Technology is a powerful tool that, if one is not careful, can deliver an emotional roller-coaster. The capabilities delivered through technology can, if one lets them, dig holes in one’s psyche. I have a specific example in mind. The platform upon which this blog is built allows me to see the number of visits my posts get each day and, to a lesser extent, who the visitors are. For example, if I were to receive five visits from an IP address assigned to Verizon in Las Vegas, Nevada, I could look at the list of subscribers to see if I knew of anyone who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. While there’s no guarantee that the subscriber who lives there is the visitor with a Verizon IP address, I would not be out of bounds to assume that’s who is visiting. It’s a bit harder to identify which visitors from a Nortel IP address in Canada are which; visitors who live where I do and who use Suddenlink show up as Nortel visitors. I don’t know which is which. But if I know I have a few subscribers from Seattle, it’s a safe bet that visitors whose IP addresses track back to Seattle are among those I know about. And, the list of subscribers can change; I can see, if I look, the email addresses that subscribe. When an email address disappears, I know the owner of that address has unsubscribed.

None of this ought to matter, because I write this blog for myself. Right. None of this ought to matter. So why does it? I suppose it’s because, when someone stumbles upon this blog and decides to subscribe, it’s troubling to learn that person no longer visits or, even more troubling, decides it’s not worth maintaining the subscription.  Ach, that is no biggie; strangers who check it out and then leave are just that, strangers. But they are not the ones who subscribe and then, silently and without notice, leave. That tells me my chaotic posts, my random spillage of fiction and fact and wishes and dreams, do not capture their attention in a way that is sufficient to warrant an ongoing relationship.

The subscribers who rarely visit, as well as those who subscribe and then leave, tell me important things about my posts. They give me truth that needs no explanation. I can either adjust my writing or my subjects or my approach to topics or I can focus on pleasing myself above all others.

When I’m morose and feeling unloved, I choose one direction. When I’m lucid and focused on something outside my ego, I choose another one altogether. I do hope the two fail in their efforts to cancel one another out, leaving me the dullard I hoped I would never be.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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6 Responses to Dullard

  1. Carole Sjolander says:

    My techo inexperience shows again. Maybe I should blog to figure out why I have such an aversion to social media. I shall lnot post this twice. I swear. I’m learning.

  2. Carole Sjolander says:

    I just rediscovered your blog and it made my day. I miss you and our conversations so much. crs

  3. Carole Sjolander says:

    I’ve just rediscovered your blog and it made me think again how much I miss seeing you. crs

  4. Larry Zuckerman says:

    But ya are Blanche ya are. lol

  5. You are a generous person, Holly. That is a fact.

  6. Holly Forrest says:

    Oy. I will tell you what I tell my son when he does not get the attention that he desires from others: it may not be about you. There maybe something else going on in their lives. Your writing could be Pulitzer Prize winning quality, engaging and thought-provoking. But if something is happening in their family, or they misunderstand and think they have to somehow subscribe each time, you may be getting strange results.

    Just keep doing what pleases you. And know that you could never be a dullard, even if you tried really hard, JS.

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