I couldn’t tell you how many times that I have started something in my life and not finished it, but I’m not sure that is a bad thing. Why? Finishing something isn’t always a good thing. Many things don’t need to be finished, or shouldn’t be finished. A few things come to mind here…
Yeah, I set up my website many years ago. It has gone through a few “redesigns.” The last time was about 5 years ago, I made it pretty and wrote like 6 or 7 articles and that was the end of that. I stopped updating it and it sat stagnant for years. Why? I work on websites all day, so the thought of working on a website after work was unappealing. Habits were set and very quickly I was paying for something I didn’t use or really need.
In my profession, I learned that websites should be focused around content, not design. It makes sense if you think about it, but when I started I had a lot of technical experience/skill and that was about it. I never thought about it before, but it was obvious. I’ve spent years working with people who want “shiny object” sites and can’t answer why they want the site.
Bring it back full circle, and here I am. I wanted a site, I made it, set it up how I wanted it, then stopped creating content. I finished the website, but now I know that websites don’t need to be finished. They should live on to provide fresh content for the audience.
So, here I am again. Why? That is something that I can’t answer quickly. I do have a couple more topics that start to fill the picture, though.
Most people don’t think of friendships as something you need to finish. It sounds unpleasant, maybe cruel, and like someone has to be betrayed. That might be true. I’m not as close to many of my friends as I used to be, and that is okay. It really depends on the friendship and how things are handled. Most of my friends are married and starting to have children. While that isn’t for me, yet… I realize that is great for them. For the most part we have managed to stay in touch, and even though we are distant, we maintain a certain amount of respect for each other. However, there are 3 friends that come to mind that have taken a little.. different of a path. I realize that all relationships are unique and none fit into a standard mold, but these stand out. My friends may read this and I am okay with that. I’m not trying to embarrass these people, I’m just telling a story from my perspective. This is all stuff I’ve said directly to these people in previous conversations, I’m not calling them out on my website. In other words, it’s all old news… done and over with.
Someone I wasn’t that close to years ago, that I reconnected with through a common interest at my 5 year high school reunion. This is a friendship that started small many years ago, went stagnant, and thanks to that common interest was revived. That interest is gone, in both of our lives, but this friendship lives on. We don’t talk every day, but they’re a great person and I do value the friendship. This is a great example of a friendship that started small and grew into something greater. It didn’t need to be finished.
This is somewhat difficult to write. A very good friend of mine years ago, separated by college, revived when we returned home. Until… a very sudden relationship that quickly turned into marriage and then 1 kid, and 2 kids. I’m not angry at this friend for what has happened, because I want them to be happy. However, there was a pattern of them only talking to me when they needed something. I had a few parties, invited my close friends (and partners) who were still in the area, and this friend never made it. Excuses ranged from silly to “you’ve got to be kidding me.” I actively tried to end this friendship, but they’ve continued to contact me and made a positive impression when it mattered most. I feel bad for the way that I’ve treated this person, but I had reason. Right now I’m not sure where things stand, but I know that I could rely on this person if needed because they don’t hold grudges. I also try not to hold grudges, so knowing what I do, I would be there for this person. Friends wouldn’t be a stretch, but we’re certainly nowhere near as close as we used to be. It happens. No need to finish the friendship and end things completely.
This one probably should be… but is not difficult to write. This is someone that I met in middle school who was always looking out for their own best interest. This person used me for years whenever they didn’t feel like driving somewhere or needed computer help. I lived with this person during my first year of college and had an incredible amount of time invested in our friendship. It makes me feel foolish to be honest and it’s kind of embarrassing to talk about. Why? Because I learned that our friendship meant nothing to this person. This friend was in a pretty serious, long-term relationship during college. I went up to visit my girlfriend (in the same town) one summer, and ran into them at a local bar. A year or 2 later I saw the engagement photos, congratulated them. Never did I expect one of my best friends to not invite me to their wedding. Want to know how I found out that the wedding was taking place? Somebody told me at our 10 year high school reunion. The wedding was a month out and I had no idea it would be taking place. I let it be for a while. One night I decided to ask why I wasn’t invited. It’s not like I expected to be in the wedding, but I did expect to be invited, and if not invited – at least told that it would be taking place and receive an explanation for why I wasn’t invited, too many people, family only, etc.. who knows. Anyway, I was told that they “didn’t know why” they didn’t invite me. They had “to make some tough decisions, but I’m the one person they regret not inviting.” They weren’t too surprised to hear my response. I wasn’t nasty, but I wasn’t nice. As far as I am concerned the friendship is over. In this case, the friendship needed to be finished. It clearly meant nothing to this person, and I’m better off without it.
I wrote a post about deleting my Foursquare account a few years ago, nobody cared that I deleted it. People praised the post for being so blunt. I’m not going to get in to the details of that, but I feel like history is repeating itself. Here I am, writing about why I deleted my Facebook account.
Why? It’s stupid. Facebook is a terrible company who sells information willingly given to them by people who don’t know any better. Even worse, you may as well be writing status updates to the government. Since you volunteer the information through a third party, the government can access it without a warrant, it’s a legal loophole. “Yeah, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything to hide.” Luckily, I don’t. But that doesn’t mean I like people poking around my personal business.
Not only that, it’s a waste of time. I used to open up my browser and open up Facebook, scroll through a bunch of nonsense that I really don’t care about and then close it. The only thing I miss is being able to stay in touch with people once in a while that I don’t normally stay in touch with. However, when I really think about it – I communicate with the people I really want/need to. I don’t need to connect with people on Facebook if we’re not interested in communicating with each other otherwise.
The only difference between deleting Foursquare and Facebook is at least Facebook worked properly and people were actually upset about me deleting my account. It was like I betrayed them, personally. “How am I going to keep up with you now?” Have you not heard of instant messaging? Email? Websites? Call me on the phone!
Facebook is a stupid waste of time, and I finished my account. So long to 2004, so long to advertisers, so long to the US Government.
Anyway, back to the point. I plan to write more often, because websites aren’t about design and developing websites. It’s about content. I can write about whatever I want because it’s my website. People may like it, maybe not.. doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to be a chore to me.
Some friendships enhance with time, some change, some degrade and blow up. If I have time to write, great. If I’m too busy with friends, even better. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make some new friends, or meet people who share the same opinion through my website. Better than being used and betrayed!
Lastly, I’ve eliminated useless time sinks from my life – like Facebook. This saves me a ton of wasted time to focus on things that actually matter to me, like my website, or job, or friendships… imagine that.
Regardless of what happens, I’m glad that my website is no longer finished like it used to be. It’ll make for much more interesting, and more content.