If you sip a glass of wine, you might think of a few nice things to say about how it tastes. If someone dumps a barrel of wine on your head every thirty seconds, the nuances can get lost.
I’ve been on a bit of a social media sabbatical recently. To be fair, it’s been more like a “visual internet” sabbatical. With the exception of a few favorite RSS feeds, I’ve stepped away from Twitter, deleted Facebook (something I should have done long ago) and swapped news sites for paper books, magazines, and NPR. Podcasts stayed because I have a long car commute, and it’s much harder to mindlessly skip between audio files.
As part of this experiement, I’ve been trying to replace digital with analog whenever possible. The Field Notes and Bullet Journal are back, and tasks and calendar items are managed (often poorly, but still managed) on paper. My goal is to reduce the number of times I need to go to a device even for “productive” tasks. I’m highly vulnerable to useless distractions.
The result of all this is a return of focus, centeredness, and even creativity that feels like it’s been gone for years. The refresh grind had left me feeling burned, without enough energy to even pick a medium, much less make anything worthwhile in it.
Writing is enjoyable again, although it’s 99% dreck that will never leave the tired pages of my Leuchtturm1917. That’s OK. Writing dreck is better than not writing anything at all.
Twitter is tiring, but Micro.blog is interesting and the people are nice. I’ve even reopened my rage-quit-in-2012 Instagram account @themindfulbit. I can’t believe Facebook has actually let the service succeed on its own terms. Now it seems like the only major social media site that’s worth joining. I’m back and it’s fun.
My next experiment is going to be called write-only social media. While I won’t be obsessive about it, the goal is to get closer to 90% create, 10% consume. Realistically, it’ll be a success if I can surpass 50-50. My non-creative time will prioritize interactions over mindless consumption.
There have been a few updates to my site to support this new plan. Posts for all destinations will originate here. Starting stuff on your own site seems like a good idea these days.
For RSS addicts like myself, my existing RSS feed will continue to host longer pieces with linked quotes and commentary as before.
Micro-posts and images will also be posted here, but will show up in their own feed, cleverly named Minor Difficulties. RSS readers aren’t great with title-less posts, but the feed should still work fine if you prefer the shorter stuff in Reeder or Fiery Feeds. Those same images and micro-posts will also get routed to Micro.blog if you prefer to see it there. Photos will be artisanally hand-posted to Instagram, because they don’t have an API for anything more modern. Twitter is still TBD.
I’ve even added comments to the site, but they’re not what you think. Click on the “Leave a Comment” link below to learn more. Prepare to be underwhelmend.
As always, thanks for sticking around through all my creative floods and droughts. The internet is full of nice people, and they’re the ones who make it all worthwhile.