A fall ride and reflections on the internet
I still have this website. Over the past several years, Ive spent hundreds of dollars to essentially keep this vanity project alive, but also being just barely there.When I sat down to write tonight, it was with the idea of sharing that I finally made it back on my bicycle today. I haven’t felt comfortable writing as the Balloon Biker when I haven’t been ballooning or biking. It felt just kind of false and like I was getting off-toping with the blog. Just know, I’ll try to have ballooning and biking, but from here on out, realize the connection may be tenous at best.
About my ride - Today I kept it very short and it was wonderful. Sunny, crisp, fall days are the absolute best for riding, in my humble opinion. I just did a 5 mile there and back ride to the Farm at Franklin Pierce. Easy, mostly flat and with traffic that isn’t too bad. It was a great first in a while. My bike held up well with just a few literal cobwebs.
The mountain was out and on my way back I actually had a brief social interaction with some folks who pointed out some woodpeckers who were out in the trees. I always forget how happy I get when I’m out on my bicycle.
That was the post I came here to make, but when I sat down and actually started writing, the enormity of the world just came smack down at me. Like it is audacious for me to sit down and share my thoughts with the world. And those thoughts squarely rest around the concept of the internet. So if you are here for balloons or light talk about bicyling, the rest of this post probably isnt for you.
Lately I’ve been ruminating on the entire concept of the internet. I grew up with the internet. It’s almost like an old friend that saw me through some awkward moments in life. I’ve had a lot of accounts and websites through the years. Angelfire, Live Journal, ICQ, AOL...MySpace and then Facebook. I’ve participated in forums, chatrooms, Listservs and blogs. If it’s been online, there’s a good chance I’ve been there. When I was in high school and felt way too awkward to really socialize at school, the internet was my outlet for letting my hair down. When I was in college and felt like I didn’t fit in, there was the internet.
When you really think abut it, In a lot of whats, the interet has always been a kind of social network. Like many a child born in early 1980s, I essentially saw computers grow up with me and the internet has grown along with it. The whole point of the internet is to reduce barriers for people to connect with one another. We take for granted how important it is to reach an audience of people. Entire political movements have risen and fallen with the concept of reaching a core group of people and influencing their behaviors in one direction or another. Creating conspiracy theories and disseminating information around a wide network of people has been a logistal nightmare for hundreds of years. And now bam, with the internet, that problem has been solved.
But in so many ways, we are afraid of the internet and have made it a completely different category of life. Right now, we have loads of avatars, personas and profiles online. We have characaters that we want to play online and struggle with the reality of what it means to be a person online. We are told to sanitize our online identity lest we subject ourselves to being called out for an indiscretion and are blacklisted from polite society.
I grew up in a time when the internet wasn’t for everyone. With Facebook, Amazon and Google basically integrated into ourlives, that has been turned on its head. Anyone can stumble onto my blog now and that makes th concept of blogging a little more daunting.
And that gets me back to even thinking about starting up this whole blog. It’s funny how a stream of conscious can work. Here I was sitting down to write a blog post about how I finally got back on my bike again and it all hits me. What about you? Any existential dread holding you back at the moment? How are you pushing past and getting yourself back on the bike?