What Am I Doing?

One tweet by a certain famous TV mogul has sent the readership skyrocketing.

And while it’s really cool to know that more people are engaged in the project, it’s also caused me to really reflect on my feelings and motivations for doing this.

At first, it really was just a diary. I didn’t think anyone was listening so I felt like I was just recording my thoughts for myself. Then people started writing in, saying they were inspired. As I got better at making connections I felt like my failures and successes were actually helpful to other people. Not to mention the sense of kindred spirits and community I got from connecting with people just through the blog.

But there are two big problems. As more than one commenter has pointed out, the blog’s notoriety is feeding my (normal levels of) narcissism. The last thing I want to do is become a self-absorbed celebrity who needs the adulation of random people to mask my self-loathing. I’m just some guy who lives in an apartment in Brentwood. I have no interest in being recognized. If only I had decided not to use my real first name, I wouldn’t be in this mess with Michelle, but that ship has sailed. I think I can continue posting without succumbing to the temptation of my fifteen minutes of fame. So while it’s a concern, I think awareness of it is enough to weather the storm.

The second problem, of course, is Michelle. I can’t really justify dragging her into this. Maybe deep down I thought it would never work out so it wouldn’t matter. But then it did work out (or at least I think it’s going to work out). And now I’ve written all this stuff about her and I don’t want to delete it because it’s the crux of the whole blog. But I can’t keep posting about her without her permission.

Michelle and I have been talking. We talk about the blog a lot. I think she will be fine with me keeping what I’ve already written. I’m not sure. But one thing I know is I need to see her and talk this over in person.

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5 Responses to What Am I Doing?

  1. annoyed reader says:

    Once again – this is not a diary! A diary would be read by only you, and be private. It is very, very public, and can be read by anyone in the world, and will be recorded permanently, whether you like it or not. And you had to know this, from the moment you registered the domain name! Your new “oh, woe is me, I never wanted all this attention” is not a line I’m willing to buy.

    Undertake this project for your own benefit, and for no other reason. But to be describing the failings of others in this way, and details about their person and lives on a blog, you’re exploiting them and that is unethical. Whether someone else calls it “art” or not.

    If you wanted to create a publicly disseminated, written “work of art” based on real people around you, in your real life, that would be fine too. But that’s not what you repeatedly claim this is all about.

    You want to claim it’s righteous, and healthy, and constructive, and is meant to help you and others who might also be in the same situation. But that’s not what I take away from everything I’ve read here. Not even close.

    And, what you would seem to feel a sense of pride or accomplishment in, in personal growth, and as recorded for the world to read and possibly admire, is something you should have been doing all along, as a normal, involved, genuine, friendly fellow human being on the same planet as everyone else.

    I realize there might be more people who lack the ability than display it, but t0 paraphrase Chris Rock, “you’re _supposed_ to talk to strangers! You’re supposed to be friendly… to show some interest and respect for the lady who dumps your office trashcan…”

    Overall, this public blog, consistently paints you in good light, as yearning and learning and Mr. Nice Guy, and everyone else around you as flawed and laughable. This public blog is (much more) about serving your ego needs at the expense of others, not about correcting your flaws. You can correct your own flaws without a blog, and I would say, blogging about it thoroughly corrupts the process.

    There’s also a little doubt in me, that you’re/this project/presentation is actually not as genuine as it wants to be seen, and that this whole thing might even be a put-on. Like that last gushing, fawning, thank-you comment from the foreigner, about how much you helped him come out of his shell too. So suddenly you’re a savior, immediately after my harsh criticism? I wonder if Michelle and _everyone_ else you’ve mocked and exposed publicly feels the same way.

    It’s not about you. That’s the lesson you still haven’t learned.

    • Rachel says:

      Haters Gonna Hate.

      Fletcher you’ve clearly shown that you can touch people’s lives by a single act of kindness. Others would do well to take note.

      Keep it up, seeing some humanity and decency allows renewed faith in the good of mankind.

  2. annoyed reader says:

    “Haters Gonna Hate.

    Fletcher you’ve clearly shown that you can touch people’s lives by a single act of kindness. Others would do well to take note.”

    Good grief, the creator of this blog is not some kind of Johnny Appleseed of Kindness, what he’s learned and publicized is hardly new or magically enlightening. For everyone that says, “oh thank you Fletcher, you improved my life so much too!” all I can think is, “it took some concocted blog in 2011 to suddenly open your eyes to the concept? The methods or benefits of talking to strangers never occurred to you before now? This blog is a unique revelation for you?”

    Personally, I read through the whole thing like it was a cast of characters, a running, real life story about Fletcher and his neighbors and co-workers. Which is what the bulk of it is.

    I was alerted to the presence of this blog, by someone who wasn’t sure the whole thing is really real or genuine, and who also characterized Fletcher as a potential sociopath of stalker. I still agree with those ideas.

    I still have half a mind, that the whole thing is a social experiment. With blogging and blog readers and their comments, not with any real life mission of one lonely banker to find a more fulfilling life. This thing is not nearly as sincere, genuine, or benign as the author would like people to believe. He’s “using” the people around him for material, and he’s “using” his readers too.

    Pointing out the man behind the curtain, is not “hating.”

  3. Noah says:

    No, but leaving trolling comments on all of the posts is certainly hating. Your first comment expressing how you felt was fine, but why do you feel the need to continue to be negative on all of the posts?

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