I’m not going to dispute the findings. It looks like serious people doing serious work. But, for the demographic particle that is me, it doesn’t add up.
I’m obviously an early adopter to this Internet thing and the Internet’s bastard children – Facebook, Twitter, blah blah blah. This here web site, which existed before the word “blog” did, has been around for 15 years and attracts 3.5 million visitors a year. I’m maxxed out on Facebook friends, and I’ve got 21,000+ Twitter pals. And so on.
Those figures don’t indicate that I have anything particularly novel or revelatory to say, of course. They simply suggest I’ve just been doing his stuff for a long time, and I’m a known quantity. I’m not a human being, I like to tell my family, I’m a web site.
My Internet doings have gotten me business, lost me business, and gotten me in trouble. There was the “baking cookies” incident of a decade ago, there was the barbecued cat incident of 2009, and there was the “segregationist?” thing in 2014. (I’m always intrigued that two of the Big Three concerned food. Food is political, I’ve decided.)
Those gaffes aside, nobody has ever successfully sued me over the web site. There’s a Law Society complaint against me by Andre Marin and his cabal, but I haven’t lost a minute of sleep over that one. I usually get the last word on stuff like that, and I reach more eyeballs than most newspaper columnists in Canada. Marin and his chums are about to learn that the hard way.
Anyway. I’ve reached this observation, in a typically long-winded fashion: for me, this Internet stuff has worked out okay. It has been good, even. It’s been good because I’ve gotten to meet folks like you. Sounds corny, but it’s true.
Case in point: a few days ago, the misses and me were at the wonderful Salad King on Yonge. We were going to Canadian Tire to get stuff to clean the deck at Daisy. (Daughter Two was going to scrub it for us, you see, in anticipation of the big Daisy tenth anniversay party on June 7. She earned her pay.)
So, there we were, and a group of young guys came up to us. One asked me if I was Warren Kinsella.
I usually say: “That depends. Do you work at Revenue Canada?”
I didn’t this time. I stuck out my hand. “Yep. That’s me.”
He shook it and introduced himself. “I have all your books and read your stuff online every day,” he said.
I said what I always say: “Well, you shouldn’t do that.” Gets a laugh, usually.
We talked a bit more and the young guy and his friends moved on. We returned to our spring rolls.
Anyway. Here’s the point: if it wasn’t for the web site, if it wasn’t for social media, I would have never met that young guy. I would’ve never talked to him. I was grateful, therefore, that he considered my musings had some value, and that he said he enjoyed reading them. I was happy we’d met.
Another example: my new friend Mohamed Elibiary. We got together for the first time a few days ago. Mohamed is a Texan, a Republican, a proud Muslim, and an expert in de-radicalizing Muslin youth. We met on Twitter and hit it off. He is an amazing and fascinating guy (who despairs of Trump, by the way).
But for social media, but for the Web, we likely would have never met. We would never have become pals. Just like the kid at the Salad King, and tons of others. Tons.
That – for this Internet participant, at least – isn’t depressing. It’s good. It’s positive. And, I think, it’s made my world bigger.