July 2, 2014


Social Media-- Accountability

Living on the Cusp— Finding a Direction at the end of The Age of Reason

 We are indeed fated to live in interesting times, living up to the blessing or curse of the old, supposedly Chinese adage that is blithely and often bandied about. Perhaps this is always the case. Whatever times we find ourselves in are likely, speaking in probabilities, to be eventful and frought with one sort of adventure or other, and very often not of the welcome or expected variety. But I think most would agree with me were I to state that these are turbulent times we are experiencing just now. How often have you heard ones state that their lives are too busy, too hectic or just too rushed to keep up with this, that or the other thing? Expressing how overwhelmed we all are has become a Mantra for this current decade.

As usual, I am also busy and harried, and not timely with my Blog posts. I honestly do not know where my weeks go. The Time unravels like trying to track the path of a falling star. By the time I catch my breath, I have already moved on, seemingly at the behest of some automatic pilot I was not aware of being equipped with. I keep Thinking that I have all this time, that I should be able to accomplish so much and organize my life, but I seldom get far past the initial thought. My life is like this Blog. It goes off in directions I could not have anticipated when I began it a year and a half ago. I have often struggled with this direction, trying to push it back into saner and safer channels. However, I have had some thoughts on this subject lately, and I think ultimately, I will let this Blog be what it wants to, while I split off into another venue in order to pursue other interests and necessities.

The fact that I can decide to launch a new shop, publish my photographs or writing, or any number of other business avenues as easily as I can is just another indication of how fast and far we have come, at least technologically speaking, these past few decades. I think I can say, without doing the research, that the first world nations have made greater scientific and technological leaps in the last few decades than in the preceding several hundred years. It literally boggles the mind of anyone over the age of thirty or so to try and mentally assimilate the vast changes just within their lifetimes.  I have to wonder about cause and effect. Are we so rushed, so overwhelmed in our lives by this onslaught of change, or has the tempo of the change come as a response to the acceleration of Time itself?

The Magic of Technology
   Even though I can contemplate and pursue avenues not available to me even a decade ago, through the magic of the internet and the array of gadgets that keep all of this constantly at my fingertips, there is a price. It costs me Time, an increasingly precious and rare commodity, and forces me to fragment my attention to achieve my goals. To be a successful internet entrepreneur, you have to not only keep up with a technology and infrastructure that is evolving right before your eyes, but you have to be savvy enough to use Social Media and other tools to draw traffic your way.

I will readily admit that there are things about the internet that I like, and just as many that I don't. I am old enough that none of this really comes naturally to me. The learning curve can be steep for those of us not born and raised on the techno-teat. However, the lure is there. My Dad is a Texting aficionado, seldom is far from his iPhone, and spends several hours a day on Email and the internet. It is not something I would ever have expected, yet it is a testament to the power that these devices hold over us as a culture. Social Media is another example of this magnetic sway. First embraced as a cutting edge icebreaker by the young and tech-savvy, or as a networking tool by the scientific establishment,  it has grown into a gargantuan network of internet industries catering to any interest you can conceive of. I think that it was a shock when young people discovered that their parents, often just tuning into these social networks to monitor their offspring, became as enamored of them as their children. So, young people hopscotch from one venue to the next, trying to keep a jump ahead of their internet hungry parents. And there is always somewhere new to go.

To get back to the usage of Social Media as a business tool, I will say that it is somewhat akin to being sucked into a black hole in many ways. While infinitely useful, the pitfalls are there. You can be caught in the magnetic fields of many of these media before you even realize that it happens. No matter how efficiently you manage these things, they will still swallow up large chunks of your precious time. Before starting this Blog, the only social type sites I had accounts on were deviantART and Pinterest. As I have admitted before, I am a bit of a Pinterest addict. It is my unwind at the end of the day activity. I keep expecting to get bored with it, but thus far, it still maintains its luster in the constellation of my leisure time activities.

Since launching this Blog I have spread out, so to speak. I have accounts on Google+, Facebook, Instagram, tumblr, and Amazine. Ostensibly, I started these accounts to publicize my Blog. And truly, I do not usually spend a great deal of time on any of them. I finally dropped my account on deviantART simply because I did not have time to maintain it, and I should do the same with Instagram. Much as I love photography, I just never got that involved on that famous and very nifty site. Taken as a whole, these things, along with all else that goes into Blogging or opening a web store, take an enormous amount of time. And still, you have to attend to all the regular chores of life, and hopefully use some of that scant leisure time to unwind away from devices, internet and Social Media...

Daytona Beach-- June 2014
Okay— I know that many people are posting pictures of what they are doing on their Social Media even as they are doing it. But I also know that I will never be one of those people. I like to screen my photos, get rid of the out of focus or boring ones , and I like to enjoy what I am doing. How many times these days do you find yourself in a social situation where half or more of the participants have their mobile phones in their hands, either texting, browsing the web or updating social media instead of genuinely engaging with those around them? In my experience it happens very often, and I have even found myself pulled into this same activity at times.

We are a  lost people, looking for pearls in the dust of a decaying cultural milieu. So many of us have forgotten how to truly connect, or become jaded or suspicious from past experience. We know that the world around us is changing, that a way of life is passing. But we do not yet know where we are going, so we immerse ourselves in the barrage of artificial entertainments that too often pass for life.

There are hopeful signs as well as apocalyptic ones however. Magic is again becoming a widely accepted possibility in this world. The Age of Reason is crumbling beneath the onslaught of imagery, information and technical wizardry that has become our contemporary norm. Albeit much of the imagery is altered and enhanced. The information, crushing in its sheer amount, is just as likely to be misinformation or outright deception as anything resembling truth or illumination. However, if this abundance flows forth via the magic of one or more of our many technical gadgets, than a certain credibility is lent, a shine that is acquired just by association with the divine oracle of the Internet.

Again, I would say that I believe we are a people on the Edge of an Abyss. Great change is occurring in the way we apprehend the world around us. Our perceptions are being shown through a new glass, and we are yet to understand just what it means. A choice, I think. We are a folk at the Crossroads, and we have only to choose a direction, or to let go and let Spirit select it for us. That is a Choice, too.

Many Blessings and a wonderful Summer.

I will leave you with an image from our pasture. We did not have our anticipated flock of baby  wild turkeys, or poults, this year, whether because of weather, predation or some other factor. However, we enjoy the few that we have, and try to see that they are well fed.

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