There’s something magical about watching a snake eat something several times larger than his own head. It seems to defy all logic, and while you’re watching there are several moments when you wonder if he’ll manage it, or if he’s going to have to give up. And then, slowly and magically, with no seeming transition, even more of the food has gotten in and you’re still not sure how that happened because you were watching the entire time. It’s hypnotic.
To explain, I gave Jeremy his first adult mouse yesterday. It is quite a bit larger than the rat pups he’s been on, and he gobbled those up no trouble at all, but they weren’t much bigger in diameter than he was. This mouse was a good third, maybe half again his base diameter and at least double the diameter of his head. I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to eat it. It took him several goes as well. He started chewing on the ear because he was trying to find the best place to start and hadn’t quite grasped where to go – especially given he couldn’t fit much in his mouth at once. He ended up unhinging his jaw and stretching to such an extent I was half-worried it was hurting him. I was completely unconvinced that he was going to get the mouse’s hips in – they just seemed so much wider than even him at his most stretched, but he managed to squeeze them back together and drag them in.
Absolutely fascinating to watch. And of course, upon posting the pictures to Google+, I’ve had two people go “can you not share that with me?” My answer is no. My answer will always be no. I do not make posts based on what my audience (such as it is) wants to see, I make them based on what I want to post. What that means is that the privacy level I use (be that circles on Google+, or friends groups on Facebook, or something else) is based on what I perceive the sensitivity of the post to be. If I don’t want to share something with everyone who might want to see it, I won’t. If I’m raising a potentially controversial issue, I’ll usually reduce the numbers. If I’m posting about my mental health, I’m usually quite careful about my audience. But that’s the thing, I choose my audience based on the limits I want to impose on the content, not what other people think those limits should be.
Many people I know create circles on Google+ purely to share content of a particular flavour. I can understand that viewpoint from one perspective, but I utterly don’t from another. Having a “roleplaying” circle that you make roleplaying posts to is great, as long as you know that everyone who might want to see them is on there. But what if you make a new friend who might want to see it but you haven’t asked yet? What if a friend of a friend might have a good point to make, but will never get to see it because they’re not in your group.
I use circles primarily to sort content into categories that make sense of how I know the person, and that I can use to break down who I want to read. My phone shows me the latests posts from my “Friends” circle on my homescreen rather than showing me all posts. This means that I don’t see the communities and the other people I’ve got circled – just the people who I want to read more often. The secondary use is to share sensitive content as I said above, and that’s a much rarer thing for me.
But then, I see things differently. I’m a glutton for information – I want to see it all, to have access to it all, and to freely be able to access it. I don’t like the closed off worlds that my friends create, even as I understand that they don’t share my views on the matter. C’est la vie.