Robots Need Love Too


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When I first started this blog, it was a private affair.  I used this space as a place to deposit my vents, random thoughts and general musings on recovery.  Still do.  Except these days I ramble a whole lot more, which means I really need more editing, and/or get my act together. I also added pictures to break up the relentless amount of paragraphs that I was tossing onto the Interweb.  But the idea was to just produce and reflect and share with full honesty.  To tell on myself and not really care about any sort of backlash.  To keep myself sane in some regards.

As I started to finally reach out to other (recovery) blogs, I found yet another venue where I wasn’t alone.  I had my 12-step meetings and fellowship, and I now had my online community.  I also joined up on other online arenas – 12-step forums, alcoholism sites, on-line sponsoring spaces, etc. I found that the immediacy and at-all-hours-fellowship was also a fit for my introverted nature.   Working shift work like I do means that I don’t always have time to hit meetings, so online stuff is a right fit for this alkie.  While it’s not the be-all end-all, it certainly does have a small place in my recovery.  I also had the pleasure of sponsoring a man online, through Skype and email.  And he made it to his amends and beyond, so that was a great feeling.  So online has had it’s share of ups and downs.

Now of course, whenever there is interaction with other humans, regardless of the format, my ego likes to tag along.  It likes to tell me things, whisper sweet nothings to me, play with me.  It tells me that I am not good enough, or that I ramble too much, or that no one wants to read what I have to say.  It also tells me (a rough and ragged two-sided coin) that I am very good at yakking, that I should be more popular, that I should have more followers, that I should  have some sort of crowing achievement to hoist onto my mantle (if I had a mantle, that is).

This is the phase where I checked my stats like a madman.  I saw who liked, who didn’t like, who commented, who didn’t comment, who followed, etc.  I was like Madame Defarge, knitting my data and demography out to later spread on the table and to comb over with a magnifying glass.  I was mapping out and compartmentalizing  my ego’s excesses and demands.  I was enjoying my reign in my little fiefdom, cutting and pasting people in and out of my tiny world.  I was mad with power.  Or just mad.

Quite sad and pathetic when I type it out like this now.

The one thing that certainly moved me was the increase in followers. Nothing said “I’m liked and accepted” by seeing yet another person start to follow the blog. Until I noticed it wasn’t people following anymore.

It was robots.

Nothing worse than an arrogant robot selfie.

Nothing worse than an arrogant robot selfie.

Robots started to see something in this blog and in the other million that they “follow”.  Robots saw to it to attach themselves to this dull place like a remora to a shark.  Why, I don’t know why.  Why do they exist?  The Interweb won’t tell me.  It’s a secret I guess. They add nothing other than padding out the numbers.  I wasn’t used to it.  I tried to check out those so-called blogs they claimed to have, and found nothing but furniture showrooms, Romanian poets with two posts, empty About Pages, Indonesian re-bloggers who re-posted anything and everything, a whack of photographers, and some utterly strange sites which were run by anarchists or madmen.  Or both.

So yeah, it was a shot to the ego.   A well needed one.  One of those “be careful what you wish for” moments.  Empty digital promises.  Stowaways who speak in 1’s and 0’s.  Time thieves.  So that pretty much killed the whole excitement about the blogging world, in terms of numbers and stats and all the unimportant things. I have tried to get them to “unfollow” or to block them, but they seem to march on.  Part of me would like to know who are human readers in that big mix, but it’s probably better I don’t.  It might wake up the ego again (well, not that he goes to sleep ever) and get me off into that whole comparison thing that I seem to default to often.

So to all of you 2400 robots out there (out of 2500 or so “followers”) who have attached themselves here, I thank you for “stopping by”.  We all know that robots need love too.

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59 responses to “Robots Need Love Too

  1. Haha! First of all, you have WAY more robot followers than me. I only started getting them after being freshly pressed (god that sounds obnoxious but maybe that was the case with you?) so figured it had something to do with it. I have a love/hate with stats and generally try and not look. There is always someone who is doing it better than me, but that isn’t why I do it. It isn’t why I started and I don’t want that to be what brings me down. Ultimately I blog because of people like you and the other supportive, kind, thoughtful people going through this same thing. You’ve boosted me up and I’ve learned from your posts and we help each other. Corny, sure. Maybe it sounds like bullshit to some, but it’s the truth. In-person meetings ultimately weren’t for me because of work schedules and for reasons I mentioned in another comment booklet after your last post. I know it’s not the end all be all, but it’s helped a lot and I hope will continue to help countless others. Beautiful post, Paul.

    Signed,
    Not A Robot

    • No worries on the FP nod, Kristen. Nothing wrong with that. Not sure when the robots starting rolling in, but it may have been some time after that. Not sure why they keep coming. I know that there are some folks out there who follow anyone and every blog, regardless of content, to get follow backs and likes. Hence you’ll see their “About” page with hundreds, if not thousands of likes. Insane…and unnecessary. That’s just me though…and who am I to judge?

      I have obviously gotten a lot out of being out here. I think of the letters of support I got for my court thing. That was amazing, and speaks more to the character of everyone out here rather than a sort of fly-by-night apathetic flimsy response. There are many reasons I sober blog, and certainly having interaction with those who have found a solution is one of them, whatever that solution is. Sober and happy is sober and happy.

      Thanks for supporting the robots and non-robots alike 🙂

      Paul

  2. Ain’t the internet a neat place, I have watched some blogs get bots in their comment thread, which sorta prove to be serendipitous for me because I would get an email notice and realize that I hadn’t read that blog yet and it would turn out to be just what I needed to see. I haven’t seen it happen to your blog, yet I haven’t seen your spam filter so there might be more going than I know. Bots are attached to somebody trying to get that coin of the realm so that they can survive and so I try not to get too concerned, yet on those days when I have slacked off in doing the things that keep me sane, bots, spam and trolls become targets for my anger.

    • I don’t get many spam comments through the filter, and even then, the filter isn’t exactly clogged. I did some work for someone who had an old version of WP and they got hundreds of spambots DAILY. it took longer to clear the spam section than actually doing content work.

      I am not angered by the spam bots…I find them amusing, hence the shout out to them here. I was more confounded by them (still am), but I understand this is part of doing business. They don’t affect me really, other than I am just aware of them whenever I get an indication that someone else is following. Meh. It is what it is…but I worry that I miss a chance to connect with someone real because I am too busy assuming everyone’s a robot 🙂

      Glad you’re not a robot, JR. And even if you were, you’d still be a smart, kick ass one at that 🙂

      Blessings,
      Paul

      • Interesting how things go, I had mentioned to you about the spam bots inadvertently bringing things to my attention, then I noticed something similar happen to you, although Holistic Wayfarer definitely ain’t a robot. Another indicator on how He is working with us even when we don’t think so. Like I said the internet is a neat place. Take Care†††

        • did you see that? That’s pretty spectacular, isn’t it? And I don’t know how you saw that, but that’s pretty cool. Gave me a big shift in thinking these days, let me tell you (along with your comments and the comments by everyone else). This is precisely what happens when we allow ourselves to open up to His goodness 🙂

          Thank you for being a part of the miracle, JR.

          • How I am able to see what went on is that I get an email every time somebody makes a comment on your blog, don’t worry this ain’t big brother stuff or stalking stuff, it is just a setting on following a blog on WP. that is how I know about others getting spam comments, I get an email notifying me.

  3. I’m a real person that follows you and looks forward to your posts. Some days I behave like a robot getting through the day but that is another issue. I relate to everything you write here though I may have to put you in my 4th step for my jealousies around you having way more traffic than my little corner of the blogosphere. (:

    I do have an AA home group that I see 5 days a week so have a great fellowship of support. I like the online community as I have some mental health and trauma issues that sometimes are not the right thing to talk about at a table. And some days the words of Bill W. in the Big Book don’t give me any peace. I still don’t drink but when I am having an existential crisis around the 2nd step it feels safer and more the place to cry at God here than in the rooms, but maybe I will change my perspective about this at a later date.

    • Yikes – I hope my post didn’t come across as dimissive to my real deal readers. Of course I wouldn’t ever be so rude and diminuitive to do so. I thought it just silly for me to wave hi to my robot friends…lol.

      Anyway, put me on that 4th. I am about to do my yearly one, and I have some people that I need to hammer through too…lol. Even some online folks have made previous inventories…so I get it! 🙂

      I love what you said in your comments, kind sir. The rooms are very important – I need to see more of them myself – but they don’t keep me sober. God does, and I just have to stick with Him and not stray away. That’s when I get into my step 1-3 issues. And then it spreads outwards.

      Thank you for not being a robot. Your kids would have fun with you to a point, but would miss their dad 🙂

      And hey – I have tried finding the place to sign up for your blog – is there a place to do that? Let me know. Would love to keep reading about your journey!

      Blessings,
      Paul

      • Thanks! I think I may have made a mistake going with Blogger rather than WordPress in terms of being able to make it easier to connect with the online blogging community. On the right of my blog there are some links there to sign up for comments and posts (and I labeled it better just now) but if you are a WordPresser I am not sure if Blogger interfaces well. I use Feedly to follow folks.

        Anyway, Paul, I did not make mean to make your lighted hearted post so heavy. I certainly didn’t find your writing about Robots dismissive in anyway! I was laughing.

        • Very cool on the blog subscribe. Will give it a shot again!

          I don’t use a feed (like Feedly), but use Reader, which is OK, but it does often miss some of my Blogger friends. I might check out Feedly (you’re the second person to mention it here).

          Oh and I didn’t see your take on the post heavy…! I am always just trying to over clarigy things again…one of my char defects…lol.

          Have a great day – hope to catch up on your corner of the world sooner than later 🙂

          Paul

  4. I get a lot of life coach blogs following me at one of my blogs. I used to think perhaps I came across as a basket case who needed help, but I think it has more to do with bumping up their blog statistics. Beyond me, I like to ramble too.

    I have an old folk song on a vinyl record by two sisters. Think the traditional song is called “Didn’t He Ramble” and the lyrics are slightly different from various artists.

    He did ramble, ramble
    Rambled up and down
    In an out of the town
    He did ramble, ramble
    Well he rambled til them butchers cut him down.

    So there you go. We ramblers have to be careful in the woods. Count on it.
    (And then there are people who make silly comments just so they can use wordplay in the afternoon. Not me though, I am really a serious human.)

    • I love your comments, JJ. i didn’t know you had other blogs – you’re a prolific producer, n’est-ce-pas? I have been getting great reads at your blog regarding the tarot cards. I love the descriptions and humour. Fantastic! But I don’t feel you rambling. Maybe it’s more in real life? I can be a rambler at times. I tend to repeat myself as if I am trying to convince someone and/or myself of what I just said, as if I can’t trust that the person will get it on the first try…ha ha.

      Cut us down, will they? not by the hair on my chinny chin chin, I tells ya.

      I can’t imagine a bunch of life coaches following me could be that horrible. I can maybe lean on them and get some free advice. Avoid the consultation fees, you know? With robots I get nothing. They just stare at me, lifeless. I get more mojo (and sweets) out of a vending machine.

      Thanks for being here ! made my day 🙂

      Paul

  5. It’s definitely looped into FP, at least to a degree. I remember talking about it last November with you when it was so bad I took some time off. At least we don’t get the scourge of spam likes (splikes) like we all used to.

    I confess I don’t even check stats now.

    (Besides, sending out full posts vs previews makes it so people can read via email or RSS, so our stats will never accurately reflect page views, etc. and I’m fine with that. I enjoy reading full posts and appreciate those that send them that way, so I do the same.)

    So if anything all the spam has helped us realize what’s most important.

    And I’ve learned there are a lot more reading and lurking than you or I may think. So whereas maybe the robots don’t need love, there are plenty others who do.

    Nice post Paul.
    -c

    • I certainly do remember our convo on this. I tried to disable the follow button (I am pretty sure I did it) and yet they still came down, like a line of zombies. I haven;t had those splikes in a long time. And my spam filter catches what it catches, so only one or two a year sneak into the general area, and I zap them.

      I have to say I got lost about the RSS (I still don’t know what they are) and full vs. previews. Is there a difference between sending full and previews? Do I do that on the dashboard? I am sometimes a techno-fumbler.

      Robot love was just a cheeky thing on my part. Then again, the Tin Man had heart all along. Who knows. While the robots can be interesting at times, they have worn out their welcome. I would be glad to rid of them and just send them packing to some digital dumping ground. But that’s robot life. Go where they are programmed to go.

      As for the lurkers, they are always at top of mind when I write, in terms of knowing that they are out there, and sometimes they actually comment…which makes my day like you wouldn’t believe! But in the end, what you and others have said is obviously true – it’s about us, here and now, interacting – which matters most.

      Thanks Christy…love when you pass by 🙂

      • Yep it’s in there under settings somewhere, maybe sharing or reading? You know how some people only send out a preview or paragraph of their post via email and some send out the full post? You send out a full post, as do I. If you sent a preview, people would have to click your link to read your post on your site. There are pros and cons to both ways.

        RSS is simply the feed of your blog posts; like the WordPress Reader, there are a few RSS readers out there (I use Feedly).

        • Ah…..okay . GOT it. I understand. Yeah, I don’t mind the full post going out. No need to pad anything…that’s cool.

          You’re the second person to mention Feedly here. I will give it a whirl, as I tend to miss some of my Blogger friends (Reader is finicky when it comes to those blogs!)

          Thanks for the tech talk 🙂

          Paul

    • If you *were* a robot, you’d be one of the badass ones. A sort of Transformers type, turning into a turbo bike of some kind. I’d like that kind of robot. Then again, your Queen might have different ideas. The house would smell of diesel and you’d trample the flower garden. so stay as you are – an awesome dude. Thanks for the props, REDdog.

      • Hey Paul, I have 3 teenage sons who took all their petrol head cues from their old man, so yeah, the house does have that odour of fossil fuels/rubber about it, fortunately my Queen loves her boys just the way they arean. Lucky hey. From one awesome dude to another, have an awesome say man.

        • Well, no wonder you love your Queen as much as you do…ha ha. I get the idea that my wife is the same way. We’ll wait until our two boys are teens before I can say for sure…ha ha.

          All the best, kind sir.

  6. Why don’t the robots love me? Sure, some do, but not thousands. Not like you. It’s not fair. Lord knows, I’ve bent over backwards trying to please the lifeless and void-of-soul. My whole life. And this is the thanks I get. A pocketful of Spam.
    And while I don’t have the bot infestation that’s recently plagued your fine, organic, real, living and breathing (and exact opposite of dull) blog, I certainly haven’t been without my vexations with this blogging business.
    What started out as a fun pastime has morphed into a crippling mind-f..k Until recently, just thinking about blogging filled my lungs with Dysphoria. It took a full round of rosary beads to summon the courage just to log on to WordPress. Then I’d see how behind I was on reading, writing comments and clicking likes. I’d get overwhelmed, snap the machine off in a panic, then sit on the couch wringing my hands in guilt-ridden angst.
    Fine hobby I’ve chosen, eh?
    Great replacement for drinking.
    Well, I suspect it’s not WordPress or blogging (in my case, not blogging) that was at fault here. It was more likely my deep-seated need to please everyone… all the time. That might be why I’ve found myself unable to please anyone. Why I’ve been downright powerless to do so.
    I tell you, Paul, this shit I’ve been going through didn’t feel like I’d dropped the ball. More like it had been slapped out of my hands. So I could learn to deal with it. So I could learn to handle being ball-less, I guess. Maybe see that it’s not the end of the world.
    Sure enough, this week, I got to see what that looks like–what the end of someone’s world actually does look like. And it’s worse than having writer’s block.
    Lost another close friend to this bullshit disease. I’ll e-mail you the deets, since there’s all kinds of personal stuff surrounding it. Not something I want a bunch of robots reading about.
    Anyway, the sheer brutality of it gave me a much needed reality check.
    All the stuff I had been twisting my panties into knots over, now doesn’t seem so important. Even feeling miserable seems like a luxury. At least I’m alive to feel it. If pain is the price of living. I’ll pay it. Ultimately, it seems worth it.
    She didn’t see it that way.
    She saw her pain as an indication of her failure at life, when it was really just what made her human, made her different and better than a robot.
    Anyway, that’s what I keep telling myself as I work my way through this meat-grinder. “It’s all part of the human experience.”
    If it means being a wounded beast instead of a boring little bot, bring it.
    Robots are lame.

    Love you, brother.
    Marius

    • May I jump in here and say, Marius, I’ve missed you terribly, this comment was the icing on the cake of Paul’s post (I’m getting to you, Paul!), and I am deeply, profoundly sorry for your loss. I’m saying prayers for you and your friend.

    • Oh Marius…so sorry to hear about your friend. I have yet to hit a funeral proper for someone in the program, but I know that I have probably missed a few. And no doubt I will be at one. It’s just the nature of this horrid beast.

      “She saw her pain as an indication of her failure at life, when it was really just what made her human, made her different and better than a robot.” I almost teared up at this (okay, I did, but it was dusty at home, and the dog has been shedding more and…you know) because this is how I felt when I was active, and sometimes feel that now. I intellectually know that pain is part of the deal (no ball for you!), but sometimes in my heart I wondering if I am “failing” at life. Again, the hardest journey is from the head to heart, so I will let it go. Gravity and gravitas go hand in hand on this one, Mr. G.

      You read my mind about the big things being a wake up call to me. I haven’t had the death there like you, but I am seeing that me choosing misery isn’t working for me, and when I hear others in meetings and see them and just be aware of the issues that others have, I am in a more grateful place. not a “better them than me” attitude, but more of a “thank you God for putting me here and now to see that I am blessed” type thing. So I can’t drive now. Wow, no big deal. My leg hurts? Who cares, I have legs and health care. So I am choosing to see the lighter part of life, where love reigns.

      And you know, Marius, this whole blogging thing was a contentious one for me. I don’t get too wrapped up in it any more. I have had my jealous fits, my take-the-ball-and-go-home moments, my stats days, etc. but after I took my last little break, I saw that the world goes on with or without me. I’ve seen some heavy-hitting bloggers get up and leave and suddenly the void is filled. I realized that I don’t have to respond and comment and “like” every little post I see. I culled the blogs I followed by half. I often pick and choose what I read and comment on. Some days I just skip it all. I used to feel that I was *compelled* to please them all, or seem to be “with it”. But that’s ego talking. My all-or-nothing approach. It seems to be hardwired in us, isn’t it?

      Having said that Marius, there are the days that I feel like just shutting it all down and simplifying things. But I know I need this for me, not for anyone else. I need to express myself somehow, readers or not. Writing is all I have, outside of talking to the fleshy men in my recovery circles. It drives me to self-inspect and hash out what I am feeling. It’s more than a hobby to me, but I realize it’s also fraught with ego-trapping qualities. That’s the high wire act, my friend.

      I understand where you are at, though. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help, kind sir. In the meantime, sending ya big Canuck hugs to you.

      Love,
      Paul

  7. You always make me think Paul. How is it that our broken egos allow us to think we’re less than/greater than all at the same time!? I try to remember to pray for gratitude and humility every day….it seems to wrestle that evil ego to the ground (on good days!)

    • “How is it that our broken egos allow us to think we’re less than/greater than all at the same time!?” Arghhh! That’s the question, isn’t it?? Frustrating! Make it one or the other, will you, ego? But no…it has to be both. and nothing. It’s a fickle one, that ego. But boy does it have power and girth. I used to think I was the greatest thing since sliced cheddar, and then feel like 5 lbs of crap in a 3 lb bag. What’s with that? Insane thinking. Guess what? It still happens at times. I get judgmental and high and mighty, then someone says one thing or I hear or remember something and then I crash down in one fell swoop…I am worthless. Oh ego…why do you want us dead?

      Gratitude and humility…yeah, I’ll take that any day.

      Thank you Dede…you got ME thinking now! 🙂

      Blessings

    • I am very grateful you’re not a robot, Sharon! Who would take care of that puppy? Robots don’t give good hugs. Or clean up after nervous potty training dogs. So that’s in your favour. But I am glad you’re here. I am excited about your one year coming up!

      Blessings
      Paul

  8. Hi Paul,

    Well, it seems anti-climatic to write this again (of course, now that I think about it, it depends on which comment you read first, anyway…), but this post blew my mind! Robots? What does that even mean? Why would a robot follow any of our blogs?!? I know I’m a techno-idiot, but I hope someone can explain to me why this would happen in the first place!

    And I include myself in this, and I will add another perspective to the “Does it happen after you get Freshly Pressed” discussion. I’m guessing it’s a factor, but not the only reason. I have over 1,000 followers (so sad how happy I was about that number before reading this post :(), yet only a handful do I “know” in any sense, and I have never been FP (more on this in a minute).

    I had a general sense of people following in the hopes of getting followed back, but the robot thing is throwing me for a loop!

    Anyway, the ego deflation… that I understand completely. I went through a soul crushing “check my stats phase,” and positively no good came of it. At no point in time did I wind up the winner of that game…. I never had any sense of what to do/not to do in order to increase anything, and all it got me was a lot of angst.

    Then there’s the whole FP thing… I will sheepishly admit to desperately wanting that honor, and, even more shamefully, trying to think/write in ways that might get it for me. It got to the point where I was upset enough that my all or nothing attitude served me well… I am going to disregard that goal entirely, and reset my focus on my original intention of the blog: sharing and processing my life, with the added bonus of reading and processing the lives of my newfound friends. And I will tell you, I haven’t looked back since. I do check stats, but I put very little value in them anymore… who exactly am I even competing with anyway? And the truth of the matter is that I don’t understand them well enough to analyze them effectively, so I will just write, and look forward to comments (and I am human, so of course I like getting liked!).

    Once again, rambling on Paul’s blog… sorry Paul! Thanks for the enlightement, and I will head back over to my blog to see how many robots I’ve got following!

    • themiracleisaroundthecorner (sorry I don’t know your real name) to answer your question a robot, or spam bot are programs used to help advertisers, there are folks who are trying to make money by targeting their clients ads, so they make programs that mindless go about getting in to where they can spread the word of their client, these programs recognize when there is a lot of traffic on a certain address and they put in a presence so that they may deliver their load of spam or bring it it to the attention of the person utilizing the program. I don’t always agree with these methods, yet it is what it is, and I can’t change the world, I can only work on me and that is a handful.

      • Great response and explanation, JR. I didn’t fully understand them, but now I have a greater understanding of their purpose. Again, they don’t really annoy me, it’s like getting spam in emails. it is what it is, as you said.

        • Hi Josie, don’t worry, ya know enough to know that there is still some good things coming, that it is just around the corner, and at times that is all that matters.

    • Ah Josie, I can ramble on about this one for a bit, but I will keep it short.

      I really did move past that phase of being obsessed with the stats. Now I check now and then, and even then, it’s just “meh”. Like life, stats are up and down. In the end, my life isn’t going to be judged on how many “likes” I got. And frankly, it’s humbling to know that when we leave, there are others to take our place. I’ve seen some heavy hitters (in the stats and prestige areas) leave the blogosphere and frankly, people move on pretty darned quickly.

      As for the FP…well, all I can say is that stats shoot up for 48 hours and then it comes back to normal. And that’s it. The people who follow and comment on FP posts are like a band of Dead heads…they follow the blogs around together, and then they move on to the next venue. It’s interesting. Nonetheless, it is nice to have, but it doesn’t mean much more than that. That’s why I have the “no awards” zone tag on my blog – it’s nice sure, but it’s not appropriate for this site and what I am hoping to do.

      I am not sure if it’s the FP that brings the ‘bots, but in the end it’s not a big deal. I wrote this tongue-in-cheek in parts, and of course robots don’t need love, but I thought it fun to do. Obviously it’s the non-robots who get all my love and share their love with me and to each other. That’s what we do.

      Don’t change to try and get an FP…it just doesn’t work that way. And it’s not the best or brightest writers and posters and such that necessarily get the FP. Sometimes it’s just having someone put the word out. Anyway, I like what you said about getting back to what you really wanted to blog about. keep it there. That’s what I am trying to do at least 🙂

      Thanks Josie – we can chat more by email if you want 🙂

      Paul

  9. These are the times I wished to hell I knew anything about Star Trek because I would convey a whole crapton of robology (new word) just to be a smart alec. Alas, I know nada.
    Here’s how warped I am. When I check my stats (never an “if” btw), I think, “Wow. not too many drunks online when I post because if there were, they would so be logging in to see what I have to say.” WTF? For being someone who claims I like to stay in the background, I sure as hell behave differently in my mind.
    I think the only thing I am missing at my home AA group is an Ego Check- much like a coat check. But, in my case, I would have the opportunity to lose my coat number and have to walk out of the building without it.
    I have a weird visual. What if all the robots that are following you here, actually followed you around in real life? Surely the clanking and clattering would get to you. Going through a revolving door at a bank would be a nightmare.
    The above thought is the exact reason why I cannot drink. These thoughts come to me in the middle of the day, stone sober.
    Hugs,
    Linda

    • you know how we sometimes add “LOL” to things? Laughing out loud? You literally had me laughing out loud…all those robots following me. Oh my, that had me going. And the ego-check thing too was quite funny. You have a way with words and making me chuckle, Linda. Thank you for that.

      Your thought process is not at all unlike mine…so that’s why I get it when you write…ha ha.

      What I have learned is that we all have our ways, and our message might be similar, but the approach can be different. We are attracted to certain blogs and personalities, or just to the message straight up. I don’t strictly follow 12-step folks – that would narrow my world. I enjoy those who have found a way, a connection, that change that has allowed them to move past the drink and into contentment and serenity.

      That’s why I dig your stuff, and your attitude. Thank you for not being roboty (even when you’re cranky in the morning…lol) and for being a part of my recovery life.

      🙂

  10. As anyone with a blog knows, there’s a big difference between getting followers and cultivating readership. Being Freshly Pressed can widen an audience, but it’s the blogger’s job to build community and friendship. The robots add to our perceived value because some will only follow blogs that appear to be popular and a bunch of followers get people curious. There may be two “real” people for every 100 robots but it’s those two that matter!

    • Cultivating readership – love that term. And I agree, in terms of the ration, 2:100 is about right. I am utterly grateful for the readers I have, believe me. I am finally in a place where even if no one read again, I would be fine with that. I would have panicked in the past about that idea, but now it’s more about where I am at. I get more out of reading and commenting on other people’s blogs than my own. I am often guilty of abandoning my own comments so that I can read and respond on other people’s words. Not the best housekeeping, I know, but that’s okay. i am sure others understand 🙂

      thanks for being a part of my recovery world, Karen. You are certainly someone I look up to and appreciate whole heartedly 🙂

  11. Hilarious on the robots, I have that with twitter and get excited by my numbers and then… Oh.

    I can so relate to this, the yearning for acceptance.

    Once it twice I’ve considered not posting because I worry what readers will think of me (including today, in fact) but then I catch myself and my ego.
    This is my private space to articulate honestly what I think and feel and even if I was still shouting into echoey cyberspace with no readers it wouldn’t matter.

    The value of readers is the help we can give, not what out ego receives.
    Great post 🙂

    • Validation from the externals…guilty as charged. That’s one of my great challenges, but I am up for it.

      “The value of readers is the help we can give, not what out ego receives.” <—this. I love it. It;s taken me time to "get" this, so I am glad you got this before I did…lol. It makes life that much easier, no? I used to think of what I could get from others, but now it's about sharing and helping one another. I learn as much here as I do out face to face. Each is different of course, but there is a certain amount I get out of my interactions online. I can't sustain myself on it completely – I DO need face to face. But it's a nice add-on 🙂

      Post fearlessly, my friend. I have to remember that myself too 🙂

      Thanks for being here!

  12. I loooooooooove your honesty and sincerity. I don’t consider your posts ramblings at all. I consider you an a-ma-zing writer and person. And you can be sure I’m not a robot (hehehe). You know, I always used to check stats and all too. I’ve stopped doing that though. Now I just love being about to be in touch with amazing bloggers, like yourself.
    And please don’t ever get rid of the pics. They’re classic.
    🙂

    • Glad you’re not a robot – your voice on the podcast I heard certainly wasn’t robotic 🙂

      I think everyone goes through the stats thing. Anyone who isn’t is either lying or a great spiritual being. It’s a great thing to move past it and just allow it to be as is. I also went through a phase where I judged how others ran their blog. Isn’t that insane? Has nothing to do with me, and yet I let it bother me. Meh. C’est la vie. I just need to focus on where I’m at.

      Thanks Staci for being you – and hope your trip back home here has been going well! 🙂

    • I was thinking of you and your post when I was writing this. I don’t get many of the comments sneaking through, and even the spam filter doesn’t show much, so I have no donkeys to speak of…lol. But they can be quite funny – clearly English is a third or fourth language…or constructed using some bizarre algorithm.

      Peace to the bots!!

  13. As a real person who looks forward to your writing I advise you to not let the *robots* get you down.
    I love the way you’ve put together a variety of online and face to face activities to keep your recovery moving forward. With such variety, you are able to concentrate on different areas as your own personal needs ebb and flow. How wonderful.

    • The robots aren’t keeping me down – hope it didn’t come across this way! I find them amusing, as in “why bother, little dudes?” ha ha. But they aren’t needed, except of course for those who sent those little flying monkeys off 🙂

      Thank you for the support and seeing the online and face-to-face stuff coming together as one. it is important for me. The internet won’t solve my drink problem, but it does allow me to connect with those who have had (or still have) the drink problem and to interact with them. Obviously it doesn’t keep me sober, but it helps to keep me sane, and frankly I get a lot out of people’s comments and words on their own blogs.

      The greatest thing I get out of this is simple – I am NOT alone. That’s it. Sometimes that is what I get out of meetings. I am not unique, nor am I alone. That’s it. Sometimes that’s the food of my soul.

      thank YOU for being here and for being in this with me, and all of us.

      Blessings
      Paul

  14. Love this post Paul. One thing I have stopped asking about things that happen on the internet is ‘why?’ because there never seems to be any real answer! I stopped questioning after I tried to keep up with changes on Facebook but never could. Or trying to stop the invasion robot Twitter followers who promise me billions of tweeters if only I follow them back.
    I agree with Karen@MendedMusings – it’s the quality not the quantity that counts. I’d rather have ten real followers than 10,000 imaginary ones.
    So please make sure you count me as one of your quality followers 🙂

    • …and I as one of yours!

      I never understood the empty feeling of having those “paid” robot Twitter followers, considering I would know of their origin. Just phoney. So I stick with those lovely, wonderful, caring and generous folks like you who take the time to read and sometimes comment. I have to remember that we all come to this for our own reasons…fame isn’t one of them.

      It’s about simplifying for me now. I haven’t done the Facebook…thank God! I would have been a wreck at some point. Twitter and this keeps me busy enough 🙂

      Thanks for your very unrobotic care and attention, Carolyn. You’re a shining star in my books 🙂

      Blessings,
      Paul

  15. I am so glad I never noticed how many followers you have, I would have crawled into a corner with a gallon of ice cream and two jugs of chocolate syrup. How can I get freshly pressed? Nah, just kidding, I’m on blogger and I’ll keep my 80 followers, I’m not even going to go check and see if any of them are robots, my ego probably couldn’t handle it.
    The thing is, we’re not robots, we’re human and we feel that annoying gangrenous bugger called envy, there’s a reason for it, it spurs us to get out there and do what only we, funny quirky wonderful unique creatures that we are, can do in the best way we can.
    So when I win my Pulitzer, I know you won’t be jealous. I’ll invite you over to admire it, maybe even touch it, and then you can spit on it when I’m not looking. lol

    • Oh KM…are you kidding? Your writing makes me weep, and also take my ball and go home and take up knitting. You’re awesome and awe inspiring. (It’s funny, the thing about Blogger is that it asks you to enter that caption thing, and it actually says “to prove you’re not a robot”! So Blogger has it figured out!) But your 80 followers are blessed, my friend. I certainly am to read your work.

      You made me laugh with the Pulitzer thing…lol.

      I won’t spit on it, I promise!

      Blessings,
      Paul

  16. It’s a wonder you have so many robots following you, Paul! They’ve formed an online group and decided to go where the masses are going… and since so many real human beings visit your blog, I assume this is why they have flocked here=)

    I’ve found the online community to be extremely supportive. It’s addicting when we’ve found both our niche audience as well as a fantastic group of friends who we have never even met before! No judging, no staring each other up and down (unless you have posted some really good or questionable profile pictures) and no need for feeling nervous when meeting people for the first time…. Nope; just a huge welcoming mat and even some wide, open arms, as we continue to share our gifts with the rest of the world, and vice versa, of course.

    I feel like I have grown closer to some members of my online community than I am with friends I have known for years in person. I have confided in them and they have confided in me. We have set up prayer groups and not only support each other’s author work and blogs, but we also pick each other up if we ever need that added boost to get us through our trials… whether its venting about the day job and how much we wish we could retire on our writing, or how sick someone in our family currently is, or how much we hate, I mean, detest certain members of our family, or how we might struggle with someone that no one else would understand except that one online friend who seems to always have something positive to say…

    Yes, Paul, the online community is where its at! No judging, no preconceived notions.. nada. Just the spaces we choose to either take up or put between us… whatever works. You have a strong following which means you are putting something positive out into the universe. Keep it up and I’m sure your ego will be happy=)

    Hugs, Gina

    • You are such a kind and generous spirit, my friend. I too count myself lucky for being in this online community. I need the face-to-face for sure, but certainly this is more than icing on the cake. What I like is that I can get recovery talk 24/7. And like you said, there is no judgement (or very little…lol) or reproach. We are all in the same boat and we carry on thusly.

      Ah the robots…they keep coming my friend. Not sure what else to to to hold the fort. The numbers climb in meaningless ways. WP has no way of blocking the robots, so we suffer in silence. It’s great how blogger has that Capture thing where you have to type the numbers before you can post – that stops the robots. So hurrah to Blogger for that!

      And hurrah to you! For being such a strong part of my recovery circle 🙂

      Blessings,
      Paul

  17. I have a soft spot in my heart for all things robotic. Your title made me smile 🙂 I’ll often tell my hubby “The computer needs a break” and that he should shut it down. “how would you feel if you’d been working for 68 hours straight?” i’d ask him. I think maybe, in another life, I was one of the AI types you saw in Blade Runner or something … so that part of my soul says thanks for the shout-out 😉

    • Ha ha…you’re a drone or replicant or something, are you? Do you have empathy for toasters and remote controls? You are a deep thinker, Ms. Watson. I need more of that in my life. Bad programming on my part, perhaps. Trying to get those plug-ins and updates to help me out. Hopefully they work 🙂

      Thanks for this – you made me laugh.

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