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10:46 AM, Jun 11, 2014 toot this
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And We're Back
I started this website in 2002(wow, twelve years) as a personal journal, a log of my activities, a way to keep my loved ones apprised of what was happening in my life, and the biggest force for technology education I have ever encountered. This site taught me how to write in perl, how to run a webserver, how to manage system permissions and a hundred other system administration tasks on which I now depend for my living. It was an ongoing love affair with technology for me-- my very own project that allowed me to sandbox whatever new or not-so-new concept I wanted to try.

It was an emotional outlet for me. If I was happy, sad, angry, excited, worried, or if I'd had my heart broken, I poured out my feelings here, and it was always a therapeutic, if overly revealing exercise for me. This was where my creativity was focused. I would gather steam on an idea to talk about, and have it out in a long or short blog post. For years I thought nobody was reading, but I've since learned that this was not the case. People I didn't know, but have since befriended have told me they used to read bahua dot com and check back often for updates. So I suppose I must have been doing something right.

In any case-- whether I was reaching anyone or not, my own feelings about the site were unaffected. It was outlet of creativity. It was my ongoing technology project. It was my tutor in the ways of a host of technologies, most of which I use heavily today to make my living. It was not just the world's window into my life-- it was my portal to my own creative satisfaction and the expansion of my technical mind. I didn't realize at the time how important it was to me.

Almost six years ago, I joined Facebook. It seemed like a great idea. Keep in touch with your friends, and even reconnect with some old friends from whom you've fallen out of touch. But after a couple years, I began to observe a bit of a problem. Aside from the site's marketing-centered modus operandi, (which is fine-- they're in business, after all) I noticed that my own creative output had been refocused on Facebook, and cut into tiny pieces. If I ever had a great idea that came out in my interaction with someone, it was just a comment. It was just a timeline update. Everything on Facebook scrolls off the bottom, out of reckoning and memory. It's a short-term medium that by design doesn't preserve anything. It's difficult to look back and see how we used to be. You can, of course(sort of), but business works based on what is the easiest thing for the consumer to do-- and on Facebook the easiest is the shallow memory.

I also noticed that my own efforts with this website fell off almost entirely. As the archive page will attest, my updates got more and more rare after the summer of 2008. Prior to Facebook, I posted upwards of twenty-- sometimes over thirty updates in a single month. Complete sentences and entire thoughts went into them. Facebook provided a replacement for my venting and outlet, but at the cost of it disappearing quickly, like a breath in the wind.

Then we all got on Facebook on our phones. This meant that instead of sitting and allowing myself to be bored, I would pick up my phone and scroll, scroll, scroll. Now, it is literally impossible to go to a social place-- a bar, a restaurant, a city street, a store --and not see someone retreating into a phone to have at least something to do. For years I thought this was fine-- an actual improvement on things. I would not have to be bored anymore! But I recently realized that boredom is important. Being bored allows my brain to ponder things, analyze things, come up with ideas, and be creative. I realized that boredom is where my creativity is born, and I took action.

I uninstalled the Facebook app from my phone. I changed from always having at least one Facebook tab open in my browser to removing the bookmark for it and only checking back in every three or four days. I'm a little over a week into the purge, and it feels great. I amazingly have found that I have more time to work, and work on my own projects. One such personal project I picked back up was bahua dot com. I dusted off a "beta" site that I had working at about 65% by the time I got on Facebook, but then neglected altogether for years, and set to work to getting it working. Now enough of it works that I'm ready to start using it again.

So, it's good to be back, and I hope to be able to integrate this site into present-day use.

March the 17th
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@2002-2024, John Kelly