I’ve noticed in the last few years my interest and enjoyment of television has waned. At first I thought it was just me, I have always preferred books and music so I didn’t really think about it much until the last few months.

I have a satellite service with a few indie movie channels and the basic package that is usually offered. I was scanning channels looking for some old anime I used to watch on a late night cartoon network. Oh my goodness, the crap I saw. Completely mindless shows without any storyline, poorly animated, and half of this junk wasn’t even watchable if you were inebriated. So I gave up and decided Animal Planet was always reliable and educational… ha! “Finding Bigfoot” marathon… really? Who actually looks for Bigfoot? Nothing but bad camera angles, poor lighting, and dramatic music. Well how about late night music videos? Hehe, if you can find a music video on any of the music channels it’s a miracle and if you do it’s the same raunchy, sex driven, uncreative crap over and over again. A lot of disgusting reality television shows, I stared at it for about 5 minutes and asked myself who actually behaves like that in public (or private for that matter) then moved on.

Weather channel is borderline useless, nothing but drama shows and what if programs. Sci-fi has descended into new depths of complete crap. I know I never watched much television, but 16 and pregnant, teen mom etc? We are really promoting that kind of irresponsible and disgusting behavior?

As I channel surf I am very disappointed, I’m wondering if anyone really watches this stuff? If they do, why? I used to watch shows that were educational or had a reasonable storyline. Where did all that go? Now all I see is bad drama, poorly written comedy, or just plainly disgusting programs.

I guess, television is now a lost frontier, I try to just imagine what the inventor of television would think seeing all of this.

The question I get asked on an almost daily basis:

“Why don’t you have have a social media/networking website?” ¬† I usually reply with something simple like “I don’t believe in social media.” But to be honest, that is not a fair or complete answer.

I love the idea of social media, but I have seen it ruin a lot of lives and damage a lot of relationships and reputations. I also don’t like what it’s done to the average family unit, and don’t worry I’ll elaborate on these opinions.

First, I need to explain my personal situation. I am a young person living in the rural Midwest with an expansive family that’s spread out over the entire country. I was also raised to be very close with my family, phone calls and visits were a regular thing. I love my family, but I don’t feel like the social networking sites should be the only way I get to talk to them.


 

Since the Facebook phenomenon, I have noticed how little personal contact I get from my family. People that I used to get phone calls or emails from have almost completely disappeared from my life. And the question always comes up, “Why won’t you get a Facebook or Twitter?” Or whatever the newest fad is lately. “Use it just for family and close friends, it will help keep us in touch.” No. I have had the same phone number, email address, and physical¬†address for over 10 years, if you really care about how I’m doing or really want to talk to me you have my information. You know where I am and where I work, so stop by sometime. Honestly I wonder sometimes if people deliberately leave me out of the loop because I refuse to have an online presence. An odd form of punishment maybe? I always get the excuse “We don’t have time.” But I am a firm believer in MAKING time, especially for family.

The thing that really pissed me off was when my grandfather died a few years ago. Nobody called me, the man who raised me, helped shape my beliefs and values was gone. And NOBODY called me, nobody told me he was in the hospital, I could have seen him one last time and nobody in my family thought it warranted personal contact. Everyone on the internet knew, and I didn’t. I had to receive a text message from my dad two days after he was gone. That to me is more warped than anything.


 

My other objections to most of these websites stem from the behavior I regularly see. Post after post of vulgarity and stupidity. Pictures of my friends and relatives half-dressed or drink in hand. The fighting and feuds between people who barely know each other. Listening to girl friends cry about boyfriends posting and messaging other women, listening to male friends upset about girlfriends posting raunchy photos for the world to see. People posting vulgar and inappropriate comments everywhere, skipping work and posting about it forgetting that their boss is on their friend list. And then their employers see this stuff and fire them… you’d think some discretion would be a good idea. The last time I had a profile anywhere I had to block more people than I added due to harassment. Men and women coming out of the woodwork to sexually harass or just harass me over photos or posts. People locally trying to start fights over nothing, I finally just quit.

It’s a mess, and I frankly don’t want to be apart of that.


 

One of the biggest blows for me artistically was a few years ago. I had been writing a lot. Posting poetry, photos, and short stories in a blog similar to this one.

I was hanging out with a friend and we went to a mutual acquaintances house. We were sitting in the woman’s living room and I could see into her bedroom from where I was sitting. And all over her walls was my artwork! She tried to play it off that she was just an admirer, but she had taken my name off everything and replaced it with her own. She had printed out my art on posters and passed them off as her own, even going so far as to turn them in as her own for her art and literature classes. I took my hard copies of my work to her advisors and teachers the following day. I never found out what they did about it, but they said they would take care of it. That since so many people post their art on the internet this was becoming a common problem.

I went online later that evening and did some investigating. I was shocked at what I had found. People I didn’t even know and some friends had just copied and pasted my work as they pleased.

So I pulled and deleted everything. Every website I had ever had a profile or posted anything on was closed down by the end of the night.


 

I haven’t been back till now. I still won’t get accounts on certain websites, but I am slowly trying to get back into the internet. Maybe if this experience isn’t as distasteful as previous experiences I will try more things.

A return to the internet.

Posted: April 7, 2015 in My life.

It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve had an online presence, and quite frankly I don’t know where to start again.

I used to be the “chronic ranter”, I never had anything nice to say and I was always judgmental. Of course I was a teenager… so I might just have to chalk it up to immaturity. These days I still observe the people around me, but I take more notes and try to find more information about what causes them to behave the way they do.

So here I am. I love to write, I usually keep to the traditional pen and paper format, but lately I’ve been wanting feedback. Confirmation I guess, that I’m not alone in my thoughts and ideas. But I really just don’t know where to begin. Do I return to the rant format and try to bring it to a more mature level? Or do I pose my questions about the things I see in a neutral way and see if that approach is better received? I am far from the angry half educated teenager I once was, but the things I see on a daily basis still bother me. Some things I understand better now, but others only seem worse since I have grown into adulthood.

I beg for indulgence, patients, and guidance as I begin my blogging life again. I will be trying new things and revamping some of the old. I’m not sure if I’ll be showing my artwork online again, due to some traumatizing plagiarism in my teenage years, but maybe if I can find more information about protecting my artwork, I’ll consider it.

Wish me luck.