The Story of Me In The Middle
I created Me In The Middle about nine years ago. It was a place for me to write about politics, or social issues, or social media, or anything that comes along and tries to trip you up!
But I got it wrong. It wasn’t wrong in the intent, but I tried to be too clever. I created this wonderful website full of sections, types of stories (news or “the big think”), logos for everything, clever imagery…
It looked wonderful, but it was far too much work to write an article, and no one read them.
I kept it going for a while, then it just sat there. I think the last article is dated 2015.
But I hung onto the domain name. Something in the back of my head said I shouldn’t let it go. Because I still feel stuck in the middle sometimes. Well, a lot of the time.
I like politics, or rather, I like the idea of politics; the idea that there are systems where the people are given a voice in some way.
Political: Of, belonging, or pertaining to the state or body of its citizens. OED.
But approving of the pure idea of politics, and suffering what politics are in reality, are two different things.
Modern politics is about the voices on the edge. It is the Right or the Left shouting at each other, and others, defining themselves inaccurately of representing the middle ground, being holier than thou about everything.
It is social interest, factions, sects, religions, protest groups…
None of this mob truly represent the majority, or only in thin slices.
When I try to work out how to vote, I invariably find that I agree with bits from most manifestos and disagree with bits from every manifesto. I learn that I am not really left wing, or right wing, either. But I don’t often fit in the so-called middle ground, for it is a fiction, a conceit.
I think most of us are like this, and I think the body politic like to pretend it is not so. They like to think that the fervent opinions of their minions represent everyone who voted for them.
Since I started Me In The Middle, social media has become far more important. It was important back then (it wasn’t that long ago), but then it was SM supporting news — now it’s the other way around.
It has grown in toxicity, the loudest voices, just like in society as a whole, drowning out and bullying those who dare to not agree or, a bigger sin still, have no opinion on a subject.
If you don’t say out loud that a certain celeb MUST be a racist, or homophobic, or something else despicable, then it is not because you might want to see some proper evidence first, it is because you are a racist too. That is how it appears to work now.
The opinionated have been amplified by social media, and everyone else is hiding in small corners, desperately not having an opinion about anything.
Technology feeds into this. Not only is it the carrier of Social Media solutions, but it has become the arbitrator, the driving force.
Artificial Intelligence proliferates the next generation of solutions, sometimes doing what humans can’t, but more often, doing what they should.
Technology has become the route map for our future, and yet it creates terrible problems and costs so much in resources. We all now feel we must have a smartphone, a tablet, permanent connection to the internet, cryptocurrencies, and power it all somehow.
And governments push us in that direction. They don’t want to deal with us personally or use paper and a stamp. They want us to face a digital form in all our interactions, and a chat bot or AI assessment when things get hard.
I love technology, but I also fear it a little. Not so much for itself, but for how people I have no control over, no say in their decisions, decide to use it for MY life.
So, I have decided to have another go. I am rebooting Me In The Middle, but not initially as a website (though that will support this) but as a Medium Publication.
Me In The Middle is just my view from the perspective of being quite ordinary. I am not a member of a political party or anything else, for that matter. I admit that I don’t always vote. I sometimes can’t find anyone I agree with enough to give them my vote.
My hobbies are writing, cooking (and that might sneak in), gardening, music, and I like playing the odd game as long as it doesn’t involve fighting.
I am older, a bit boring, definitely overweight, and very ordinary. I am nobody. And I am In The Middle.