August of 2005, in Northern California. photo by Dominic Vyne

August 29th is my blog anniversary, meaning that thirteen years ago I started an online life on the forgotten but not gone livejournal. Making that choice has structured much of the life I live now, bringing me friends, lovers, community, work and connection.  Daily reflection and posting made me work on my writing and drove my photography. I set up this website in part because of it.

In the last few years, I’ve rarely posted directly to this site, spending more and more time on twitter and instagram, in some moments reveling in the visual flash and written wit of my peers on those platforms. I’ve been checking online endlessly, looking for those food pellets of attention that are “likes” and “views”. I’ve felt my attention erode, growing impatient with looking at any screen that doesn’t give me immediate feedback. This past July, I experienced voluntary reduction of online time at MacDowell, and that combined with the emotional climate of twitter is making me think that it’s time to reduce my presence on there for a while. I value the way that twitter lets me know what’s going on, but not the way that it makes me search for outrage on a daily basis. 

This is the patch of online space that I’ve rented, and for years I’ve neglected it. It would be nice to see what I could make of it again. I’ve set this up to crosspost to twitter, so that people there can find me, but I’m going to try to avoid posting directly on there for a while.  Online life is at once blatant and masked, and the self I feel encouraged to display there is one that I am ambivalent towards to say the least. I’m more interested in what people do on the street, where there are actual physical consequences.