Get out of Jail, Free

I really loved going to college. Deeply submerged in my wonderful liberal arts education, I swam about, learning from not only the professors, but the super smart students who were also pursuing the same degree. We spent hours and hours reading, pondering, discussing every conceivable aspect of our subject matter. We drank down the texts like they were life giving waters. We reveled in each others ideas and company.

(Insert chuckle)

So, that was a bit over-dramatic, but you get the point.

Creative writing courses were among my favorite. The process was similar in each class, regardless of genre- Create a piece, make sure it fit content and form restrictions, edit, edit, edit, then submit to the class or smaller feedback groups. Take home writings from classmates, (theoretically) giving each one equal amount of time and attention. Return to class- talk about the work.  These are basic writing workshop rules. Everyone writes, everyone critiques, everyone participates.

For some odd reason, I thought those same ideas should apply to requests to read blogs, listen to podcasts, view photography. I also thought (foolishly it seems) that social media follows, friend requests, implied some sort of interaction beyond the “hey, I’m following you” moment. Far too often, the intention of a follow or friend request is for me to pay attention to what someone else is doing, comment, participate, while the other person either completely ignores everything I post or say, or only responds when I engage directly on their blog/website.

I do not expect everyone to engage with everything I post or share. Not everyone cares about my writing or art, and that is completely fine. But, why bother being Facebook friends, Twitter followers, tumblr pals, if we share zero interaction?

I’m involved with social media for the conversations, the social part of the equation. I will read articles, listen to songs, read blog posts, interact, comment, on most any subject. I want to know what interests those I interact with. I want to be a part of it, be supportive, but this is not a one way street. I am not here to be a sounding board when you want one, ignored otherwise. If you have zero interest in the things that matter to me, perhaps our connection is a waste of both our time.

Consider this your invitation and opportunity to cut the virtual cord. I promise I won’t be upset.


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About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

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