So maybe I’m back here.
Writing on 750words made me feel part of a community – even though I never got to interact with anyone on the site. I suppose that’s what this blog was supposed to be about.
Then, one evening, as I was typing away, pouring my mind, heart, and soul onto a website that claims to be totally private, a nagging thought penetrated my mind: what if none of it was actually private?
What if all of the text I was feeding into it, along with a couple of thousand others, was in fact fodder to a giant human-psyche-analysis machine? What if my internal musings and attempts at figuring myself out through the tedious task of daily writing would end up being used, against my will, to help figure out how humans tick for the benefit of some greater morbid purpose? To help an evil system find out how to better enslave its slaves? To catalogue basic human thought patterns? To break the back of the magical illusion of freedom I so love?
Well, nothing’s private anymore anyway, my dear husband retorted.
Of course, to a certain extent, he is right.
You use a freely available e-mail service? It’s paid for by the content analysis you allow them to harvest from your once private conversations.
You have a profile on facebook? They track everything your browser does and then sell that information onwards to advertisers.
You use google? They track everything you do online.
You shop online? You allow google/facebook/other to track all of your purchases, both on- and offline.
You are, in essence, nothing more than an online provider of consumer information for large conglomerates who couldn’t care less for your personal well-being. As long as you are content enough to not make too much of a fuss, they are happy to keep on harvesting you.
750words was a dumping ground for a lot of stuff.
The game side of it made it easy to keep writing and to keep at it regularly. I earned extra badges and was incredibly happy to have multiple running streaks of more than ten days.
I don’t feel comfortable covering as much ground on an open platform such as this one, so I will keep dumping my rawer thoughts on my computer, in my own little bubble, feeling separated from the larger community of humans. Strange how small perceptual changes can have such an impact on the deeper parts of our selves. I am still writing on the same computer, on the same keyboard, and at roughly the same time and yet… and yet it feels lonely and sad instead of intimate, passionate, and hopeful.
Perhaps this year I will learn to be disciplined enough to write every day – no matter the platform.