This is about E-mail, my blog, my Facebook page, and my Piper Paper. I began E-mailing, with lots of encouragement from friends, in the early-2000s as an alternative to writing the copious number of postal letters I was mailing in those days. Then I evolved up to my Piper Paper (March 2004) to expand my self-expression. After that I grew into my blog in 2008. What I used to write in postal letters is exactly what I wrote in Emails (long and epistellein), and then in my Piper Paper and finally onto my blog. Despite an accident in 2012 that wiped out the blog, I was able to quickly rebuild it because all the material was saved on my computer. My intention was for my family to learn about my life more quickly than having to wait for letters to be exchanged, and to learn about my doings in greater depth than the mere notes too many people are disposed to write (if they are disposed to write anything at all). I had already learned that despite their promises, no one E-mailed. Email was more a tool to better filter out and ignore people than a device to enhance communication. Then I learned that despite the ease of clicking on a linked blog address, it was beyond most people. Maybe it’s a moral problem. I mean, maybe people viciously decide not to access the blog. Or, maybe it’s a dexterity problem. I mean, maybe people are not skilled at using their computer keypads. Or, maybe it’s a mental thing. I mean, maybe people are too dumb to use the technology.
Finally it came to Facebook. Acquaintances recommended FB for a long time, but I resisted on the grounds that I thought it was stupid, that there were hidden risks (which there are), and that I am not a joiner anyway. I resisted until September 2015 when I finally gave in and opened a Facebook account - first, as a strategy to further attract viewers to my blog - which I think it has done; and, second, to further enhance my self-expression. As it turns out, I found FB instantly addictive and I’ve become a Facebook maniac. Has it contributed to increased exposure of my blog? I think so. My blog averages about 1,500 views / day which is higher than the average before I created a Facebook account.
The nature of my FB posts is similar to my old written letters, then my Email letters, then my Piper Paper stories, and finally my blog posts. My output is overwhelmingly narrative, observational and analytical, tending towards academic, even pedantic accounts in essay form. Maybe it’s a reflection of the disposition of my brain after long years of schooling. I spent seven years at university - at five institutions, earning three degrees - and didn’t finish until I was 27.
I post very little about me personally, but the cumulative nature and content of what I write and post either on FB or on my blog continuously inform about me. Much of what I post on FB are photographs with description of inanimate things: signs; vehicles; urban scenery; weather; newspapers; mailbox flyers; cultural things like holiday celebrations, etc. Once again, my intention is to allow my friends and family to see what I see every day and to know what my life here is like.
I often choose photo subjects based on my esteem for the genius of the designs of the things that make up daily life - things like simple roads, buildings of all sorts, gardens, etc. I am very interested in paper, in the graphic art used in ubiquitous advertising: newspapers, magazines, print books, posters and signs, etc. This stuff is completely disposable. We see it every day but don’t think much about it. Posters and signs used in advertising are regularly replaced and destroyed. I hope some museum collects a copy of this stuff. So I like to take pictures of signs and posters, things I see, things that are real. Not much about me personally, although the overall effect probably tells a lot about me, just as other people’s social media behavior informs about them.