Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Monday, October 10, 2022
i only realized 5 minutes ago that my last post (before the one I posted 5 minutes ago) was 3 months ago! in fact, I had so completely forgotten about this blog that I'm now surprised I even remembered to type the last post - there has literally been a mental pathway that I seem to have stopped using! for example my birthday went by a couple of months ago and for the first time since the inception of this blog, I completely forgot to write about it! and it wasn't even for lack of content. in fact, I have more than the usual stuff to write about, and I also have more than the usual stuff to write about that I haven't been posting elsewhere (ie facebook/twitter)!
why then have I stopped blogging?
the answer is literally right in front of me as soon as I consciously started thinking about it: the internet (specifically social media, or more accurately, Web 2.0) has rewired me.
I have always been big on social media - to the extent that I have probably been called a social media butterfly at one point (at least a few years ago to be fair). the biggest difference though is that while the amount of time I spend producing content has reduced, the time I spend consuming content has increased.
And most of the content I consume isn't particularly high on the cost/benefit scale I'm used to measuring my energy-weighted time and effort by.
Has facebook's algorithm's become inexplicably more addictive? I don't think I'm objective enough to be able to say. But something I'm more convinced of is that I've been trying to apply the same "dopamine feedback" loop that instant-gratification forms of social media promote, to other forms (like this blog).
this blog doesn't provide instant (or possibly any palpable) gratification. nobody comments. there is no like button (it does get cross-posted to facebook and there is a like button there, but I'm not sure if that counts), there are no notifications other than emails that get buried under hundreds of more important ones. heck, i recently exported my email subscribers (yes, google just killed feedburner, they want you on that dopamine feedback loop too!) and it was all of TWO. two subscribers over 15 years.
I know I'm actually writing this (and pretty much everything) for myself, but I can't help feeling that repeated reinforcement that nobody cares has caused me to stop caring too.
except that I do care. I care as long as I type. I stop caring once I click publish. But isn't that what it's supposed to be?
I feel that dopamine hit coming along as I hover over the bright orange button, ready to click - and feel the need to fight it. because too much of this good thing is most definitely bad.
either way, i'm back.
apparently, one way to be a killjoy is to encourage others to pursue happiness using principles that seem to have worked for you.
Counterintuituve, but I think this might be because:
- since happiness is objective, nobody is definitively happier than anybody else
- the act of promoting "what worked for me" to somebody else is likely reduce their chances of finding happiness
- pushing somebody to find something they aren't conciously searching for is likely to make said thing more elusive as they're now being forced to search for it
- logic as a means of pursuing anything seems to work for some things more than others, and an attempt to fit something emotional into a logical process seems self contradictory and possibly self defeating
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