It should come as no surprise that I am below the curve in social networking. I have spent the last few years casting a wary eye on these newfangled meeting places that are sprouting up on every virtual corner. Although I am technically of the internet generation (ah, the Millennials!), when it comes to my personal (cyber)space I am still lighting fires with sticks.
I exist only nominally on Facebook, I use Ravelry solely for pattern selling and purchasing, I routinely forget that Pinterest exists, Flickr just stores the photos that I use to blog, and I blog, well...sporadically at best. I do not pretend to loftier ideals or more productive usage of my time, I am a good little voyeur. The thing is, I am not a chattery sort of a person. The wallflower in me withers at the prospect of so much small talk -- and if nothing else, Twitter epitomizes small talk. I cannot pretend, even to myself, that more than a treasured few people want to hear my inanities, and let's all admit that online there is pressure to be surpassingly clever at every turn. I love community, but in an old-fashioned, one-horse-town sense, when community was what you had as an option to wilderness (I also love wilderness). It used to be we had communities because there were interstices between them, and either you made peace with your neighbors or built better fences. The internet and its social networks have effectively abolished the interstices, and now we are expected to commune with the cozy billions that occupy our dear little planet. Admit it: it's a daunting thought.
But when you grow up it's time to face facts. These tools fuel our world. They have made nobodies into superstars and compressed the circumference of our globe even more than the airbus was able to, and ignoring them may be a bit short-sighted. Especially when one is trying to be artistically self-employed. From home.
So yes, I am now a cautiously proud Twitterer. Er. Tweety? Tweeter? Whatever, I am sure the lingo will come. You can find me and my inanities @vivian_aubrey, and I am trying to tweet at least once a day. Heaven knows what I will come up with to say that often, but I am giving it the old college try. I don't want to fall into the trap of just always blabbing about my business, because surely if anything is more boring than dirt or hearing about my breakfast toast, it's constant and unapologetic self-promotion.
Unsurprisingly, Instagram has been a far more natural fit (all photos in this post from Instagram). Let the pictures do the talking, I say. I know, there was some kerfuffle about privacy and permissions and whatnot a while back, but I assume that nothing is sacred once you birth it into the ether anyway, so I'm not very bothered. And wow, what a rabbit hole of delirium this place is, people are lending some real weight to the undeniably bogus-sounding term 'iPhonetography' (and for us Android users, what...'Droidography'? Ouch). You can find me @vivianaubrey. I have put some really (technologically) ancient photos on there, like from my old flip-phone camera. These are the photos that inspired me to break out of film and go digital, to think maybe this leap into the future wasn't the devil. The resolution on them is pretty poor so let's keep them tiny, but they are still some of my favorite pictures.
The rest is where you, the reader, come in. As far as I can tell there are maayyyyybe five of you out there. While I take full responsibility for my own actions, let me just say that none of these things exist in a vacuum, and what's more, most of us wouldn't bother if they did. So if you are there, give me a little wave or a wink in the comments, maybe tell me what you like or wished I showed more of. Leave me links to your blog, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Ravelry profile, and I'll follow you and listen/look/read, too. And maybe others will as well. Come watch me take my first tottering steps out of my fussy old-womanish ways and into the brave new world, and show me how it's done like a pro. And then this whole virtual community thing will get just a little bit bigger, and maybe work just a little bit better. At least, that's the idea anyway.
Let's sweeten the deal: everyone who comments (even you friends and family members) has the option of sending me (vivianDOTaubreyATgmail) your mailing address and I'll send you a one-of-kind block print card by yours truly, with a nice little note on it just for you. Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to tell your friends. Thank you.
(**Edit to clarify that all these photos are still mine, I have not gone on a cybernetic crime spree, ruthlessly scalping others' hard work and trying to pass it off as my own. Carry on.**)