Social is no fun

I recently re-activated my Facebook account after a few months away. I missed seeing updates from family members and a few close friends. I also missed some of the topic-based “groups” I was part of.

I took a month or so off Twitter also, but now am back.

I’m finding that being on social media isn’t much fun anymore. I’ll stay for now, but the thrill is long gone.

Social is no fun

A Short Break from Twitter

I haven’t been “on” Twitter since the first of the year. As of today that means it’s been a whole week. It sounds stupid just saying that, “A whole week.” Big deal. But, it’s been surprisingly difficult to stay away.

I realized that I was using Twitter as an excuse to do nothing useful. I’d scroll and click and scroll and click and I loved it. So what’s the problem? The problem is that I was always looking for something new to do, or more likely, just hoping to be entertained. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but I was doing it during every spare moment, and frequently in moments that I couldn’t spare. Not productive.

Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, so I’m taking a break. I don’t know how long it will last. It’s just an experiment.

  • I’d like to lose my pervasive fear of missing out.
  • I want to know if my background stress level changes.
  • I want to learn to seek things out deliberately rather than passively having everything streamed at me.
  • I want to reduce my intake of snark and false outrage.

One immediate side effect is that after one week without Twitter I’m already less angry at the world. That’s something worth pursuing.

In the meantime, I’ll be here at and probably more active on Instagram.

A Short Break from Twitter

See You After the Election, Twitter

I’ve been doing my best to stay calm during the past few months of this insane
election season. My Twitter feed is mostly filled with sensible people like me
who believe Trump is nothing short of a threat to our existence. This is nice,
but even the folks who agree with me are becoming harsh and angry and shallow.

It’s exhausting.

I’m going to bail on Twitter and other social media outlets until this is over.
See you on the other side.

See You After the Election, Twitter

Twitter not considered harmful

I read things and wonder about them. For example, is Twitter a distraction that twitterI should jettison? Is it making me unhappy?


I’m sure I would not be, as many seem to suggest, “happier” if I ignored Twitter. Twitter is fine. I spend less than an hour a day reading/posting. I follow people I enjoy. I’m endlessly amused by things people post. I get my news and can communicate with people it would be difficult to contact otherwise.

Please stop telling me that Twitter is too distracting. Or worse, harmful.

Twitter not considered harmful

Tragedy of the Stream

Mike Caulfield

This is the Tragedy of the Stream, folks. The conversations of yesterday, which contain so much useful information, are locked into those conversations, frozen in time. To extract the useful information from them becomes an unrewarding and at times impossible endeavor. Few people, if any, stop to refactor, rearrange the resources, gloss or introduce them to outsiders. We don’t go back to old pieces to add links on them to the things we have learned since, or rewrite them for clarity or timelessness.

I worry about this. At Fusionary, we use Slack for nearly all internal communication. It’s fantastic, but important corporate knowledge becomes lost in the stream. It’s not just Slack. It’s email, JIRA, Basecamp, etc.

I sometimes make the effort to extract valuable information from Slack, etc. and refactor it in our Confluence wiki, but I’m the only person who does and it’s not enough.

Tragedy of the Stream


Ello logo

Ello launched last year and of course I signed up as soon as I could. It was hyped at the time as the “anti-Facebook”. This appealed to me since I’m rather anti-Facebook myself.

But I was disappointed. I found the layout and typography to be a little too quirky, and it seemed there were more bugs than people. I posted a few things, followed a few people, and soon forgot about Ello.

As I become more privacy-aware, sites like Ello become more attractive. From Ello & Your Data:

Ello is a Public Benefit Corporation, with a legal obligation to never display paid third party advertising, sell user data to a third party, or sell our company to anyone that would ever do any of those things.

That seems like a good thing. The cynics among us respond with “But it’s a free service so they’ll have to sell ads eventually”. Perhaps, but at least Ello is trying to do the right thing. That’s a good start. Plus, the odd typographical and layout choices are beginning to grow on me. At first I thought it was simply a trying-too-hard attempt at being different. Now, I’m more inclined to simply enjoy the differences. It’s peaceful there.

I hope Ello survives because I think we can use a privacy-aware social network catering to the creative and other communities.

I’m @jackbaty on Ello.


Screen addiction (or why Grandma's sad) – Kottke


People on smartphones are not anti-social. They’re super-social. Phones allow people to be with the people they love the most all the time, which is the way humans probably used to be, until technology allowed for greater freedom of movement around the globe. People spending time on their phones in the presence of others aren’t necessarily rude because rudeness is a social contract about appropriate behavior and, as Hermann points out, social norms can vary widely between age groups

Like Kottke, I am trying to believe this. It’s taking a long time but I’m getting there.