I discovered the internet back in 1994. I loved the old email lists and was really thrilled when I discovered one called Christian Homesteading or something like that. I had no idea how many other people were pursuing the same goals I was. After we had been homesteading a few years I decided in 2000 to try to reach out to other homesteaders in Oklahoma and started a list called New Okie Pioneers. At one point it was handling over 1,000 posts a month. I reached a point where I was spending more time moderating than homesteading and I passed it on to a diverse group of longstanding active members. I caught some flack for that, but that’s OK. By that time I had found forums. I loved the plain old Countryside forum. Then, I suppose, liability issues crept in for the magazine and it morphed into Homesteading Today, which quickly outgrew it’s usefulness in my mind. I found myself spending more time sorting through extraneous minutiae than actually actually gleaning anything that might help me in my homesteading endeavors. There were also more than enough “experts” that undoubtedly were so good at homesteading that they had hours each day to spend advising others as to the one and only “way to skin a cat.” Next I found Biblical Agrarianism which was pertinent and well moderated. I only wish it were more active today. By this time blogging had replaced the plain old website and I found I enjoyed it. Then along came social networking. I never really got it, but everyone was doing it and assured me that I just had play too. I couldn’t understand why anyone, my family included, would want to have to log in to a site to communicate with me when I had a perfectly functional email address. Which brings us to the present. As I mentioned not long ago I’m just now getting internet access back after over a year break. Immediately I looked up all my favorite blogs (Google Reader has worked seamlessly for me for years) and checked in on Facebook. Wow. Blogs are so busy now with banners and widgets that the content is lost on the majority of them and Facebook is like some kind of addictive disease that has infected everything. So, I decided. My Facebook account is gone in two weeks. If people like and are benefited by my blog it’s here. If they think it’s useful they’ll pass it on to their real “friends.” You don’t have to go to Facebook to find it. You don’t have to “like” it or send me a friend request. I can find no benefit in getting a thumbs up in a place where 999% of the people can’t fathom what we do or why we do it. (Though I do appreciate my fellow homesteaders who have liked my posts.)
But, you may ask, how will I communicate if I can’t get poked or liked or friended??? I guess if I get too lonely maybe I’ll find a really good, pertinent, active forum. Maybe I’ll find an email list. Just maybe I’ll junk it all and send out a paper newsletter simply to see who writes back.
Meanwhile, I’ll be right here doing what I do. I’ll share it on this blog. I might even write an article or two for some favorite magazines. I’ll answer emails (judithlbowman at gmail dot com) and snail mail (email me for the address.) I’ll even entertain visitors who want to see it firsthand. What I won’t be doing is Facebook.
Now, what exactly is this Pinterest thing???