Wednesday, October 26, 2022

alternatives

sometime in 2020 (or was it early 2021?), I decided I needed to streamline my social media footprint. until that time, it was a combination of Instagram for photos/videos, Facebook for links and general posts, and twitter for banter. if I had to pick one of the three, Facebook was the obvious winner, simply because it was the jack-of-all-trades, doing everything reasonably well. 

things have changed since then: Facebook has made it significantly more difficult to organise photos/videos, become so ad-littered that I struggle to find stuff to have meaningful conversations over, and my friends probably can't find most of my non-photo posts either. 

Instagram is worse: there isn't (and never was) any sense of organisation, engagement (other than people liking stuff) is ridiculously low, the ad ratio is close if not the same - it is Facebook after all.

Twitter was never a contender as far as being my primary social media platform is concerned, simply because there are too few friends on it. something like 5% of my Facebook friends! no organisation either, and tweets are simply lost in the ether once they are off the timeline. thankfully no ads though.

so, the solution is "none of the above". and in fact, it's now a matter of "build or use?"

as far as using existing platforms is concerned, this blog is one option. it cross-posts to Facebook, can cross-post to twitter, maybe even WhatsApp(!) and telegram, lets me organise stuff as I please, but is extremely limited as far as interaction is concerned. 

the thing with interaction though is, it already seems to be quite one-sided: friends interact with stuff I post more than I interact with stuff they post. as a result, most of my time spent interacting on any social platform seems one-sided and not very rewarding. so maybe it's time to just forget about it.

when it comes to building something new, my options recently reduced thanks to heroku announcing end of their free tier. so I'm going to have to find some new way to post. anything I build will obviously work with zapier, and hence be able to do everything my blog can - but can it do better? so far I don't have any ideas. but that's also because I hardly use my blog. 

so, it's time to move everything to my blog. everything is going to be public again(!).

there is also going to be a significant effort involved in building the structure I want to use. for example, my blog has no categories for any of the stuff I post on Facebook!

I just hope I don't give up halfway and decide it isn't worth it (because that would probably be the end of 20 years of my online presence!). 

Monday, October 10, 2022

hiatus

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.

killjoy

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

alternatives

sometime in 2020 (or was it early 2021?), I decided I needed to streamline my social media footprint. until that time, it was a combination ...