Mike, Medium and Me

DJB

I haven’t been writing on Medium as much. I’m sort of losing my focus here. There are several reasons. It’s getting to be Spring here and it’s great to just go outside. My head was beginning to explode reading all kinds of posts on Medium. A constant stream of them are about the state of the world, and how it’s not good. Not good at all. After that it’s about how difficult it is to find romance. Then I get lists of all the things to do each day to be a success, although no one defines success very clearly. I also read a lot about some amazing technological advances, and how they will save the world, and then about some horrifying uses of those amazing technological advances.

It’s too easy to get stuck in Medium, to wonder whose reading what I write, and will anyone respond. I’ve got a virtual pal now in Mike Meyers. He reads, and better still, he comments. I try to keep up with him. He’s been writing more consistently. Maybe it’s still winter where he is. I don’t know where he is. We seem to agree on most things. He’s a bit more ready to start the whole system over. I think there’s some hope we can rebuild a successful opposition using part of the remaining structure. We agree on what’s going on. It’s been a good connection, even if it’s all virtual.

That part is new to me. I just joined Facebook last month. I did it now to keep up with the groups of people who are working hard to try to stop the ship of state from sinking completely. Who knows if it’s possible. It seems just as likely that Trump and his boys will miscalculate — if they can calculate at all, and they will blow up half the world when he confronts someone just a crazy as he is. There is certainly no shortage of those folks, with their hands on many triggers.

Then there’s Medium. It’s changed. I don’t know if I’ve adjusted. I’m a founding member. That’s what my five bucks got me. Soon it will be ten. I also seem to have been given my own weird algorithm. These are the things I like. Really? These are things people who I like, like? Did I like those people? The old Medium felt more open. More random. It probably wasn’t, but it felt like there were all kinds of columns and choices, and now there is this long, long list.

When I was writing regularly Iwas gaining “followers.” I’ve got over 400. But they don’t really follow me. That makes it weird too. Before I was a member I think people read my stuff more. I’d get between 10 and 829 reads. Now I get about 6. And then a month later I get another 14.

Some people push “recommend,” which is nice. But very few people comment. I had hoped there would be more of that. But I don’t get that enough, except Mike.

If I comment and annoy someone they will usually respond. That part is ok. But it rarely gets to be a real insightful dialogue. I’ve had about five of those in eight months, and with this new Medium it seems more difficult to generate.

I realize, part of it is me. I don’t have clicky headlines, nor do I often give life altering advice. Also, as i said, it’s too easy to get addicted to seeing if people are responding. If I put it all on a mobil device, and I check my mail, Medium, Twitter, and Facebook, my grandchildren could drown before I looked up. Things like that go on now all the time. So many people sit through two light cycles checking their phones.

Many studies have shown that a virtual life gets depressing. It’s like yelling into a hole all day. Then once in while, on a variable reinforcement schedule, a faint voice sends back a cry. So the next day you yell louder and more often. But after a while, the yelling just gives you a headache.

I don’t know what the answer is. I hope to get back to writing about the things I like to read, learn and think about, but it’s been much more difficult to do that with the threat of nuclear war, concentration camps for immigrants, and a world wide financial melt-down coming soon, to a small town or a sanctuary city near you.

I just thought I’d write it all out here. Maybe someone who buys all of my information from my Internet service provider will plug this into their algorithm and have something they can sell me to cure these Medium blues.

“I went to my doctor. Just a waste of time.

He gave me a bottle of dope of some kind

That said “Shake ‘fore you use.”….

But it just don’t shake my blues.”

— Chris Smither