The “# impressions” or “# views” meters next to tweets or Facebook posts can be a little intoxicating. It’s easy to get caught up in chasing that value, making it rise. It’s always right there, if you manage a Facebook page or use tools like Hootsuite. As if it’s all that matters in our digital world based on eyeball glances.
Before I talked to more women, especially feminists, I used to have a more limited subset of online behaviors I’d call “creepy”. (This is setting aside obvious cases or stalking or harassing or worse.)
I disliked the casual way a friend used the verb “creeping” to mean “looking through a photo album someone posted of their trip”, even when she was doing it. I disliked how what I felt should be a normal, accepted, even invited activity was being termed that way.
I was confused by how liking photos or comments too much, or too far in the past, was creepy. I felt that these things are made to stay online, connected to a person’s profile, so why is any viewing of it at any time, and incidentally notifying someone that they were viewed, surprising or disturbing?
The problem is that it was an idyllic view that I had. I saw Likes and comments and posts are existing only in this online space, and not having physical consequences. As a guy, I don’t really have to be concerned with whether a person liking a lot of my stuff is just excited and friendly, or potentially a problem. Ask women about their experience online (or worse: at dating sites), and you’ll see the other side of this coin.
I’m exploring new Twitter handles and perhaps a new kind of username going forward. Boss1000 has been my standard for years and years, through gaming, forums, and online chat. In recent months and years, though, I’ve been shedding these things I used to identify so strongly with. I’ve started rejoining the fluid world of humanity again, instead of trying to be a constant in a sea of variables. Plus, “Boss1000” has gotten a little stale.
Thursday, the 15th of January, was my birthday. I turned 26 years old in 2015. I was perfectly happy with the quarter, 25, but time has a way of convincing us to move along.
The past several days have shown me just how great celebration and excitement can be when embraced. It wasn’t always easy, and still isn’t, to work up to and believe that the joy of accepting a holiday and joining those around you celebrating is greater than a more lonesome reaction. This week I’m reflecting on my common response to birthdays and holidays in the past, and how more enthusiasm has made me happier.