Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Amazing, Horrible, Wonderful Internet

Yesterday I spent some time down at Windwomen Farm in Clarksville, helping cover up their green-house style chicken shelters with new plastic. It wasn't the plan for the day, but a short conversation on Facebook later and Gibson and I were in the truck and driving south, past Albany. It was an adventure, and I am so glad I went. Besides a free lesson is covering greenhouses with the right tools, plastic, wiggle wires and frames - I got to spent time with Kathy and her dogs. Every time I am around her and Mary I am reminded how many years we've been in each others' lives. They knew me when I lived in Vermont in the little cabin. They've been readers, supporters, friends, pork share buyers, and more for a long time and I was grateful for the opportunity to come help.

After the work outside was done we sat in the kitchen with her handsome Emit (the most beautiful dog I have ever seen, cover your ears Annie) and she politely told me just how dirty my face was. I went into the bathroom and saw the splotches of mud and dirt and let out a big laugh. If it wasn't for this blog I probably would have never known these gals, (certainly I wouldn't had let out that particular laugh), and their friendship means the world to me. I drove home listening to good music and podcasts voiced by strangers I know better than my first cousins and just felt happy. Happy to be of use, happy for this crazy life, and happy for the internet that brings us all together.

But then I got home and checked out Facebook and was instantly bummed out. I posted my thoughts on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the comments were the most upsetting thing I've read online in a long time. We all have the right to say and feel however we want about politics and global issues, but this wasn't your standard Left vs Right shit show we all expect. It was people honestly saying things like all Muslims are Satanic, Extremists, and shouldn't be allowed in the country. I think of friends who are Muslim that I love. I got messages from Muslim readers who thanked me for what I wrote. They shared their fear of replying to it, and reluctance to engage with people who are my "friends" online. I don't blame them.

I love what the internet has done for me. It's given me this life. It's how I reach people to share my story and they share theirs with me. But it's the same place angry people pace like caged animals, striking out just to feel something besides their cages. It's a place where hate is real. And the sad thing is we can't do anything about it. So what do I do? I ignore it. I focus on what I can do every day to keep this place mine, pay the bulls, keep my own story going. As payment I get your messages on Youtube and emails, telling me how this little farm has inspired or helped your own. Those messages are the greatest feelings in the world. They are why I'm still here.

So by the end of the night I realized I needed a break from Facebook. I posted a picture of Anna Kendrick and Snoop Dog (my favorite thing ever posted to the internet, EVER) and peaced out. Facebook and I are currently seeing other people. I pop in to check messages but I'm not commenting, reading updates, or posting there for a while. If you want farm updates, visit me over on Twitter. If you need or want to contact me, please do so through email. I'm easily caught through dogsinourparks@gmail.com these days.

I'll be spending a lot more time writing here, regardless. And posting videos to the Youtube Channel (Which has nearly 4k subscribers and 75 episodes!). Rainy days like today are mostly all about catching up on words, work, design, and enjoying hot coffee and documentaries while I work on logos and edit. I make lists to catch up. I try to make some paper. Not a bad way to spend a rainy day like this.

Internet, I love you. You're complicated and enable a lot of crazy people to be a pain in a lot of asses, but you make up for it with days spent with good friends, gorgeous dogs, hot coffee, lessons, love and  the community this little website has built. Good and bad, I love it all.

10 Comments:

Blogger cricutkris said...

This is one reason I closed my Facebook page. People will write things they would never say in person just because they can hide behind a keyboard.

It's nice to see you can make lemon aid from lemons. Don't let the trolls get you down. There are more good people in this world than bad.

November 19, 2015 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Nota said...

Been struggling myself with the past week of interwebbing. I think to myself often, after the virtual reactions to these tragic events happening more frequently, that I just don't understand people anymore. People need help. I try to help if I can. It's in my DNA. I don't understand arguments coming at me about not helping, only helping some people, telling me who I should and shouldn't help.

Except after days of reading "spewage", I sat down at a table full of food I'd made for friends and thought, maybe I do understand them some. I reminded myself there are good people in the world that like enchiladas and guacamole and will let my poorly-mannered Aussiegirl try to herd them through the rooms of my house. We defeat terrorism with gatherings over mexican rice and some good beer my husband brought home in an unmarked growler. By loving each other and burping.

And then I remember, even the spewage teaches me something. That I don't like it so very, very much, clarifies my position for me. There is an 'us' and 'them' in this world, but it has nothing to do with religions or skin colors or incomes. It's helpers v not helping at all.

November 19, 2015 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Nota, that was fucking lovely.

November 19, 2015 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Mim said...

On my walk this morning I was just talking to myself about this very thing....'spewage'....
I had a teaching assistant who once told me opinions are like assholes...everybody's got one ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
She told me that because I got upset with a parent who thought her child was the all-in-all....and I could not believe the spewage I had just taken politely...it was either tell her to F'off and get fired... Just think what a sad life she must live....
(I like working with the preschoolers I taught...their parents? Meh......)
I think that's why I have let my blog go by the wayside....The comments from people who are closed minded, don't even know me (or want to) and yet judge me according to their righteousness...or lack of, take your pick, are incredulous to me. If you don't like me, what I write, click the mouse, touch the iPad and go read something else...you don't have to give me your two cents worth of hate. Shoot, I don't need the Internet for that, I got family who I can get that from!
But yet, I feel like I miss Jenna if I don't check in on her blog, I want to know how Bedlam Farm is doing, how my heart aches for Pamela....I don't 'know' any of you, I know what you tell me. And I don't agree with any of you all the time but I bet over good food over the kitchen table we could discuss things, disagree with some, agree with others and not walk away in hatred....not everybody can do that though, I get it.
Think of what sad souls they must live in....
Do what you do best, Jenna: Be yourself, truthfully, passionately and unapologetically.
That's my new goal๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

November 19, 2015 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Bill Ludwig said...

Jenna,
Do yourself a favor and ABANDON FACEBOOK. It's all crap. There is nothing "social" about the vitriol that is spewed that site.

As Kris Kristofferson once said to Sinead O'Connor, "Don't let the bastards get you down."

November 19, 2015 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Cat H said...

Yes, I was just gobsmacked by what I read. I guess I'm naive when I think that there really can't be people like that in the world. It's like the worst caricature of a bigot you could ever imagine. I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut or in this case, fingers from typing, responses to those people. I know if just fuels the fire but I keep thinking that maybe, just maybe, one of our sane, loving rhetoric will get through and that person will have an epiphany. More than likely they won't but hey, miracles do happen.

When all the negativity gets to be too much (even on NPR) I turn on some classical music, turn off the tv, and pick up my needlework. Or I put on an old movie. Never fails to help dial it down.

November 19, 2015 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Cindie said...

I'm not on Facebook so didn't see your post or the comments - just one of the many reasons I'm not on there......too much drama, too much angst and hate mixed in with the good posts. Your experience just cements my feelings about staying clear of it.

November 19, 2015 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Bitha said...

I am so disappointed these days with people on Facebook! I have been on a break for 2 weeks and I am loving it. I had a "friend" post an article that led to a white supremacist site. I was absolutely disgusted. It is 2015 people. Wake up... we need to work together, rather than tear each other apart. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it still really bothers me.

November 19, 2015 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Daniel MacNeal said...

When I saw your FB post about envisioning ourselves in a refugee's shoes, I was sad that I couldn't comment on it, couldn't offer my voice of thanks & support. Sure glad I can offer it here, though.

Keep at it, Jenna! Keep speaking your truth, speaking up for what is right & understanding that those who disagree (even when they can't or won't do so in a civil, reasoned way) are doing the same. Take breaks when you need them & insist on civility. Just because you understand what's behind rude behavior doesn't mean you have to put up with it!

You are a voice of both reason & inspiration, clarity slicing through the din of emotional sway & discouragement, and your contribution is appreciated!

November 20, 2015 at 9:58 AM  
OpenID milesawayfarm said...

Two things have made me feel better of late, regarding all the haters. Both were posted on Facebook.

This article, about how a women raised in the Westboro Baptist Church eventually left based on her conversations on Twitter. Kind of makes you realize that sometimes even being raised in a hateful environment doesn't make you a hater, and the power of humor to change minds (as opposed to yelling real loud).

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/conversion-via-twitter-westboro-baptist-church-megan-phelps-roper

And this piece, which I just though was the perfect answer to all of the "we're doomed" feelings we get when things like Paris happen.

http://goldenageofgaia.com/2015/11/23/clarissa-pinkola-estes-we-were-made-for-these-times/

That said, I've also unfollowed a few people in the last few weeks, for a few different reasons. Sometimes "I don't want to see this" really is the answer.

Jennifer

November 27, 2015 at 8:46 PM  

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