For posterity, and for my personal ownership of stuff I’ve written, this is a collection of posts I’ve recently shared on my Facebook thingy.
I’ve been at this long enough to feel like posting on Facebook is … kind of icky, from my EFF-loving, anti authoritarian, fuck-all-Fascists point of view, but the shitty reality is that Facebook is where people are these days. When I post on Facebook, I’ll interact with hundreds of people, just like I did in the early 2000s right here in this old blog. But when I post here, it’s crickets. So I’ll go where the people are, but I’ll also x-post some of that here, for anyone in the future who cares to read it.
Okay. Here they are. From my Facebook, over the last week or so:
Reminder that your self care is really important. If you live with anxiety or some other super fun mental illness like I do, you may be feeling extra stress and pressure right now. That’s totally normal and valid!
It’s okay to turn off the news, to walk away from the information fire hose for awhile, and simply … exist. Read a book, have a tea or a coffee, play a game, take a walk if you’re able to do that while maintaining appropriate physical distance from your fellow humans. Draw something! Listen to some music!
Whatever you do, the news will be there when you get back. And, honestly? Things are changing so quickly, it’s okay to miss a few hours of breaking news updates.
I wonder if I’m writing this mostly for myself? I feel like I have a responsibility to be productive, and to stay informed so I can be the best husband and father I can be right now, and it can feel a little (or a lot) overwhelming.
Is this only funny to me?
I want to check in with a friend. So I type “Just thinking about” and I intend to type “you and [her husband]” but I see that the word “your” is in the predictive text thing. And I just *know* what it is going to lead to, but I have to see for myself, you know? So I tap it, and sure enough, the next word it suggests is “sexy” followed by “body” followed by the little smiley emoji with heart eyes.
I audibly groan and delete the predicted text, sanitize my phone’s screen, just to be safe, and send my intended text message, without the suggested, and thoroughly inappropriate, predicted text.
I’m not shaming anyone who texts that way, but I don’t, and I CERTAINLY do not text that to my friends.
It was just amusing af to me that this series of words gets typed enough that my keyboard app’s predictive text thingy was like I WILL HELP YOU, HUMAN. YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO SEND A CREEPY TEXT AND IT IS MY TIME TO SHINE.
Uh, no. Thanks. I’m good, predictive text.
Y’all who are on the front lines, going to work, ensuring that our society continues to function, even while everything is so disrupted, are major heroes.
I am so grateful for your dedication and your commitment to making sure your fellow humans have a place to go, and a person to talk to, when they need it.
A random person flipped out at Anne on Twitter, because she took a walk by herself, stayed far and safely away from anyone else, and had the nerve to post a picture of herself online while she was out.
She’s been getting all sorts of criticism for pretty much everything she does, from tons of random strangers online who seem to keep forgetting (or choosing to ignore) that she’s a grown-ass woman who isn’t doing anything wrong.
This one person in particular made me really, really, REALLY mad. I’m stressed af. I’m wound up as tightly as I’ve been wound up in maybe my whole life, and I feel like I could just EXPLODE if the wrong person says the wrong thing to me … or to the most important person in my entire world.
But I took a deep breath, listened while Anne expressed how frustrated she is feeling with people being shitty to her online, and I tried to maintain some perspective, tried to understand where this person was maybe coming from. I concluded that they feel afraid, and out of control, so they are lashing out, to give that emotional energy a place to go. It’s not okay that this person and so many people like them are telling a fully-grown woman how to live her life. It’s not cool to act as a gatekeeper, diminishing someone’s experience because *you* have decided that someone *else* has a worse experience.
I have the luxury of not being the stressed out mom and wife who is doing her best to get through a *really* scary and terrifyingly uncertain time. I have the luxury of not being the woman who was, once again, lectured by a man about how she is allowed to exist. Check that. I have the *privilege* of being a man, so that gives me an opportunity to depersonalize what happened to Anne, and use it as a teaching moment.
I’m doing my best to be the person I need in the world, and this is what I need today:
*gestures wildly at everything* all this is really hard for everyone, and I have to believe that everyone is dealing with it as best as they can. Yes, even the people who freak out at you online because you walked your dog (while safely staying 6 feet away from everyone). Yes, even the people who show up in every thread to act like this is a contest, gatekeeping who is and isn’t allowed to express frustration, boredom, or fear.
We are all scared, for a whole huge list of reasons that may all be wildly different, and humans don’t make the best choices when we are acting from a place of fear.
I’m scared, and I’m not going to pretend that I’m not. I would be a h*cking sociopath if I *wasn’t* scared. Basic math says someone I care about is eventually going to get sick, and may even die. The jackass president of my country makes things worse every time he opens his lie hole. The work I expected to be doing right now has all been pushed back by months, and I suddenly find myself staying at home, instead of having this amazing adventure, doing work I’m so excited to do.
But I’m not panicking. There is plenty of food, even if some things are scarce right now. I’m safe in my home and in my community.
I am remembering to focus on the things I *can* control, so I don’t obsess (and feel disempowered by) the things I can’t control. I’m listening to public health officials, trusting the scientists, and social distancing. I’m planning my meals with my family, and we’re going to the store as infrequently as we can. (And I wish I could go to the store more often, because a little bit of normal in all of this is SUPER IMPORTANT for mental health. I’m choosing to be grateful when I *do* go to the store.)
And I am doing my best, in my way, to be a helper, because I *need* to see helpers in the world, I need to know they are there. I need to believe that, for every person who is a jerkass online, there are a dozen out there right now, working in grocery stores and delivery services and hospitals and research labs.
Making the choice to be a helper has been really good for my mental health, in countless ways.
Can you be a helper, too?
Let’s do our best to choose kindness, patience, and empathy.
Let’s do our best to be gentle with ourselves, and with others.
Let’s be compassionate.
We are all in this together. This is, literally, our entire planet going through something scary, together, at the same time. And the thing is, it doesn’t care if you’re rich or what country you were born in or who you love. In the eyes of COVID-19, we are all equal, and we need to start acting like it. We need to take care of each other. The only way we are going to get through this, is by working together.
And let us remember that everyone is dealing with this as best as they can, and let us not be a dick to our fellow humans.
Thanks for listening.
Another X-post from my Tumblr Ask Me thingy:
QUESTION: Would you be willing to donate your voice talents to an indie podcast for an episode or two? Should we contact your agents or would you be willing to handle it on your own? (The voice actors don’t get paid as most of us are doing for the love of it and what money we do make has thus far gone into promotion and production costs.) At the very least, would you be willing to listen to the show and mention it on social media if you like it?
ANSWER: I love that you asked me, and I’m going to give you an answer in public that I hope doesn’t turn too many people off: I *love* that you are being creative and making amazing new art. That is wonderful, and I wish you all the success in the world. When I was younger, I did projects like yours all the time and I loved it.
But I can’t be part of this for you, and I want to explain why.
I get asked all the time to donate my work, my time, my experience, etc., to projects, and I always have to decline. It’s not because I don’t believe in you, or want to support you. It’s because I’m working full-time as it is, and any spare time, energy, or creative inspiration I have really needs to go into my own projects, as I continue to build my career as a voice performer, narrator, and (hopefully) novelist.
I don’t feel your ask is unreasonable, at all, and I’m *thrilled* you had the courage to reach out. I’m also honored to be thought of as someone you want to work with. I hope you understand the practical realities of my life, and I hope you aren’t put off by my need to decline your kind invitation.
As to your final question, I rarely listen to podcasts these days, and I struggle to make time to listen to audiobooks. You can send me a link when it’s done, and I’ll make an effort to give you feedback, but I can’t promise anything.
I wish you the best of luck! I hope you’re the next Welcome To Nightvale.
Another question from my Tumblr ask thingy: So, I’m sorry if this is something that you’ve answered/been asked before. But I’m trying to start a DnD campaign. I’ve been playing since I was 4 (so about 23 years now), but I’ve never tried to run a campaign. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out where to start and staying on track with it. But I want to introduce my roommates to the game and I want it to be as fun and magical for them as it was for me when I first played. Do you have any advice? Thanks so much! I hope you’re doing well.
My answer, which I’ve edited a little bit to add some more thoughts:
When I was younger, I always put a ton of pressure on myself to write my own modules, build my own world, and do all that work that I wasn’t really able to do (and didn’t want to do). I have no idea why I felt that way, but it wasn’t until I was teaching RPGs to my own children about 15 years ago that I realized it was time wasted.
So with that in mind…
Don’t start out with the core books and one of the epic adventure books. You’ll all get there, eventually, but that’s a LOT to handle when you’re running a campaign for the first time, or playing the game for the first time. Players and DMs can *absolutely* start there, but I don’t recommend it.
I recommend starting out with the 5e Starter Set, or the 5e Essentials set. Both give you everything you need, for the players and for the DM, to play and experience everything that makes D&D awesome. They both take the players through several levels, and the writers take time throughout the whole thing to tell the DM not just what you’re supposed to do, but *why*you need to do it, to make the game work. You can sort of lean how to run a campaign this way, from some of the best DMs in the business.
But they do not overwhelm you with information, which is what sets them apart from the core books, for a new player. The important, foundational rules are all there, but they are streamlined just enough to prevent overwhelming new players with information they don’t really need. Nobody who ever plays them (and I’ve played them both) will ever feel like they are playing a slimmed-down version of the game. It’s just cleaner and easier to follow.
I *need* to be creative, and until I have the creative energy to write my own stories, I’m going to do a thing I’m pretty good at, and narrate some public domain short stories.
As long as people are listening, I’ll keep recording. Your feedback is important to me.
Okay, that just about catches me up, here.
140 thoughts on “if you don’t read my facebook, here’s what you’ve missed recently”
I don’t use Facebook, so I super appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us on here as well! Blogs ain’t dead and RSS is still kicking!
Thanks for updating here. You’re in my daily bookmarks folder. Facebook is overwhelming in general with just the friends and family I am trying to keep in my life from around North America. (I hate that I have to use it, but seriously, I will lose touch with my siblings if I try to rely on email; that’s my venue, not theirs.) This is a much better platform for me to visit.
Keep up the good work of keeping yourself and your family healthy and happy. Then follow up with your chosen community(ies). You and yours are in my thoughts.
You’re definitely not unappreciated here, I imagine most everyone here follows you specifically here> because it is not Facebook. But everyone has specific reasons why they use or do not use various forms of social media.
Take care, I wish you and yours the best of physical and mental health, now and on-going.
Thanks Wil,,We all love you dude..Take care and ignore all of the hatred and ignorance..You are my hero Wil.
I follow you here and on Instagram, but not FB. Thanks for sharing those excerpts. Thanks so much for recording that short story for us! I love that we get to hear something that there is a good chance none of us had 1) read before or 2) would ever read. Your voice dropped down almost too low for me to hear in some places, even with my sound up. That was probably my laptop. I hope you can record more for us – I so enjoy listening to the story as you tell it. Stay safe and healthy.
I’m not usually a commenter, but I would love to have more Wil in my life. Thank you for recording that wonderful story. Though I wasn’t precisely prepared for the pluck to my parental heart-strings. So often 50’s sci-fi is all about the rays, gadgets, and violence, of which I’m usually a fan. However the emotional focus, the beautifully evocative descriptions, and the quiet, contemplative way you read it were really quite lovely.
Thank you so much for sharing this here! Everything is so uncertain and scary right now, and it’s sad that some people are turning on each other. Your understanding of both sides is admirable. You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways. I have bipolar depression, social anxiety, & panic attacks, so I commend you for sharing your struggles with mental illness. I’m sorry I’m not better about commenting. I don’t see your posts on FB, I get them in my email. I really appreciate your heartfelt, eloquent blog posts. I always have problems with posting comments because I never know what to say. When I do try and write something I have problems with passwords and such. But I’m reading and appreciate you. And what you share. Please don’t stop posting here. For everyone who comments there are many more people reading who can’t/don’t comment who love your posts.
There have been a few who deserved the social media reminders. I don’t think your wife deserved it – unlike the spring break idiots in FL and the “coronavirus party” group. My parents remember the social isolation pattern of the polio epidemics; my dad survived that illness in part because there was an iron-lung available when he arrived at the hospital (1949). A slight difference in timing and that wouldn’t have been available. Now we live in a rural area where the state health department reports that 75 counties (out of 105) have no ICU beds. I don’t like those odds with this pandemic that got most of the republican party following Trump’s line of “it won’t be a problem here” for so long. Right now, my state legislators (Republicans) are yelling loudly that the governor (Democrat) over-step her authority by shutting down schools for the year and ordering the closure of businesses when there were few cases here. Now a few surrounding states are following that lead and I think our governor was the smartest politician in the capitol.
I don’t know that you read the comments, but I appreciate you and what you do. You’re good people.
That predictive text one. Hahaha.
I just realised… I don’t think I am following you on Facebook.
I hope you continue to use this blog though.
No FB here, so thanks for sharing, Wil. Let’s see: 1-predictive text is indeed creepy. 2-thank you. Working pretty much normally right now, and it’s very, very hard. 3-not cool, internet stranger. Nice take, Wil. 4-very good answer on the podcast question. That’s my bullet point answer list, because I have to get to bed and get up early again for work, which is, like I said, hard right now. LLAP.
I deleted Facebook for good a few months back, after a decade of membership. It was nice for the first couple of years. The middle years were just okay. Last few years sucked and mental health focus resulted in need of full separation. I really don’t miss it. I am thankful that you still give this place attention. I would miss your insight on the world. Your words have helped me through the years. Thank you!
Thanks, Wil, for these insights to your thinking and feeling especially during these challenging times. As I’m not on FB, I’m happy to read it here on your blog.
What triggered me most was the story about the bad reactions Anne got via Twitter because of her being outside. I’m reading about similar stories here in Germany and they are driving me mad. You found kind words to explain some of the bad behaviors, but I still feel very angry about these bullies. It seems that this crisis makes people reveal their real character. Kindness of the kind shines brighter. But also malevolence of the small minded shows its ugly face more clearly and that’s the fuel for dictatorial and suppressive societies. We all need to be on the watch to make sure the bright side stays strong. Thank you for being part of that.
P.S. Sorry for my English.
Pretty much restrict my FB adventures to organising my gaming time, well that and de-railing any female chums posts about Jason Momoa into guff about the exquisite Mrs Momoa (hey they started it !)
But with the lastest embuggerence I seen examples of outstanding humanity, and equally depressing self righteous boswellox that Anne got chucked at her, I’m starting to suspect its the people that are to blame rather than the tech
And remember the germs are out there, so stay in your homes
Sorry this is a pet peeve of mine! I have family in healthcare and they say that viruses are not outdoors in the absence of people (or diseased animals). You could spend 24/7 outside and unless you come in contact with a person or animal with a virus it’s very unlikely you’ll get one.
Hi, Wil. Thanks very much for the update!
Just for the record on the crickets point: I do read every post, but blogs feel more like a one-way medium to me. I come here to hear your thoughts, not to agree or disagree or bicker or comment. I’m sorry that makes you feel under-appreciated. For what it’s worth: it’s not the case.
I feel the same way! I read your every post here but as I’m not inclined to consider much of what strangers think or say, I don’t usually think to Reply. If you solicited advice, information, or wanted to survey on a particular subject I would probably Reply more.
Schadenfreude story! Kinda anyway…
OK, so yesterday my husband and I went out with our son so he could ride his bike around the block (completely within recommended guidelines for self isolating!). However, we live in a high density urban area and our building fronts onto a major thoroughfare. So we’re coming around the corner of our building and we’re heading towards the door to the bike storage ramp when some self appointed pandemic vigilante dickwad pulls up, stops his car in the middle of the road and starts yelling “this is not social distancing! People are dying! You shouldn’t even be down here! Go the fuck home! Go the fuck home right now! ” Mainly at our kid, who was at some distance from us as we were on foot and he had his bike.
So my husband, understandably pissed, tells him that as it happens we are home, and he’s basically in our front yard, and if he’s so worried about people staying home, then he should go back to his own. Immediately.
So the guy just starts yelling variations of “are you serious?!? I’m out here saving lives!” like screaming obscenities at strangers makes him some kind of hero, until one of my neighbors walks out of the main entrance to take her dog out. He then starts yelling at her that she has to go back inside immediately and she doesn’t need to walk her dog (as she lives in an apartment, she absolutely does need to walk her dog, but I digress). So finally I tell him, as we’re about to close the secured door to our building “I really think you should go home immediately and contact an emergency mental health provider. You’re clearly having some kind of severe anxiety issue and your behaviour is concerning.”
Dude was apopleptic.
My kid was delighted.
“I’m out here saving lives!” I giggled when I read this, although I’m sure none of it was funny to you when it happened! This guy was obviously not practicing social distancing!
Plus, nobody cares about the zillions of workers in the about 20 critical infrastructure industries who are obligated by government to continue working their regular schedules or more during a ‘lockdown.’ I have family and friends in several of these sectors – healthcare, military, communications. As long as people are getting their healthcare (and all the research and manufacturing needed for that), food/supplies (and all the manufacturing needed for that), utilities and communications (got to have your electricity, heat/ac, water, phone, wifi, internet, tv), public safety, etc, etc, etc they’re fine with those workers not social distancing.
It was still pretty funny when it happened. My husband and I both used to both work in the downtown core and we used to live closer to it, so we have some practice with surprise confrontation. Usually sudden hostile encounters like that are with mentally ill homeless people, and those are hard because you have to be aggressive enough to make them back off, but you want to avoid being cruel. This guy we could mock mercilessly without any remorse, because he was just an entitled asshole and he deserved it. The thing that bothered me was that he was so sure he was in the right and I wondered how long he’d been circling around and upsetting people who are already stressed and upset and how many uncertain people he’d bullied back into their homes when they just wanted a few minutes of fresh air 😕
I do think people are concerned about people in essential services not self distancing. At least I am. I’m not so much worried for them potentially infecting me as I am for their well being. I think a lot of people appreciate that these people are risking their own health for others. I’ve certainly observed people expressing gratitude to service workers. I’m hoping that lesson will stick.
I think I was in the middle of drafting my reply to this yesterday when I got distracted by webcam and mic woes and an impending Roll20 session, so…
Thanks for posting this here, too! With the way Facebook works now, I am far more likely to see your posts via an RSS to dreamwidth, or as an email from WordPress, than I ever would be to just randomly see them on the Book of Faces.
I hardly post on Facebook ever anymore. When I found out what Mr. F*erberg had been up to, I decided not to feed his overinflated ego anymore. I would much rather read blogs like yours than Facebook stuff.
Ironically, as I am writing this, I am watching an episode of TNG that applies greatly to an important commodity that Mr. Orange Face does not have in him – the truth. The episode? The First Duty. You did an AMAZING job on this one, Wil. Despite getting pressured by his peers to lie and cover up what happened, Wesley acquired the courage to display the values he was taught and he told the truth, despite the fact he knew there were consequences for what he had previously done. Our “president” will not ever learn that lesson, it grieves me to say.
Best to you and yours during the Covid-19 outbreak. You are correct. We will only survive this if we come together, not apart.
Hi Will: a few things . . .
When you grow up in the north It’s just a fact of life that viruses go around and around and around in the winter (I’m talking viruses in general). Because we don’t spend enough time outside and apart from each other. We are stuck in the four walls of a Petrie dish of a house and workplace.
WebMD says this about why viruses (flu) spread more in the winter:
– The virus lives longer indoors in winter, because the air is less humid than outside.
– While it’s alive and in the air, it’s easy for people to inhale it, or for it to land on the eyes, nose, or mouth.
– We spend more time indoors and have closer contact with each other, which makes it easier for the virus to spread.
It’s ludicrous to think you shouldn’t spend time outside. We know It’s a fact for us northerners that viruses stop spreading when it gets warmer and we can spend more time outside and further away from each other. Also, this is conjecture on my part but I don’t think viruses live on grass, trees, dirt, and cement outside for long if at all. Plus who would be touching that stuff anyway? So in my non-expert opinion Anne can walk the dog! I hope this isn’t rude, but I’m not sure why people care or even consider what strangers say on social media. I really only consider what those close to me, who I know and trust, think. Not some random stranger I’ve never met (of course I’m a random stranger you’ve never met so feel free to disregard everything I say! It won’t hurt my feelings!).
Another thing, I appreciate you posting your FB stuff here because I haven’t used it for years. I was in IT for a long time and I think FB is icky. I also think Twitter is icky. I guess I understand why some use them for the marketing value however.
Don’t worry, Will, we’re still here! And we’ll be here for a long time, eager for new posts to come down that RSS feed, no matter what troubles you may have on other platforms.
Also excited that you’re making audio stuff! I’ll hear it in [checks podcast queue] about four weeks?
Hello, Mr. Wheaton, or do you prefer Wil?
GoodReads re-publishes your blog (I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you) but many members do not understand that it is re-publishing a feed and that commenting is for discussion, not a way to contact you. Truthfully, I am behind, so I don’t remember if you still perform your own monitoring even here.
In the website field, I am writing the URL of a republished post where you have some additional supportive comments, mostly regarding our sympathies for Anne. I doubt you have time to take a look but, if you need to, know that they are there.
I also recently had a conversation where I mentioned you were a member of a vulnerable populations. The two of us sent you good vibes too, through all of this, for whatever it is worth. My sympathy as well to Anne: I have long since quit all social media because I couldn’t take the cruelty of it, so I admire that both of you still can. It isn’t right and there are many in the world who see that. We’re just also not the most talkative bunch.
Of course, I am truly paying for it now because it has left me alone, with only my cat and my novel’s characters to talk to (nearing 200K words of conversation in this project), with the libraries closed. So, if you can, do not quit! I am telling you the consequences can be high! Take care.
Thanks for sharing these here Wil. I reluctantly use facebook only to keep track of friends and family I wouldn’t have contact with otherwise. Arrived here via my RSS reader and I miss those days when blogs were the way to socially network.
I’m a facebook addict, but I prefer blogs for longform. AND? Since you’re on my feed, I don’t have to worry about FB deciding I haven’t interacted with your posts enough, so clearly I’m not interested so they won’t show them to me.
Thanks for sharing.
Hey Wil, I don’t often comment (or really ever), mostly because I figure I have nothing specifically interesting or relevant to add, but I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your posts. You may hear only crickets, but I’m willing to bet there are lots of us out here reading quietly, nodding and feeling all this with you. I may not say much, but I’m here, and sending you and Anne all the good vibes.
Thanks Wil, I don’t use Facebook anymore because I find it stressful and unsatisfying place to be, so I appreciate you sharing your personal comments from that place here.
I especially appreciated the comment about understanding where people are coming from in their criticism of others and their perceived breaking of quarantine, that “they feel afraid and out of control, so they are lashing out, to give that emotional energy a place to go.” It makes sense, so I, and others should perhaps respond to the criticism of others with that in mind.
Comments are closed.