sparr (sparr0) wrote,

A mid-year resolution

TL;DR: I'm going to write more long form stuff to post various places, and I'm going to post less negative and controversial stuff.
Starting today and going for at least a month, the precise duration TBD, I'm going to make some changes to my interaction with social media and online discussions.
First, the positive. I am going to do long form writing more often. I will probably use which is a writing challenge site my ex introduced me to, and which I've used successfully for a month before. If anyone out there uses another site or app to track their writing commitments, maybe something designed around NaNoWriMo, I'm open to recommendations. Other than this post, it is likely that some of the first few things I write will be re-writes or updates of things I've written in the past about my life and world and outlook. At least one upcoming day will be a slight cheat day, where I post the ~5000 word document describing myself that I've been working on recently, although not much cheating since I will probably do at least 750 words of edits to it that day.
Next, I am going to stop making unfiltered top level Facebook posts that are entirely negative ("this sucks", "that is terrible", "you are dumb", "I am sad", etc). I will try to stop making them at all, although I am wary of this because I have felt positive support come out of some of those posts. If I feel the need to make those posts, I will create a mostly-opt-in filter for people who want to know this sort of stuff and/or who want to be there to offer support. This change is mostly inspired by observing the posts and interactions of a few specific people, including Victoria (my wife).
Finally, and probably most importantly, I am going to stop making unfiltered top level posts on Facebook about controversial topics, and I will not be the first person to make controversial comments on those posts on other people's or groups' walls. I have gotten direct feedback from a few people that they intentionally disengaged from me because of these sorts of posts and comments. As usual, it was not clear whether it was my positions they objected to or any discussion of those positions or my style of discussion, but I can address all of those possibilities by just not letting them see those posts int he first place. A lot of recent discussions about the feedback loop that my reputation is stuck in have included an element of the impact of new posts that I am making. While I believe that this impact is no longer significant[1], I am willing to make a good faith attempt to eliminate this factor to see if things get better. One reason that this experiment is of indefinite length is that it may take months or years to see a result on this front, but I may not have the patience to wait that long. Hopefully I can be patient and the results become apparent sooner rather than later.
I feel compelled to disclose that these changes to what and how I post are intended to be almost entirely for my own benefit. My ethical and value systems tell me that I am hurting other people by making these changes. I've written at length about the absolute and net positive outcomes of my approach to controversial topics, and no one has ever come close to convincing me that those positive things aren't happening. I am going to convince fewer people to behave in less harmful ways. Fewer people are going to come for me for support, inspired by my posts on the subject of whatever they need support on. People are going to commit consent violations that they would have known not to if I had kept posting where they could see it. What these changes represent is the success of the large number of people who demonstrate that their lives are more fulfilling when the people immediately surrounding them are happier about their presence and interactions, regardless of what the long term or widespread effects are. I am sorry for the harm that this change will cause, and I wish more people could see the consequences of their actions.
I am open to feedback on what I am doing here. None of this is set in stone, and I am open to making small modifications to each of these plans. Maybe someone has a compelling argument that I should only make controversial comment replies instead of making my own comments after someone else does. Maybe you want me to create the support-seeking negative posts filter now instead of waiting until I think I need it. Surely there are other things of that sort that you can think of that I cannot, and I would like to hear them.
[1] I believe the impact is not small, but also that eliminating it will not have much impact because other factors outside my control have much larger impact. The people who vehemently dislike me put a lot of effort into spreading rumors and lies about me. Those efforts are effective and tend to multiply, regardless of what I am doing and whether I ignore them or attempt to address them. Stopping all the negative things I am doing isn't going to stop people who I have never met, or who have never even heard of me before, from hearing those things, believing them, and then spreading them or making up new ones.
Tags: 750words, controversial, facebook, resolution
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