Internet Valhalla / by AB Mann

Most viking burials were similar in bent to modern burial practice (1). People were buried or cremated in normal clothes or buried with personal effects of importance. The more spectacular burials - the flaming boat rides - were likely reserved for important figures in a tribe.

I have taken many of the entities I followed on social media, set them adrift in a faering, and ignited their path towards Internet Valhalla. It's not that they do not have value, they just no longer serve a purpose for me. Thus the respectful metaphor.... while still offering the opportunity to light them on fire,

Metaphorically.

Building the Boat

These words from today's exercise in The Focus Course were a boon for motivation:

Attention is earned, not owed. Just because you were interested at first doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be interested forever. Your priorities change, your interest changes, your availability changes.

I had, in fact, just yesterday asked myself why I was following some people who are negative nigh constantly. Did I really want or need that negativity in my life?

nopetopus.gif

Despite the answer being seemingly obvious, there was an internal swell (2) of resistance in which my brain offered many reasons why I was awful for wanting un-follow anyone, even businesses (3).

Placing the oars

It's a curious thing how difficult it is to do something like this. Remember LiveJournal? When I first started blogging in 2001, it wasn't easily possible to know if and when a person stopped following you. LJ gave you a list of followers and you could, I supposem check it every day. Or there were tools, sure, but the default state kept us blind to it. And I think it was better for it. I have my reasons for following and unfollowing who I please. As do you and, really, it isn't any of my business to understand the why's and wherefore's 4) for your decision. You don't owe me your attention any more than I owe you yours.

Shoving the boat off

So, that was satisfying in the end. Doubly so because it this further reinforces current efforts to reduce distraction on my phone. With even less content, good or otherwise, I have fewer reasons to check.

And. And this is something I did not expect to click along with removing distraction from my life:

My desire to create better things in the world increases every time I remove distraction.

And perhaps this is the key, dear reader, to my point.

A Flood of Creativity

The way we forestall our own drifting to internet Valhalla is by making things that are useful and good for people. What is useful and Good can differ radically person to person and that is both OK and desirable.

What draws me to you and you to me is the thing that make us unique; our perspectives, or interactions, our interpretation of the world is as varied as we. The intersection of creativity and humanity is the avatar for experience. If we can discover what that is for us and present in a positive way, we cannot help but flood the world with good things.

This is to say that both the Focus Course, reducing distraction, and my stepping away from a project that had been, at best, a bog of frustration, has done wonders for me.

It's all been going just swimmingly since. (5)





  1. Minus embalming. How typically human is modern burial? We put our bodies to decompose in a box that stops our decomposition from actually return our bodies back to the natural order. Humans: too important to feed a tree. ↩︎

  2. Swell, get it? ↩︎

  3. Aren't businesses people too? ↩︎

  4. Those words mean the same thing. ↩︎

  5. Were there enough water-related puns in this entry? I'm just trawling for your approval. ↩︎