I've been feeling for a while that it's long past time to move on. My loving wife has always complained that the time I spend arguing on the Vine is time better spent talking with her. She's right. Friends give me looks that say "Don't you have better things to do?" when I describe my Newsvine activities and I cannot honestly rebut their implied indictment. I look at the number of articles I've written and posted over the last several years and think "wow, I've put a fair amount of time into this" and ask myself to what end.
Obviously, I have found some level of value in participation. When the Vine is at its best, I'm learning something useful from someone who holds a different perspective. As well, being challenged to defend positions with evidentiary support has resulted in my being more knowledgable on various political and social subjects. Thus my participation has compelled me to know more about some of the subjects that I care about. The restrictions associated with the Code of Honor notwithstanding, I have been able to communicate in a matter that is both frank and somewhat cathartic. Of course, there is no avoiding the incessant trolling, the braindead spleen venting, the demonstrations of willful ignorance, the stormfront-style racism and the various other flavors of bigotry, but these realities are mere annoyances that come with the territory and the benefits mentioned above far outweigh them.
What can't be reconciled is the time required to write articles, earnestly debate issues and respond to the attempted proselytization of some of the most abhorrent perspectives rolling around in the heads of some people when there is so much other stuff to do and that stuff just keeps growing. These feelings tend to crescendo at the beginning of the new calendar year and have been increasingly difficult to suppress with each. This year, that suppression is impossible. Both opportunities and responsibilities on the job are increasing and I owe my colleagues my best efforts. The needs of both elder and younger generations are increasingly acute. Activities at church and in community-based organizations provide more immediate opportunities to generate positive and more impactful change locally. Finally, I can think of a bunch of other more fulfilling things to do with what little "me" time I have left. I thought about just dialing back participation and simply not post. But there is no not seeing the prevarications, mendacities, demonstrations of willful nescience and attempted justifications of bigotry that are put up on the vine daily. Because fighting the internal feeling that silence is implied consent is nearly impossible, better not to see the nonsense at all.
So like the crew of the Bounty I'm burning the ship. If going cold turkey proves to be a failure and I can't resist the urge to participate in the future, I'll have to do it under another identity as I will be doing whatever I need to do to shut this profile down. Thank you to those of you who have offered fellowship. Thank you Newsvine Moderator team and those Administrators who run their nations in an even-handed manner without the duplicity and hypocrisy characteristic of some. No doubt I will miss many of you and you know who you are. I wish you all the health, happiness, connectedness and personal fulfillment that this life has to offer. To each and every Newsvine member, believer or not......