Many people live private lives. They do so for private reasons. You can’t blame them; that’s their right, and people should not have a problem with that.
In the case of Yours Truly, my line of work calls for having my name out there in the general public in the form of a news article byline. People throughout northern Illinois know me as a news and sports journalist. They know where I work. They know where I’m based. They know I’m not at home at least 10 Friday evenings in the fall (except this year).
I’m fine with that.
I have Facebook. I have Twitter. I have an Instagram account that I never use. I use both Facebook and Twitter for personal and professional things (such as posting this blog entry). Through work, people know my email address with the smallest hint of sleuthing.
My phone number is 815-441-9589.
Yes, I just wrote that.
And I know almost ALL of you are NOT going to call me. I do know of at least one person I know who will, and will bring this up.
I can surmise that only a few people are going to read this blog entry. Most people just scroll past when I post this on Facebook or Twitter (because it involves reading words and paragraphs, and who has time for that?). Those who are truly interested in reading a personal thing of mine are very likely not going to want to make life miserable for me. And if you’re trying to make life miserable for me after reading this, then you truly are a jerk and I’ll remember that if you ever need me.
If you made it this far, you’re probably thinking about why in the heck it seems as if I’m parading around and running privacy circles around you.
This has nothing to do with YOU – It has to do with ME.
I keep most of my Twitter saved for journalism purposes, except if it’s anything interesting out in the public I like to share: be it a neat picture, fact, joke I came up with, or visual quirk. I’m a little more personable on Facebook, where I only have about 280 “friends,” and I’m more likely to post more personable things on it to share with people I know.
If you’re Facebook friends with me, you know that I share anything from my daily mood, memes I find funny or interesting, road trip pictures, interesting facts I didn’t know about, what my adventures are for the day, and just about anything that scrolls through my mind.
I live alone. I do not have children. I am single. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of Autism – Read about Asperger’s by clicking here.
That picture above is my living room.
I have no secrets to keep. I’m not in a position where I feel my safety or security is at risk.
When I’m not sitting at that desk working, I am immersing myself in a Wikipedia adventure (World War II and baseball history are current topics of interest), watching YouTube videos about things I’m interested in (aforementioned topics, and episodes of Family Guy and Hogan’s Heroes lately), doing local history research, doing household chores or errands, going on a day trip, going on my morning walk, traveling for a work assignment or browsing through my sports cards. Or I’m sleeping. Or I’m visiting with family and friends when those times come.
I also do not have television. This is true. I’ve lived at my place for 8 years, no television. I do have radio and a CD collection that doesn’t get used anymore, thanks to YouTube. I also have two bookshelves.
I spend about 85% of any given week to myself.
Now let’s get to the real reason why I ramble about everything …
Outside of family and people I talk to during work, I can count on one hand the people I talk to face-to-face or on the phone how many people I talk to in a week – and still have fingers left.
1._I post a lot on Facebook as a way to communicate to people I know about what I’m doing, how I’m feeling, and questions I have about anything and everything. I would ask you in person, but I do not know how to do that well – subpar social skills.
“How are you doing?” “Fine.”
“What’s up?” “Not much.” or “Just living.”
2. I write better than I talk. I believe I have “Selective Mutism” as part of my Asperger’s. It has affected the way I talk: some stammers, repeated words in sentences, and long pauses between thoughts. I am capable of speaking fluently when I am alone, but it breaks down in the process of communication.
There are people I talk to and have these pauses. The person I am talking to interprets those pauses as the end of the topic of conversation, and then they go off on their way when I still have plenty to talk about.
There also are things that I’m better communicating while writing about them (and going back and rewriting them to present it better), rather than finding words to say and speaking about them. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand my point when I’m talking, but better understood when you read what I write.
3. I’m still trying to find like-minded people. The story of my childhood friendships goes as follows: Had many friends and interacted with them when I was a grade schooler in Rock Falls. Moved to Sterling and got shy all of a sudden around people I didn’t know. Never recovered. From 5th grade to senior year, I can count on my hand how many classmates and friends visited me at home – and still have fingers left. When talking about friends whose houses I’ve been to during that same time, there are fingers on two hands, and I still have some left. I never lumped in with any particular group of friends. I was independent, but was acquainted with nearly all of my classmates.
Then I was acquainted with the Rock Falls softball team. They understood me. Still do. I’ll always love them!
4. It may interest you, it may not; but if it does, that’s awesome! We’ve all grown up now, and interests have changed. Maybe we have a common bond now?
Now the big one …
5. I need help.
I often post about my struggles with social communication: be it making friends, seeking others with similar interests, or – the most annoying subject of all – wondering why all of my peers have been in relationships and I have not.
This comes with having a mindset of a 55-year-old in a 34-year-old body that never played an 8-track tape in his life.
My interests are particular, and I can’t tell whether I interest or bore friends and family with them. I suck at icebreakers with strangers; that’s a reason why I don’t go out to bars anymore.
I see all of my peers engaged in relationships and it’s made me constantly wonder: What’s wrong with me? Is it because I’m fat? It is because I don’t drink? Is it because I am not “wild and crazy?” Is it because I’m Autistic? Is it because this or that or this or that or this or that? I don’t know.
I’ve never been in a relationship. I’ve never dated. I’d like to know what I need to do in order to fix myself to make that happen.
I can ask people close to me and get answers. However, I’m always looking for multiple opinions. If those close to me don’t know an answer, maybe a Facebook friend or sports buddy knows answers.
THAT’S WHY I post anything and everything about life on social media.
And if you have any problem with any of this, you have my phone number.