I am not sure what my writing will become, but for the first time in a long time I am inspired to write things. Reading and developing notes in a way that works best for my mind has helped, this create connections between the things I think about.
Taking my mind away from pointless dribble on social media has definitely helped with this. Twitter was my favourite place to be online, but has become a cesspool of hate and self promotion to a stage where I can no longer bear it.
What I am lacking is a place to just write. A blank canvas to share some small thoughts and ideas, an online memo pad, and try as I might I just can't stop treating my blog with a higher standing than it deserves.
There have been a few posts recently that highlight the fast pace of conversations on social media. As usual these sorts of things got me thinking, and I can see it bleeding into quite a few places, impatience and rushing are never a good thing.
Back in the very late 1990’s – yeah I’m old – if you received a text message sometimes it would take hours to answer it, or perhaps never at all. This was a world where mobile phones existed but there wasn’t a self imposed need to carry them around. Conversations over text existed, but at an extremely slow pace.
Social networks changed all that, companies encouraged us to start a new conversation, or join in or new trends, or share what we were doing. In reward we got little hits of dopamine when replies flooded in. So of course we checked replies more often, we turned on notifications so we didn’t miss anything, and we all suffered massive does of FOMO.
Designers realised this and started hooking us in with engineered bits of dopamine and the conversations sparked by outrageous topics got louder and faster. People argued with each other, lost hours of their time waiting for a reply, simply to hit back again. Emotions and brain chemicals used against us – and we love it.
I receive similar things over text messaging now. The presumption is that I must have my phone on me so people expect a reply almost instantly. If not I might get a few question marks, or dots. It doesn’t matter what it is, I just don’t want to feel rushed.
Micro.blog feels like I’ve taken a step back into the good ol’days. Conversations can take days or weeks and I feel absolutely zero need to turn on notifications. I can think about things I’ve read, write things out in longer blog posts if needed, and most of all just relax. When I do get a reply I know that it’s something that has been thought through and engaged with – no likes, no thumbs up, no retweets.