If I were you, and obviously I’m not, I’d just watch this film
about foraging and not bother to read any of the blog below.
For anyone who was unfortunate enough to make it to the end of my last blog, here is the second half; the further rantings of an ego unchecked, the product of too much time on my hands (due to a much longer than expected recovery from surgery) and an inability to do the things I usually do, climbing, foraging, playing with my son etc. I get back on topic with this 20 minute film all about foraging and plant ID in which I show you lots of plants that you can and can’t forage for. Alas this film and this blog, like everything in my life right now, have been held up by ill health and as a result the film is about two months too late for this year. And so, here comes the rant…………
After a few months away from computers, mobile phones, blogs like this one, facebook, twitter and all the other combined good and evil that is the internet, I’m back. Back at the laptop, back online, back in the digital swamp in which we spend so much of our lives wallowing. And it’s a bizarre place when viewed with a little objectivity, a virtual somewhere, full of frantic activity that never seems to really lead to anything. The todo list just keeps growing and our constant attempts to keep it at bay become more stressful, with each small victory instantly usurped by the next set of pressing, vital, must be done at once, online jobs.
So where have I been while I’ve been offline? Nowhere, I’ve been here all the time, just not trapped in the never ending loop of updating people as to my every activity. I have basically carried on as always but not sought (or been able to seek) the constant approval of friends, followers, likes, retweets etc etc. I suspended my facebook account, blocked any notifications from twitter, shut down my website booking page, removed various apps from my phone, and left the laptop alone for weeks. And how has it been? To be utterly honest it’s been fucking great, if not for the afore mentioned neck surgery in the middle of it all coupled with the pain/boredom of rehabilitation, otherwise all things in my life have been completely dandy. I didn’t miss out on anything, fail to turn up to something important, let anyone down or even disappoint my fans(!). Fans? Really? Are you kidding? And there it is, the nub of the topic, the seed at the centre of all this mindless, endless and utterly unnecessary online activity, which can be summed up in one little word…ego. Running utterly unchecked on the internet, the thinking behind it seems to go roughly like this….everyone, myself included, seems to think they are now some sort of celebrity. You can see it in the way people write and even more so online films, clips, vlogs (!?!) etc etc. A while back I stumbled across a home made review sight for something or other and the presenter was in full flow right from the off. “Hi guys, thanks for tuning in again and I know that loads of you have been wondering about the end of last month’s show” STOP…reality check…this video has had 37 views and last month’s thrilling instillment has had almost 50! The greatest irony has to be that I am bothering to write this article in the first place…who’s it for? Certainly not the few hundred people (I’ve checked the stats by the way) who read my blog each month to find out about all things foragey, and definitely not for my friends and family who are unlucky enough to be regularly subjected to my opinions face to face. So who does that leave? …………….Just one person, no, it’s not you Mum, it’s me! That’s who I write this for and that is who we all post, blog, tweet and whatever else for. Ourselves, just ourselves, nobody else at all, despite what we say and think, despite convincing ourselves that we are sharing our knowledge, our experience and our wisdom, we are only really sharing one thing, our ego. Well that’s my take on it anyway and obviously you’re entitled to think whatever you like…this is after all, just another massively opinionated blog. If along the way we impart some useful or interesting knowledge, I suggest that that’s just a by-product of our obsessive self publicising. So, as I sit here, reading this back as I write it, looking partly at my screen and partly at the garden, I have to acknowledge the truth of it all and admit that I am basically talking to myself, for myself and about myself; if anyone else reads this it’s just a peripheral bonus, usually for me, not for them. The point, if there actually is one, is that no wonder we’re all so utterly poor at communicating with people face to face these days, when we spend so much of our time basically talking to ourselves, inward facing despite creating the impression that what we are doing is pointed outwards. Alas it most certainly is not, at very best it’s a request for attention, not interaction….or am I just being massively cynical? And now, because I have got that off my chest, I feel much better and I think I will go out and look for some field mushrooms…and I’d strongly suggest that if you have suffered your way through this blog that you do likewise or at least something equally pleasurable, and away from a computer screen. Off you go then, you owe it to yourself.