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Existential crisis

I don’t think people in general understanding social media on the Internet. You have content producers and content consumers. Think of content producers as the people who make a television show and content consumers as the people watching the television.

I’m a content producer. I like telling stories. I enjoy making people smile and laugh. I’m an extrovert with an insatiable curiosity and a deep love of learning. I ask questions. I know no stranger. I don’t look at the ground in front of me as I walk but glance around and explore. I smell the roses. I’m a futurist and early adopter of technologies. I think, and I could be wrong, that I have experiences others may not and I want to share those experiences and give those others an opportunity to live vicariously through me. I make good choices and bad choices. I don’t paint a facade. I am who I am and I will own the bad and the good and I don’t mind showing both. I know society would have us put on a mask, paint the correct picture, and present a good image for social climbing but that’s not who I am. I tell how it is. Yes, I embellish for humor sometimes but for the most part I tell it how I see it or perceive it. I’m a man of integrity with a high code of ethics. I am not righteous by some metrics but I am a good person and a man of honor. I am fallible and continually growing. I am not the person I was yesterday because yesterday’s missteps, mistakes, and experiences shaped me into who I am today and tomorrow I will be someone else.

Content creation is hard. It takes commitment. It takes courage. To put yourself out there is to invite criticism and ridicule. And of late there has been plenty of ridicule and criticism and frankly some of it is down right hurtful. Walk a mile in that other person’s shoes before being so quick to judge. After all, social media is but a keyhole view into a person’s life. You can learn of someone reading their tales on the Internet but to learn about someone takes engagement beyond an occasional comment, superficial text message, or filtered phone call. For every one post I put out there publicly, I probably publish or delete nine other attempted publishings either judging them not as funny as I thought or too political or too revealing or too frequently posted or just bad writing. For every one of those nine failed attempts, there are probably 30 other topics I’d love to share that you will never know about at all. I work under non-disclosure agreements and you will never heard about the nature of that work. Due to giving too much of me to others, a long financial recovery from a failed business while working a sector that didn’t pay very well, and focusing my time on my children’s success, my three year flip house bought in 1997 has aspects that would be fun to share but I won’t even show people in real life (IRL) but that is changing (see the next paragraph). I have some fascinating personal projects I work on occasionally that I will never discuss because the misunderstanding and criticism they may bring just isn’t worth the pain. Despite my apparent oversharing, great swaths of my life will never be revealed online and maybe not in person. I do have an aspect of privacy in me. The point is you cannot know the whole person simply by reading their online publishings and rants.

I have spent the past 20+ years in an outright run like a trailing sprinter in 3rd place determined to cross the finish line first. I sleep 4-6 hours a night, sometimes less, occasionally more, often going to bed at 2am and arising between 6 and 8am. I am approaching a grand calming. My youngest has graduated high school and will go to Rider University in the Fall. He is done with his extracurriculars and our family calendar has shifted from something that looks like a toddler scribbled on it with black marker to empty and as clean as Huck Finn’s white washed fence. I have committed myself to not committing to anything except family, house, and friends for the rest of 2023 but still managed to have 3 juggling shows in the next 4 weeks.

Content creation takes time. Just writing this took a chunk of time out of my day. Filming a project, and editing the video, could take a 10-minute task and turn it into an hour or four hour task. Drafting this post has set my schedule and goals for today back. It begs the question, why? What is the return on investment. For me, it is not about monetization or social climbing or career building but the reward of telling the story, spreading knowledge and joy, our interactions, and documenting a memory that I can relive later.

I am conflicted. I enjoy putting content out on this platform, Facebook, Twitter, Substack, Reddit, TikTok, Instagram, Mastodon, Youtube, Podcasters, Vimeo, and others. On January 1, I planned on dramatically increasing the amount of content I publish but went the other way with stopping altogether on some platforms. Honestly, I love you all. Most of you are great supporters and I love our interactions. There is enough negativity that I find myself wanting to retreat from these mediums (I won’t…after all, I don’t know how to shut up). My quandary is that some negativity is spilling into my real life. But I think that is their problem, not mine, albeit hurtful. I think those people forget what they see online is but a glimpse of me, so I ask that before you judge me so harshly, please take time to know the rest of me, the complete story.

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