behind somewhat. Same with the GitP forums. Yes, I have a paranoid persecution complex.

I might be a lone voice here, but don't stop posting - I'd be concerned. And if you stop posting in the places I know about, how will I pester you when some arcane idea for fiction pops into my head? ;-)

Mikkel said...

I voted "bad" on this post, only because I don't like the thought of you discontinuing this blog. I've read it since you started it (or, since you mentioned it at giantitp), and even introduced my girlfriend to it, and both of us have grown quite attatched to this blog, and we ... Well, I wouldn't say that we enjoy reading about your life, but it's interesting and at least we enjoy reading it when stuff goes well for you, and I'd be a bit disappointed if I couldn't read more about how things work out for you (because, well, I demand them to work out for you, so now it's just your job to make it happen! :P)

So, well, you have a larger audience than it seems like, we're just not too good at giving response to it. Both of us agree that it's a really hard thing to even atempt to comment, seeing as we can't understand how it is for you (even though the spoon theory explains a lot), and thus don't have too much constructive feedback for you..

Well, anyway; What we mean to say is: Don't discontinue the blog, we love you! =D

WalkingTarget said...

Rob, I follow seven blogs. Four of them are authors (Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson now that Robert Jordan is dead, and Steven Brust) and with the exception of Gaiman I really only watch them so I don't miss when a new book is coming out. Two more are friends from college who I don't get to see often anymore and they're infrequently updated and posts are typically technical in nature (we were all computer science students together and they post about whatever personal projects they're working on at the moment). Yours is the remaining one and it and Gaiman's are the only ones where I read every post thoroughly.

I can't say I'm a frequent reader of the depression threads, or been one to speak up here often, but I've been following the exploits of "Bor" since I first found out about a man who lacked the means of visiting his critically ill brother in the hospital but whose anonymous internet friends put together a travel fund on his behalf to get him there anyway when his family wouldn't. We've never really exchanged more than a few PMs back and forth, Rob, but I'd miss your blog if you stopped.

+Jesse

Zeb The Troll said...

Rob, I'll continue what the others have said. I don't subscribe to your blog, but I read it daily and comment when I feel I have something constructive to say. And I think that maybe you hit the nail on the head when you said that people often don't know what to say to you. I often don't, so rather than give you platitudes you don't need, I say nothing at all. Today I have an opportunity to give words of encouragement. I hope that they'll fall on receptive ears, as it were.

Here's the thing. It's like you said, most people who read what you have to complain about don't really have any real frame of reference and, more importantly, lack the life experience to have anything meaningful to contribute other than "Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear that. *hugs*" Even me, for example, lately. You're recent stressors have been largely about anxiety concerning your upcoming surgeries. The last surgery I had was to have my tonsils removed. I can't provide any advice to help you deal with it because I've never gone through it myself.

YOU are the advice giver by virtue of the fact that you've had these exceptional life experiences to share with those in need of more than platitudes. Right now you've got, mostly, a bunch of twenty-somethings, many of whom have never left home, giving advice to other twenty-somethings and angsty teenagers. Sure, some, if not much, of the advice is sound on paper, but how much of it has actually been "field tested"?

Yes, the Depression Thread is plodding along without you, but it's just not the same since you stopped being a regular there. Of course, no one is going to mention that to you when you're in your own time of need because who would dream of adding MORE stress to your already difficult situation?

So that's my schpiel. Please reconsider both your presence on GitP at large and especially in the DT as well as your blog as an outlet for things more personal and less forum friendly. If quitting either or both of these things is what you decide you need to do in order for YOU to Be Well, then that's what needs to be.

Valiant Turtle said...

I'm guessing you have a whole lot of people who just subscribe to you via an RSS reader which doesn't show up in your followers section. The blogger.com follower thing is actually very finicky anyway. I had to fiddle with it for quite a while before it allowed me to follow Becky.

Personally I think maintaining this Blog is probably good for you. Gitp may not be as vital, but I can say you'd certainly be missed. I've certainly cut my gitp time considerably recently, but that's largely because I keep up with everyone via facebook. You might want to give that a try yourself. It's certainly easier to comment there then on blogger.

BlackFox said...

For what it's worth... I follow your blog, though I'm not a subscriber, because I've already fallen deep into the trap of LJ and don't want to switch to blogspot.

Anonymous said...

I'm a tad late (have been drained and not even at home lately), but... don't leave!

I do read your blog (albeit not daily), and you're very often in my thoughts, even when I'm silent. I'm not much good with giving advice and honestly, I prefer to stay silent when I don't know what to say rather than say something silly or that seems... well... empty.