A number of years ago, like most boot enthusiasts, I discovered the Hotboots Boots On Line board created by my friend Larry and his husband, Bill, a long, long time ago.
When I discovered that board, I was amazed to find that there were a lot of other guys who…
…were enthusiastic about boots in all varieties, shapes, sizes, vintages, and styles.
I learned a lot from the posters on that board. It also inspired me to create my own bootedman.com website to catalog and display my boot collections (and get The Spouse off my back with claims that I didn’t know what boots I had). I sincerely appreciated Larry and Bill’s help as I was learning how to develop and build websites.
For about eight years or so, I used to post messages and photos on that board to share my thoughts, ideas, or questions. I think it is safe to say that the “Boots On Line” (BOL) board was an early approach to social media (as we see it now on Facebook and other platforms.) I give credit to Larry and Bill for being years ahead of the times.
Most comments and replies to my posts on the BOL board were helpful and supportive. A few guys were jerks and made snarky, rude, or insulting comments, but for the most part, participants on that board were generally positive.
This is typical nature of social media boards — some people behind the veil of anonymity feel freer to express opinions, including nasty ones. I figured that the few who were negative had “issues” of their own (jealously, fear, insecurity, etc.), so I took pity on them and dismissed them.
However, like any type of internet board or social platform, all postings required frequent revisiting to review, answer follow-ups (there were many) and occasionally, have to ask a moderator to remove a comment (or an entire post) if the reply(ies) were going down the toilet into snipy negativity.
As I got busier and busier in my own life — my spouse’s health issues and my elderly aunt during her Alzheimer’s-induced decline being a primary concern with the time required to attend to caregiving — and also taking on a demanding job, operating at a high level of demand — I “backed off” the BOL board.
I just did not have time to post anything, and more time-consuming, I didn’t have time to read comments on my posts, answer questions, or request moderator intervention on those few occasions that it was warranted.
Today I just dropped in on the BOL board (first time in over a year) and saw postings from the “usual” crowd there. It was good to see familiar screen names of guys I had gotten to know. I have not communicated with any of them for a long time (except for my friend Bamaboy), except for a few via another social media platform.
I miss the camaraderie. I just wish I had more time to spend on the computer, but I don’t. Or shall I say, I do not arrange my personal time to devote to it.
One thing about not having a sillyphone — I don’t sit in idle time looking and poking at one. I guess the BOL board is sillyphone-friendly, so guys with those devices can post and comment using one when they have a few minutes here-and-there.
I’m strange, I guess. I really don’t have idle time. When I drive, 1000% of my attention is on my driving. When I spend time at work, with my spouse at home, or in the community doing “my thing” in volunteering, I do not have idle time, either. Also, I continue to realize my promise to my spouse that when we are together, my attention is devoted to him.
I will not be “that guy” who sits on the sofa with the Spouse to watch TV and play with a sillyphone simultaneously. We have discussed that. Spouse thinks that I would be signaling that whoever I am communicating with is more important than he is, and that is not the case whatsoever. If I truly must do something on a computer (answer email, etc.), then I go do that in my home office and join the Spouse when I will not have distractions with anything else.
I arrange my personal schedule so that when I awake at 0400 each day, after tending to personal hygiene and getting in some exercise, I may have about 15 – 30 minutes to write this blog or update my website, but little time to do anything else. Other time during my day is consumed with working for a living, caring for The Spouse, and what I do for the various boards, commissions, and volunteer activities that I do.
Well, I digress. I’m sure other boot enthusiasts are as busy as I am, perhaps in different ways. I choose not to participate in BOL any more because I limit my “free time” required to participate, reply, and moderate posts. Being active on that board requires more time than I am willing to carve out of other things I do.
Life is short: know demands on your time and prioritize accordingly.