WEEK 3: SETUP WORK AND ARTICLE REFLECTION

PreludE.

Okay, so when I was writing my week 2 blog post I confused the week 2 topic with the week 3 topic and wound up creating the website map then. Really sorry about that, I’m gonna try as hard as I can to keep anything like that from happening again. To make up for it I’m going to go back to the previous topic and describe what setup I’ve done to this point.

SETUP WORK.

When setting up my website, the very first thing that I decided to hammer out was my website’s theme. I needed something with a lot of customizability, that was going to let me break away from the professional gloss that most WordPress themes have, so I settled on the Chaplin theme, by Anders Norén. It lets me change every colour and font across the site, as well as upload custom art for the homepage header. However, there are two downsides to the theme. First, there’s no built-in option for a sidebar in the theme, which makes scrolling through the posts a little inconvenient. Second, The homepage doesn’t allow for much customization- There’s no way to add thumbnails to the “latest posts” section, and the available formatting for the page is otherwise indistinguishable from a blog post. I’m looking into ways to change these.

After I got my hands on this amount of customization, I set to the work of actually customizing the site. I chose a darker, cooler colour palette to make my website easier on the eyes, as well as give the website more of a relaxed feeling. For my homepage’s header, I used an older watercolour painting I made that I edited digitally to fit in with my site’s nighttime atmosphere. For fonts, I settled on Roboto Mono and Roboto Slab for the website’s content and Rock Salt for the title. Rock Salt was a very interesting graffiti-style font that I wanted to use in more areas of my website, but it wasn’t exactly as readable as I wanted it to be when it came to headers and body text.

The Rock Salt font wasn’t actually available in the base Chaplin theme, so I had to open up my website’s customizability a bit more with the use of plugins. The plugin that let me use Rock Salt was Google Fonts Typography, and I wound up sprucing up my footer with Social Media and Share Icons. One plugin that I haven’t used yet but might in the future is Elementor, which opens up page customizability quite a bit. I might use it to spruce up the homepage.

Another big part of my setup work was setting up the pages I wanted for my website. I uploaded some of my best works to my website and posted them in a set “Gallery” page so people could view it better. I created separate post categories and blog pages in order to make seperate the publishing and art content of my blog. I also saw fit to create a third “nonsense” category for my weirder posts that had more of a humorous than artistic focus, which I think fits in nicely with my website.

ARTICLE REFLECTION.

Craig Mod’s article How I Got My Attention Back makes a valid point about how frayed our collective attention span can be — one I may have trouble relating to, but there’s a good point in there nonetheless.

The online world just finished its transformation into an ubiquitous facet of reality just after I grew out of the immensely disorganized attention span of early childhood. So it’s hard for me to tell what my attention would be like if it was never around. Maintaining a laser focus on anything’s pretty hard for me whenever I’m online — I currently have a tab open with Aesop Rock on autoplay as I’m typing this, and I had to stop to take a break just ten minutes ago — and I’ve definitely spent time on Youtube that would’ve been more emotionally rewarding if I had the resolve to just sit down and draw instead.

But I’ve never really been given the chance to see whether or not these bad habits would be replaced by CDs and television in a hypothetical early 2000’s alternate reality. The “algorithm tugging me around by the nose” sort of imagery Mod evokes seems to have been replaced by my own brand of listlessness in my case. Twitter and Youtube are the only websites I go to where there’s any “spigot” of never-ending content at play. Beyond that is a much larger practice of flitting from activity of (seemingly) my own accord-weekly podcasts, video games, that sort of thing. Craig Mod would certainly say that these things are their own form of “spigot,” which certainly could be argued.

So considering, this, could I live without the internet for a month? There’s been points where it certainly felt like the answer was “no”. Before I was on SSRIs (a class of antidepressant commonly used for anxiety and PTSD) it was the only place where I had the courage to talk to my real-life friends. That sort of connectivity is like a life jacket for the mentally ill, man. But since I’ve recovered from whatever I was dealing with back then. Most of my attachments to the internet are simply habits that are enabled — or made quite a lot cheaper by online connectivity. But then again, I’ve never actually been able to survive in a world without internet, so it’s hard to tell.

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