What is happiness if it cannot be shared?

(I just wrote that title mis-spelling shared as shred :))

As you can probably tell if you have been reading my posts in order – hello Mum – I have been navel-gazing for a month, not working as I usually do with government departments, rather choosing to have a little look at it all. (I go back next week… phew :))

I tell you I feel as if I have been completing a degree in four weeks. So much I have missed, so much to learn… too much. This has led to my monastic casting off of digital noise, and pushed me into the ‘hippy’ version of the web.

I watched the film: Into the Wild last night and it was both beautiful and brain-shatteringly obvious (if a film can be such a thing). Based on the story of Christopher McCandless, it details the frantic journey of a young American bloke, desperate to leave behind the shackles of the societal expectations of their young in the 1990s.

What resonated with me, and why I am sharing this with you, is that actually shuffling off this mortal coil alone and scared is not cool at all, and is not what we are seeking.

I have been pretty much married to the digital journey since 1997/8, when I lived and worked online overnight whilst my young daughter slept. Since then it has been a subversive family for me: my interaction with it has been fairly promiscuous: sometimes I have allowed indulgence and absorbed myself in online communication, at other times I have rejected it utterly and played rounders – or whatever 🙂

Lately I seem to have been going through my online menopause (sorry cannot find a pretty metaphor) and have embraced the hippy web. All is free, we can indulge and enjoy whenever we wish – anything I need to know I can find, gratis! It has been good, but something is nagging… something is wrong.

I am exploring the outer-lands of the Internet, through blogs, YouTube etc and am discovering such beauty – equivalent to Chris going to Alaska, but with crumpets. It is feeding my soul but I have had to cut off so many people in order to achieve this nirvana that my discoveries are starting to pall.

I want to share what I find, but I cannot do so without interacting with everyone – and once I go down that route, I have no time to explore. The choice is impossible, and yes, work will remove the issue, but…

10 responses

  1. Hence the appeal of linkblogs or my Facebook daybook, a way of sharing the mad and the wonderful in a way that people can dip into or ignore entirely as they wish. There is always that fear that gliding over the world means that we will never be more than superficial, a perpetual issue for us foxes 🙂 but better glib than ignorant.

  2. Emma – not impossible.
    Like your real life journey your on-line journey has to be personal and achieve what you, Emma Mulqueeny, in May 2008 want to achieve.
    Don’t be tempted to indulge in everything on-line, there is WAY too much stuff out there and it just eats up time and money!
    I truly admire you for what you have done to take the digital scythe to your world and make drastic cuts. Whilst you are missed, I’m content that you are happier and for me to see someone else growing again is true, true shared happiness.

    From my digital past (you got me thinking – ha ha – change the record Paul!) back in 1999 on my computer I had built up collections of documents, contact addresses and folders of email correspondence that would have put the British Library to shame (anal me noooo!). One day after a slight ticking noise and an awful grating noise … it was gone. Dead hard drive. Suddenly it was as though I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t have any record of the digital life I had carved out in the previous 2 or 3 years. I felt lost, but so cross that I had built this superficial technological empire around me.

    Lots I learnt (including how I got into charity work – for another time), but mainly – Yes, backing up your data would be wise to some extent, but actually I pieced together my contacts etc through visiting these real people and making face to face communications – and only the people who really mattered.

    Reliance on one beige lump of metal and plastic can be such a waste of time and money when there are real people to cherish and spend tiime and money with.

    Emma – if you are signing up recruits in your stripped back commune/community, put me down for a place!

  3. Paul… grin – there will be no commune or stripping, young man! (But I get what you have explained).

    Mark: I know, and after I wrote that post I realised that it might appear that I was looking for another form of aggregator to share the stuff I am discovering. What I really meant to say was: I want to share a particular thing of beauty I have found, with real people in real time F2F; kind of like a geek book club 🙂 Problem is when the people who love this stuff get together, there is just way too much to talk about!

  4. Emma – as if I would !!

    Back to what I said at the top though, I know you are bubbling over with what you have found, the Interweb gets me like that at times too. I want to hear about your discoveries but don’t feel you have to share it with everyone at once.

    Its a tough one as when these people get together for every person you tell in geekdom there will be others thinking they have bigger and better stories to tell but still more who just can’t get close to hear you F2F.

    Tell a few, who will tell more, who will tell more etc.

    I’m listening … am properly dressed, not barefoot and with nothing smoking in my pipe!

  5. … and not always in London!

    I have a network of “ICT Champions” for the Third Sector – one in each region who could help with this and there is a willing army (?) of Circuit Riders who are fully “geeked-up” …. thinking …..

  6. I am not sure that I want to set up another F2F thing, because what I want is in my head and pretty impossible to make reality. Still, nice thoughts!

  7. Been online menopausal meself… Blog crashing brought on existential crisis. Ended up going back to something I rant about in workshops “it’s a party stop demanding everyone comes to your corner of the room. Get out there and chat”. So I’ve decided not to relaunch a Site (with a capital S) but continue to make notes on Twitter and in my analog notebook (photoed and put on Flickr) as well as coCommenting like this. It’s quite liberating not to have a another hungry online child. Hopefully any client will still find my ideas – much better than them finding me.

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