Technology has always made me about as uneasy as wearing freshly washed Levi’s. Before completing blog entries, before creating the blog, before settling on a name for the blog; there was an anxious and uncertain Aaron. Anxious and uncertain about how much time and effort contributing to a blog would eat up, anxious about how having a blog would influence and change my enjoyment of Hornby, uncertainty surrounding the success (or lack-there-of) of the blog. Months ago, we were about to embark on a grand adventure, detaching from material possessions and loved-ones back home and the prospect of adding an online presence and responsibility seemed daunting, and frankly, silly. It didn’t really make sense to me, or sound appealing. I was torn on the idea of taking time away from potential adventures to be in front of a piece of tech. I’m still trying to suss out where this inner conflict arises, but I’m led to believe it is the product of a) fear of missing out, b) fear of failure, c) privacy concerns, and d) poor self control. Allow me to elaborate.
Fear of missing out (FoMO, for those unfamiliar) is something I strongly relate to. FoMO arises when someone’s personal tech (ie. phone, computer, tablet) notifies the user of something happening that they should be jealous of not experiencing or envious of those who did. I have a slight spin on contemporary FoMO, in the sense that I fear missing out on experiences because my time is being eaten up by technology. To put this in the context of Lana and I moving to Hornby: here we were moving to a exceptional wonderland of unknown potential. Did we really want the additional online responsibility of facilitating a blog?

Secondly, I was (and still am) fearful of putting myself out there only to fall flat and not succeed. It is never easy to put yourself out there and this includes something as simple as blogging. Who knows, is there a correlation between public speaking (#2 ranked common fear) and public writing? Maybe I’m grasping at straws with that one. And that’s exactly where my fear stems from: Not being able to connect with you, the reader.

Online privacy, anonymity, identity theft all seem like pretty valid concerns. I think it’s fair to want to protect something as basic as privacy. Every day we hear of a new atrocity regarding a government completely disregarding citizens right to privacy, especially since the leaked US documents by Edward Snowden. This issue is especially relevant when considering the Harper governments proposed bill C-51. I think it’s enough to say we should all strive to protect our identities and privacy.

Lastly, self-control has always been an issue with me! If left with a pail of ice cream; 10 times out of 10, that scenario ends with one hollow vessel in the form of an empty ice cream pail and one uncomfortable vessel in the form of my bloated belly. Or, to draw from a real-life example: if left in a work truck with 6 donuts and about 1/2 an hour… I WILL eat them all¹. I suppose easily succumbing to temptation is my cross to bear. Similarly, I struggle with internet time management. Back when I had facebook, I too often found myself spending hours unnecessarily scrolling through my news-feed. Spending too much time online tends to leave me feeling about the same as following an ice cream/donuts binge: regretful and hollow (mentally, of course). How do I compensate for having near-zero self control? My answer is abstinence. Similar in how I try to keep a kitchen free of sugar, I attempt to reduce temptation to be online.
What I would give for this self control:

Now for the positive spin. Having begun blogging and contributing to a handful of posts (Lana is far better/consistent, as I am sure you have noticed!) I can earnestly say that blogging has introduced an element of creative written and ownership that is really quite enjoyable. We have repeatedly heard that journalling is a beneficial life hack and have repeatedly not adopted it, so blogging has acted as a welcome creative outlet and means of putting thoughts to paper. Take for example this post… I have never before articulated my thoughts towards technology until forcing myself to write this entry. Furthermore, the blog is obviously a great way to keep people up-to-date with our experiences rather than multiple repetitive phone calls. Lastly, I do enjoy writing and have been encouraged to hear that some readers have found pleasure in reading the posts. Right on.

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So there you have it. My roundabout way of saying I have found an appreciation for writing and sharing thoughts! Please continue to comment on our posts and share with friends. It helps to know someone is reading this stuff.
¹Actually, I only ate 5 of them… throwing the 6th one away, in disgust and fear that I might eat it if it lingered in my presence.