How I learned to love the thing that destroyed my ego

When I was a Beatles-obsessed teenager, I was fascinated by John Lennon’s comments concerning LSD and the way he used it to destroy his ego (not for long, you didn’t, John). I wondered what it would be like to have no ego. I didn’t want to have to take LSD to find out, though.

Later on, as an unemployed teenager, I learned the hard way to stop wanting things. Desire nothing except desirelessness, I think I read once on a Who album sleeve. By the time I’d been on the dole for 18 months, I’d stopped, had no consumer desires at all. That soon changed when I started earning, unfortunately.

So I kind of know we can train ourselves to change our way of thinking. I think the internet, and in particular blogging and social networking, has changed mine.

I used to fancy myself a writer. Started young, had my first short story published when I was 17. I once went on a 4-date reading tour with a couple of other “up and coming” writers. At university, I wrote my way to three good degrees.

When Roy suggested I take up blogging, I had it in the back of my mind that my writing would win me an audience.

I was watching Stewart Lee‘s very funny routine about thinking he was friends with David Cameron at Oxford in the 80s. He talked about how Cameron would look him in the eye and make him feel like there was a real connection. “Of course, I don’t think that now,” says Lee. “I’ve watched him do it with everyone on TV.”

That’s the thing about blogging. Anyone can do it, and lots of people do, and there’s nothing special about mine. Most of the world has moved on from blogging now, because who has the time? I like to get up a head of steam and what I liked about blogging was that you could write a few lines, or more than a few. But nobody really has time to read more than a few, and anyway. There’s nothing special about mine.

I joined Facebook. I’ve always had a thing about compartmentalising things, so it didn’t suit me. I didn’t want work colleagues on there, and I didn’t want my family. And I didn’t really want friends-I’ve-never-met, because they’re not the kind of people you should be sharing stuff with on Facebook. And the whole contacting-people-from-the-past is a colossal waste of time and effort. And that leaves precisely one person, really. That would be you, Roy. And that’s no reason to be on Facebook.

And I love the Twitter. I’m something of a wit, though you wouldn’t know it from my Twitter, or my blog, which is nothing special. I can be quite funny in person. But to be publicly funny to the kind of people who follow you on Twitter, that’s something else. Nothing much that I say on there gets retweeted by anyone. My last retweet was 26 days ago.

All of that’s okay, far as I’m concerned. I lost the ego long ago. That’s what this blog entry is about. I lost the ego and now I’ve lost the desire. I actually hate, physically hate, getting comments on my Flickr. I leave my photos open because there are a couple of people who look at them who aren’t family or even members. But I deeply dislike expressions like “Great shot,” or “Great capture” (which is someone on Flickr’s way of telling you they’re a pretentious arse). And I hate the groups.

I switched comments off on most of my blogs because the few people who ever posted a comment were grossly outweighed by spammers. But even when people do comment, I don’t really know what to do about it. I admire the way some people can reply to all their replies. But I always feel I shot my load on the original entry, if you know what I mean. And nobody cares what I think, anyway.

I almost called this blog, “Nobody cares what you think,” but that’s probably been done.

I’m really okay with it. I’ve reached a stage of higher consciousness.

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1 thought on “How I learned to love the thing that destroyed my ego”

  1. Wot? another blog presence!

    I think of blogging like a backbeat. It’s there and can go up and down in the mix.

    My rule is 10 mins a day to write something and add a picture ideally that I’ve taken myself, but if I miss I don’t care. If it’s related to someone I know then I may spend longer.

    I also try to stay mainly in the positive.

    For me it was originally an experiment, related to understanding the medium and maybe finding a voice.

    More generally, people will do this stuff for their own reasons. I bailed from Facebook because of signal to noise diluted by flying sheep. I use twitter but have to leave the narcissism filters on a high setting.

    But I know I prefer to be on the create side more than just consume.

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