Delete yourself

20+ years ago Jason Kottke tried to make a go of it as the first fully self-employed blogger. Yesterday, he announced he's taking a break from his blog. He wrote about why:

Does what I do here make a difference in other people’s lives? In my life? Is this still scratching the creative itch that it used to? And if not, what needs to change? Where does kottke.org end and Jason begin? Who am I without my work? Is the validation I get from the site healthy? Is having to be active on social media healthy? Is having to read the horrible news every day healthy? What else could I be doing here? What could I be doing somewhere else? What good is a blog without a thriving community of other blogs? I’ve tried thinking about these and many other questions while continuing my work here, but I haven’t made much progress; I need time away to gain perspective.

I have the same questions about my presence on the internet.

Seems like a lot of us who have been doing this for so long are on the same page. But I haven't the slightest idea where that leaves us. We were the first to be hyper-connected and now that the world's joined us, so many of us from the 90's internet want off/out.

I've been doing this for more than half my life, though my online popularity peaked by 2001. Like most people, I'm now a micro blip on the internet these days. Which is good, because I hate being here; I just can't seem to make a clean break.

There was a time when the internet saved my life. I can't help but feel now that I should have disconnected then. I've tried so many times but keep coming back. Why? What is it I'm looking for that a search engine can't find for me? Maybe if I knew, I wouldn't have to be here.

I think it has something to do with being seen, or rather, read.

A few years ago, I had a therapist who managed to convince me that I wasn't a writer if no one was reading what I wrote. Posthumous publishing and private journals apparently were not valid writing to him. And sadly, I've internalized that (though I'm constantly trying to stop).

So, here I am, at the end of the new age, waiting for the day when I can stop. It's not today.