There have been a number of times, increasingly so lately, where I’ve been putting less out into the digital world and, instead, paying more attention to what others have been saying. I hate it.
That’s a joke, to an extent; while I remain frustrated that I don’t have the kind of free-ranging journalistic outlet that THR was to me for so long — oh, the stories I would write, would have written, still want to write, if I had that opportunity again…! — the choice to stay so quiet online in other ways has been an intentional one, and something that I think has been pretty good for me overall.
I’ve been posting less and less on social media for any number of reasons, not least of which being an increasing sense of unease about the question of what I’m actually adding to the conversation — so many others are asking (and answering) more articulate, interesting questions, and in almost every instance, all I’d be doing is adding noise rather than signal. There’s no need for that, to say the least, so I keep my virtual lips shut. (Well, for the most part. Every now and then, I give in; I can’t always resist.)
As all of this happens, I get to listen and read, instead of talk and write; I get to be an audience, instead of an author. I get to learn, which feels like the ultimate goal, surely — at least, if you’re not looking to purposefully use the space to promote your own voice. (Which is, I should add, a valid thing to do on social media!) It’s been good, for the most part, when it’s not been frustrating or annoying to see malice or stupidity spread, rewarded for no real reason.
I have to relearn how to put myself out there at some point, and re-engage with that world; I think it’d be a healthy thing to not remain an audience forever. But for now, in the words of Frasier Craine: I’m here. I’m listening.