Timeliness on the Internet

 Anxieties creep around the choice of subject matter for anything I put out in my own voice on the internet. Some of these are mine, the result of relationships a long time in the making between my socially anxious and slightly (self-)judgmental tendencies  and the social pressures and expectations that have refined and developed them. But on the internet, it's a special case--and it's not just me. 

Tonight I was taking a walk and listening to some podcasts from my endless queue on my phone, including one from the poetry foundation. It sent my mind down paths that struck me as perfect fodder for the kind of thinking I'm looking to do here, on the blog, and a post started to form itself in my head. 


Then the anxiety set in. They're referencing the September issue of the magazine--how old is this podcast? How long have I had it in the queue? Can I still write about this, or is the material too old? Will no one care anymore? I did notice that people were still posting about Alice Munro for some time after the Nobel prizes were announced--albeit with apologies for tardiness. And maybe that was a special case.


Bit after letting the anxiety develop for a while, discouraging my budding plan for a blog post, I began to feel the counter-reaction coming on. Another, defiant voice appeared, insisting: but what I want to talk about is still interesting to me, and for the same reasons it would have been if I had listened to this podcast the day it came out. Why should I let the train of thought languish just because of this accident of timing, a difference of only a couple of months after all? 


It took me quite a while to get to this; my online activity has been unreflectively limited by this fear for years. But now that I'm thinking about it, it seems even worse that I, a student of antique and medieval texts, had fallen into this trap, that I could believe that a text more than a week old is no longer worth engaging with or commenting on.


So that post will be coming up soon. Something interesting was said this September, and I'd like to keep the conversation going.