A week without social media? I tell you, it’s like getting your life back


Autumn dogwood, near Indiana, Pa.

It ain’t easy, this blogging thing.

If you care about clean, crisp communication, it takes time. If you care about being relevant, it takes time. Way too much time — especially if you have a “real” job.

My week away was refreshing. There was the holiday with family followed by the opening day of deer season in Pennsylvania. In between, I managed 16 hours of grading class projects, raked a ton of leaves, and helped install the snow fence on the east shore of Sandy Lake.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish without the burden of a blog.

My unwired week so energized me that I’m taking another week away from the blog — just to keep the buzz going. I’ll use the time to catch up on work at the “real” job and to devote full attention to my students during these final 7 days of classes.

Yeah, I may even sneak in one more day of deer hunting before I stow the old Model 70 for the season. I promise, no dead deer pictures.

11 Responses to A week without social media? I tell you, it’s like getting your life back

  1. Breeze says:

    Time with family. Recreation. Community service. Home life. Gainful employment.

    Sounds like someone found out there are ways to be “relevant” that have nothing to do with blogging.

  2. Bill Sledzik says:

    You got that right, Breeze. Sometimes the noise of the Web 2.0 echo chamber overpowers the sweeter sounds of life — like the report of my .308 reverberating up the hollow.

  3. Allison says:

    Bring on the dead deer pictures. We can handle it.

  4. Bill Sledzik says:

    Sorry, Al. I have way too many squeamish city slickers reading the blog. You know them — the ones who can only stand their food in cellophane packets. Wimps. But since you’re my Facebook friend, you can find one shot under “Photos of Me.” It was posted by one of the other riflemen pictured there.

  5. lespotter001 says:

    I love the fact that you will blog about real values — family, down time, community service, and yes, deer hunting. In these politcally correct times, when so many would take us to task for even mentioning hunting, I find it refreshing to read of someone’s hunting trips.

    I am a Southerner. I grew up in and around “normal” activity like hunting and fishing. In fact, if it were not for those activities, many good meals would have been missed in the Potter household.

    On a deeper note, we lose something as we raise generations who can only forage for meat at Wegman’s, meat neatly wrapped in clear plastic and labeled accordingly. Hank Willams, Jr. nailed it: “A country boy can survive…”

  6. Bill Sledzik says:

    I hunted with my father, and he with his. My sons, now in their mid-20s, still go afield with me every year. Although we no longer live in the sticks, I’ve tried to keep the tradition alive, and our connections to the earth intact. And as for political correctness, I’ll use one of your Southern expressions to react: Pshaw!

    Like you, Les, I recall the stories of how a few rabbits or a pheasant turned a meal of beans and rice into one that was a bit more hearty. We may not “need” the meat as they did in the 30s, but I’m a lot more comfortable knowing where mine comes from — and it ain’t from Wegman’s. And I still get little sleep the night before Opening Day of deer season. Some 40 years after my first hunting trip, I still get butterflies in anticipation of the big event.

  7. Blair Boone says:

    I’ll add one thought. Next summer, whether it’s around a campfire or just in the backyard, when a flame-broiled venison chop hits the plate next to local greens, new potatoes and corn on the cob, along with the enjoyment of a great meal comes a deep feeling of gratitude.

    When you hunt your own, every meal is Thanksgiving.

  8. Bill Sledzik says:

    I don’t suppose it’s coincidence that two gentlemen from rural Virginia would understand the values of hunting and have such a deep appreciation for nature’s bounty. It’s also sad that so many folks these days grow up with no meaningful connection to the land and unfounded prejudice toward this noble sport.

  9. lespotter001 says:

    Blair and Bill, you will love this. I saw the most beautiful eight-point buck and several doe recently. This is common for me. I see these all the time. Where? In my yard. I live in Vienna, VA, a suburb of Washington, D.C., in densely-populated Fairfax County. Over one million people populate Fairfax County, with what seems to be an equal number of deer. Hunting is banned and panned here, and with no natural predators except the Lexus and the BMW, deer thrive. My wife plants only deer-resistent flowers. But all too frequently we wake up early to see herds of deer foraging our flower beds. You see them everywhere. They have no fear. There are no guns, and cars they can mostly avoid.

    One innovative group here occasionally obtains permits to bow hunt and feeds the venison in homeless shelters. We are very civilized in trendy Northern VA. The outcry at the barbarians who do this is unimaginable. But it is far more cruel to not thin these enormous, out of control herds.

  10. Blair Boone says:

    Since this is a PR blog, I’ll try to keep this somehow on the subject.

    I live in a deer-soaked suburb of Buffalo, NY. The day I left for my rural property to rendezvous with Bill and others for our opening day deer hunt, a very nice six-point buck and a big doe spent the day — from around 7:00 AM to about 4:00 PM — bedded down in my backyard. No hunting here, so I just enjoyed watching ’em.

    It’s a common problem everywhere, and aside from death by automobile (or policeman’s bullet for those unfortunate deer that aren’t killed by the impact), there isn’t any real solution other than some sort of controlled hunting.

    That’s a PR problem — nightmare, actually — for the local government that authorizes or fails to authorize it.

    And hunters have a PR problem at least part of our own making. Turns out some of us are slobs. That hurts all of us, especially when it comes to opening new areas to heavily controlled hunting.

    Deer also have a PR problem, but unlike everyone else in this mess, they have professional representation by game departments tasked with maintaining healthy, balanced herds. And they have unsolicited representation from various anti-hunting groups.

    After years of watching the political, social, scientific and PR dimensions of this never-ending debate, I’m convinced there’s no solution to satisfy everyone. Up here in snow country — right here in my suburb, not out in the wild — I’ve watched deer starve to death in a hard winter. It’s a hard thing to watch. But I’ve also heard a biologist from PETA describe that risk as neglible at a town meeting.

    The PR two-way model of communication can’t bridge that gap. You have to be (a) speaking the same language, and (b) capable of agreeing to a common set of facts. You can’t get either of those happens on this issue.

    In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the deer in my backyard, even when they eat my toxic-to-everything-but-deer yew bushes. I’m going to keep doing my best to avoid killing one with a vehicle. And with luck, I’ll keep filling my freezer.

  11. […] Bill Sledzik: A week without social media? I tell you, it’s like getting your life back If you can’t hack it or don’t love it, then don’t do it. I can say pretty confidently that the blogosphere will go on without you. […]

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