I maintain a blog. I reply on several blogs. I reply on several forums. I belong to several mailing lists. I make videos, which is pretty time-consuming with the equipment I have. I am trying to build a simulation of an institution on Second Life, as well as help maintain the Autistic Liberation Front property over there. I help maintain a website. I am trying to get through a difficult written interview for a research study. I am trying to write something offline (what that is, at any given time, varies). And I have a life offline, not to mention a greater need for both sleep and time doing nothing than most people.
I rotate between which of these things I’m focused on. Sometimes I don’t read mailing lists for months at a time and then pop up on them and post or read a little. Sometimes the same with all the rest of these things. Sometimes I rotate rapidly between two or three things. There is no way I can do all of these things at once. Most people are only exposed to me in a small number of these locations, and many forget (or never notice) the rest of them exist at all.
If you see me inactive, or less active, at any one of these things, don’t read anything more into it than the fact that I am busy. I’m not forgetting people, hating people, afraid of people, or anything else that people read into it. That’s when my absence is actually occurring, and not just people failing to notice that I’m actually there (which happens too, for some reason I can’t figure out). Sometimes the simplest explanation — busyness, and having less energy than most people to begin with — is actually more real than all the weird things people can imagine up.
There’s such a thing as coincidence: The other day, I was very busy at something else, fired off a post or two on one place, did a bunch of other stuff in other places, came back to that place in a day or two without even remembering the posts I’d made, and found that all hell had broken loose in my absence and that topic had been locked. I pretty much ignored it and continued posting there whenever (a) I was capable, (b) I was free, and (c) I was interested in and had something to say about the topics (which was pretty much every day).
Now I’m hearing that some people think I stayed away on purpose (including the day or so I was gone doing other stuff) because of the subject matter. The idea that I do have other things going on in my life doesn’t seem to have been considered as an explanation, but I can assure you it is the only explanation there. There are other times I stay away from places for the same amount of time, for the same reasons, and everything runs smoothly, and people don’t notice that I’m away. A hyper-selective sense of cause and effect is a strange thing.
Other times I really am disinterested. I’ve been skimming a lot of blogs and stuff lately (the last few months) because they just don’t seem all that interesting to me. Not because I dislike the people, just because I can’t get myself interested in whatever they’re saying at that point. I’m assuming they’re interesting to other people. And other times I’ve picked something else up and something ends up shifting. For instance, since recently going back to a forum I’d rarely posted on for awhile, I cut back on a few others. Sometime in the future I have no doubt I’ll be leaving that one alone and going back to the others and doing most of my posting there. I certainly can’t post everywhere at once, or do everything at once.
I even do this with friends, including my closest ones. I keep in contact with one or two and then I can’t keep in contact with others, so I rotate. So, if my friends can deal with it without reading much into it, surely various forums/lists/blogs can. And if anyone thinks staying away from a place for a day, or merely posting less, is a sign of something, they should see all the interesting and pretty even-keel places I only post at once in a blue moon.