Ask: What is this in service to?

I don’t tend to this blog these days. Mostly because, like I reasoned when I logged off of Facebook, there were often people who I wanted to see my posts that were specific people in my life. Why post more broadly, when there were really just a handful I wanted to connect with? Especially with an algorithm bent on distress and disharmony, instead of human connection.

“What is this in service to?” is a question I ask myself these days. I’m pretty busy, and I think I’m doing some pretty cool things, actually. I want to share them with the people I know and love, and maybe make new friends, but modern social media, and self-hosted blogging does not achieve this.

Instead of diving in to what has kept me busy, a bit of a segue: I logged in to find that apparently one of my posts from 4 years ago has brought more visitors to my site! Far out, actually. It’s not the best written post, and was just a rant about white supremacists spreading a picture of a “white aurora” with a side helping of toxic religion, which was just misattributed art work from 2010.

Recently, I was contacted by Doug Stanglin from USA Today who was doing a fact check on the Hem of His Garment aurora, which had been making another round through social media. I had a brief email exchange, and didn’t particularly need any attribution of my own (nor did he take from anything I wrote, so that’s fine), so I wasn’t mentioned in his article.

That being said, not sure why my site is getting traffic, but hey folks! If you’re curious, I just used Google Image Search and kept on narrowing for time until I arrived at the earliest known version of it, which was in 2010. Open source intelligence is a fun hobby, and this was definitely one of the more fun searches I’ve done.

Now, back to the whole reason I logged in – I’ve been proud of the new things I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been engaging with people in the local beer community that are underrepresented. I’ve been making yogurt every other week. I’ve filled my chest freezer with homemade chicken stock made from frozen scraps, and vegetable stock. This week I made my own seitan using the vegetable stock. I also made almond milk from some over stock of raw almonds. I’ve made cashew cream, and used it to thicken up some butternut squash soup. I’m still making cold brew coffee regularly, as the weather is not deterring me from my caffeine needs. Right now, I’ve got ingredients simmering to make a gallon of chai mix.

I’m hoping that in the next week I’ll get some of the things I need to start making little gifts for the holiday season. I’ll be buying some thoughtful things from local folks here and there, but I want to do something a little more cozy.

And then there’s the couple projects I have percolating should my current contract job end, and I have some free time on my hands.

That said, before you go posting something, I recommend asking yourself, what is this in service to? I hope you’ll remember that so many companies are making money off of your content, and if it doesn’t serve to better you or others, who does it serve?

Also, reach out to your friends directly. Passively hoping they see your post, and like or respond, isn’t good enough for you or them. Connect. I highly recommend it.