I’m a big fan of the podcast Reply All, a story-based show about the internet, hosted by Alex Goldman and PJ Vogt. I was reading a review of their appearance on a podcast live show called Cast Party that occurred on July 28th (fantastic) which got me thinking about how the hosts’ shows have changed in the past two years and made me wonder (curiously and excitedly) where they’re headed.
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.
About a year ago, some folks from CNN were interviewing and asking around atheist groups for stories and perspectives on life as nonbelievers and our experience. With the airing of “Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers”, which looks to be the end product of this work, and my response to the special after it aired last night, I thought I’d finally post my lengthy email response to their questions.
I had never written this part of my life down to its completion before, so it was really long for a relatively short series of questions. I kept going, though, for my own sake, so I could process through it all and have a recording of that. Now I’m thankful I’m able to share it with others. There are a lot of conversion and deconversion stories out there, some filled with much more pain, suffering, triumph, loss, and acceptance, but mine is quiet, without great strife, and this type of experience should be known, as well. If any part of this story provides someone comfort on their journey to self-discovery, it was worth taking up this space on the internet.
There’ll be some edits to make it fit better in public blog post form.
I’m a little behind in putting out this list due to being in Huntsville, Alabama for much of March. Towards the end of February, I didn’t have the time to wrap up this post and send it out, but the highlights from last month remain what they are be it the first, fifth, of thirtieth of March.
Several of these episodes are less “exceptional” episodes from their shows as much as they are important markers in big events that occurred or changes that were happening to the shows. This list could also be used as a reminder of what happened in my preferred corner of the podcasting world this month.
Here’s the list: