I-Land is where memories and experiences turn into short stories, personal journal entries and narration in first person, part memoir, part fiction, exploring topics such as the relation between humans and the societies they live in.

What Would Happen If I Lived My Life Offline?

IL_CrabA more tangible world beckons, but would anyone miss me?

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and, occasionally, Medium. Lately, I prefer Instagram over anything news-related, and would rather post or look at pretty pictures there than read the onslaught of daily slaughter that is our news today. Instagram seems to be the one place where I’m not forced to read about gun control, Donald Trump, or who died suddenly of some awful disease. I say this as a former newspaper reporter. Maybe Instagram is me sticking my head in the sand.

You won’t find me on Google+, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Meetup or a dozen other social media sites I haven’t heard of.

I have over 1,000 followers on Twitter. There’s a lot of news floating through Twitter, and sometimes I read it, often times, I don’t. Sometimes I post, often times, I don’t. When I do, do my followers even care what I have to say? I doubt it. Do I know most of them? No. Have I met a few of them? Yes, actually, and they’re lovely people who I wish lived closer so we could have mimosas and quiche together. I’m connected to over 500 people on LinkedIn, several of whom I know and most of whom I do not. I have just over 140 “friends” on Facebook. I genuinely like all these people, since we’ve socialized in the flesh before. (Admission: I weed through and unfriend people on Facebook I haven’t talked to in months or years because I just don’t see the point of being online friends if we don’t even talk to one another electronically. I fully expect this admission to lead to me being unfriended by others.) I’m a freelance writer who works from home so like many independent contractors, Facebook serves as a virtual watercooler, which, like real watercoolers in real offices, can be a mix of humor, gossip and snark, though I confess I get more done when I don’t log on to Facebook—I really like those self-disciplined days. I’m part of a handful of professional groups—made up of mostly women—and while I find these professional groups helpful, I’m also often overwhelmed by the frequency and content of their posts. Women like to share, and share often (do men share as much? Please tell me if they do).

Sometimes, I chime in; many times I do not. I haven’t yet figured out whether adding my voice to the din matters, and I’m currently trying to figure out if that’s important to me or not.

Part 2 to follow