Living Out Loud

Putting the World in the WWW


One of the features of the analytics service I use, Tinylytics (highly recommended!) is the ability to see where the computers people are using to read this blog are located. I look at it and wonder what the fine people of Rwanda find interesting in the opinions of an old guy in the American south. When I get up stupid early in the morning like I do (4am), my social media and blogging feeds are usually full of Europeans for whom the hour is more reasonable. I even follow people in Australia and New Zealand and I'm never quite sure what time or even what day it is there.

I wrote a piece last week on Follow Friday about the relationships I've established in the five months I've been on Mastodon. I was happy to list Nicola from Italy and Barry from the south of England. A third of the people I support in the One a Month Club live in Portugal. Another lives in Canada. I read the blog of a very friendly Swedish gentleman every day. One of the people who has been the most supportive of my app reviews is an Indian immigrant living in the US. Being a member of an international community is important to me. Despite being a veteran, I've never been real big on the God Bless America or USA!USA!USA! frame of mind or outlook on the world.

I'm not exactly provincial. I've been to Europe a few times but not to South America, Africa or Asia, although I'd love to. What I love about the IndieWeb and the Fediverse is the daily demonstration of our collective humanity in the most basic of ways. When I see a blog on Scribbles by an English guy who is trying to eat right, spend less and get enough sleep, it could have been written by my next door neighbor. When I read about the struggle for acceptance by my trans friends overseas, they sound like the struggles my trans friends in the US face. We aren't mirror images of course. The rest of the civilized world seems to have medical care as a basic human right, something we famously do not have in the US.

I get the frustration people in the International community feel when my incredibly resourced and influential country drags it's feet in providing help in places like Ukraine. While there are plenty of American characteristics I think are good, there are our unfortunate tendencies too and I don't cringe when they get pointed out. As long as people realize that most Americans don't support Donald Trump, I'm OK.

I am more than happy to make new international connections (domestic ones too). Reach out if you're reading this from another country. Maybe we can both learn something.