Feeling reflective this morning.
I started an online journal in 1998 (yes, I did!), first as a piece of The Husband's domain, then under my own domain name. When Blogger appeared (long ago, in the dark mists of time) I moved over there, taking down the original journal (I have it backed up somewhere. It might even still be online). I had that weblog for a while, then took it down, too, in 2003. By the end of that year, I was back at it, with this weblog.
Then I got a Live Journal, but it's sooper sekrit, so don't ask (trust me, you don't want to know, and if you already do, you know that.) After that, Facebook appeared and I got onto that, left, and returned. Did the same with Goodreads -- got on, left, returned. And now? Now I am being eaten by Twitter. Yes, Twitter. I didn't see a reason for Twitter for a long while, but the temptations kept appearing, and finally some innocent friend sent me an invitation. So, I now have Twittering. I don't think I have to leave it to get perspective on it.
You see, that's what all the leaving is about. I dive in, get over my head, get a little scared, back all the way out, take a good look, and go back in with more control. I didn't realize that, of course, until I'd done it a few times (it is called Learning By Experience), but now I see it for what it is.
And what is it all about? As best I can tell, it's one big bid for attention. I am here, waving my arms around, jumping up and down, pretending to tap dance -- you name it -- to get someone to look my direction and maybe come over to talk. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I'm talking to myself in public (always a worrying activity).
However, the more I go into this weird, virtual world and watch it form in waves and troughs, the more I find myself listening to others, and tossing out the occasional line that says "Yeah, I hear you." Other people are waving their arms, too, with greater or lesser success.
I think about it a lot, this need for attention. Is it a lack of self sufficiency or some other awful, nasty, self critical failure I can ascribe to myself? Should I be ashamed? That will prompt occasional withdrawel, too, the whole downward swirl of "why should anyone pay attention to me" and the crowding demons attacking my self worth. Need I see myself reflected in the eyes of others to know I exist? Heavy question for something as simple and lightweight as blogging, Facebook, and Twitter.
Or maybe it is enough to talk to myself until I can't do it anymore, listening to my own voice echo and answering back "Yeah, I hear you."
It's working so far.