(A three-minute read)
I’m not the first person to duck out of the social media sphere, and I won’t be the last.
It’s not about Lent, really, although I’m observing it. It’s about a larger need to withdraw from the relentless shallowness of my life online. I’ve been there since 1996 and a quarter-century is quite long enough.
Besides, you and I can pull off a meaningful relationship without instant access to each other’s opinions, moods and outbursts. Can’t we?
If we’re connected, we’ll stay connected.
With some people I love, once a year is enough to keep the flame burning. Not because I dislike them, but because I know them and I trust them.
If you and I can only connect through social media, were we really that connected in the first place? If not, why continue the fiction? This isn’t meant to be harsh, just an honest, loving question for myself.
If I read every rant, meaningfully responded to every prayer request, or dove down every rabbit-hole I run across daily online, I’d do nothing else. My life would be full, but my spirit would be empty. My time would be used up, but I’d have nothing to show for it, really.
Meanwhile, the invisible algorithms push me more and more toward thoughts and ideas they think most represent me. Or at least the digital avatar they have built of me. They push me further and further down a narrowing tunnel. I’m suffocating.
It’s time to emerge. If I stayed, I’d remain connected with hundreds of you all the time, but only by a digital thread. These two-dimensional relationships are truly looking through a glass, darkly.
If I leave, I’m more free to choose and to think and to believe, and to seek meaning. I’ll have more time to stop for the one who’s in front of me.
So, it’s time for me to step back. If you want to stay in touch by subscribing here – great. I love you and always will. If it’s too much bother – I understand; I’ve felt that way too. Meanwhile, I love you and always will.
Pleasant Lines is not about building a dynasty, or an edifice, or a career, or something worthy of promotion. I merely write because I’m called to write. You can read if you are called to read.
So – even though you won’t see links to my pieces on Facebook any more, the pieces themselves will still be here, every week, usually on Thursdays. Sometimes on Fridays when I get busy with other stuff.
Like right now, I’m working on a novel. Well, a series of books really. It began as a novel, then expanded into a set of four as the story grew. Now the outline looks like six books. The outline for Book Five is almost complete. I have 8,113 words down in Book One, as of this writing. There’s a long road ahead.
Fortunate Child began as a simple coming-of-age story set in the 1970s. It has now grown to have a strong romance sub-plot as well, and some serious multi-generational conflicts. If you subscribe here, you’ll eventually get some samples, after I get farther along in Book One.
I have a collection of poetry that’s slowly coming to completion. Some of what’s already on the site may be included, perhaps in a different form.
The other thing I’ve been researching is a series of historical novels about Iron Age life in Britain. Why not? It lies all around me here. The pre-Roman period is largely unknown, but recent archeological finds and theories of the last quarter-century make for a vivid backdrop against which to set a sweeping saga.
Braveheart it ain’t. No woad-painted bodies. I hope to begin writing that before the end of this year.
So that’s what I’m up to.
What are you up to? Write me and let me know. Comment here, or use the contact form found on this site. You might even know my email address or telephone number.
I’m not hard to find, when you choose to find me.