|English: Home made by John Heckathorn (Grandfather) Wilmington, NC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
My list was:
- Spend less time online and make better use of the time I do spend online.
- Reduce aggravation by not being so quick to engage trolls and others who contribute nothing besides annoyance.
- Do a better job of utilizing past posts, revisiting some that deserve another look.
Item #2 has been a smashing success. I've stopped engaging trolls reflexively, and this has made a huge difference in reducing aggravation. The key, and it pains me to say this, is that I have learned that view atheist trolls are not appreciably different from their Christian counterparts. They are every bit as irrational, can be every bit as vile, and the time I spend interacting with them seems every bit as wasted. So I've given myself permission not to do so, and that has made my online experience far more enjoyable. When I find someone's behavior objectionable, I unfollow them and don't give it a second thought. Aggravation greatly reduced.
Item #3 has required the most sustained effort and much work remains, but I am off to a good start. I've been using social media to revive some of the old posts that deserve it. I've also found a few series I plan to resume and have fixed quite a few broken links. The fact that so much of this sort of work remains is actually a source of encouragement because it shows me that I'm unlikely to run out of ideas any time soon. Even if nothing much has been happening I want to write about, there are plenty of topics worth revisiting.
I ended the post about what I hoped to accomplish in 2013 with the following:
If there is one thing I've learned from my own life and my blogging past, it is that I prefer to spend time building up the atheist community and helping others where I can than tearing down either religion or irrational atheists. I realize that some are not interested in constructive dialogue, but that does not mean that I must change to suit them. I hope to return to my roots a bit in 2013, remember why I started writing in the first place, and be truer to myself.Despite a few missteps here and there, I think I generally managed to do this in 2013. I'm looking forward to continuing on this path in 2014. None of this means that I will ignore conflict where it is relevant or stop criticizing bad behavior; it means that there will continue to be some balance and attention to my priorities.
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