This all started here. And by “start”, I probably more accurately mean “culminate”.
See, this here blog has pretty much died. I don’t take much landscape photography these days, as I’m not really surrounded by landscape that inspires me to shoot it. I do get some shooting in when we get out and about, but that’s really few and far between. Another contributor is the incremental improvements in phone cameras means that I’m generally shooting with my phone than with my DSLR (as you shoot with the camera that you have on you), and the workflow on that device makes it FAR simpler for me to post on Instagram and crosspost to Facebook. I really should link Instagram to start going here, as well…hmm…
But so, everything else that would have ordinarily happened here? Now happens on Facebook. If I find cool links (on Reddit, usually), they end up on FB. Pictures, like I describe above. Political & social demagoguery gets spewed on FB. Pretty much everything but large blocks of text (like this one) and big photo dumps happen now on social media.
I think I need to do a serious accounting of the wheres and why-fores, and especially, the how-much. Like, maybe I need to banish social media from my devices, or limit it to just a single device (I genuinely loathe and am seriously skeeved out by how invasive FB has become in reading texts, emails, browsing history and everything else they feel entitled to as long as we leave ourselves logged in).
But the fact of the matter is that I am JEALOUS of the scope of the audience they have amassed, and it is the rare 10% of my own connections that keep me engaged.
This is definitely something I need to think through, to seriously and honestly assess my motivations and the use of my time.
(Editor’s note: in the interest of saving y’all the tedium of my usage inventory, I’ll attach it at the end of this message, and here, I’ll just jump to the analysis…you’re welcome…)
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Well, I have a week’s worth of data, and I guess I don’t really need to do the math. When looked at from a macro level, besides work, I spend more time on social media than anything else (except sleep, and that’s a close runner). And yet, it’s been one of my stated goals for this year to actually do LESS of it. There’s obviously some disordered thinking going on here, and I have to examine it.
- It’s an enormous timesink: primarily, I use Facebook and Reddit. And, recently, a LOT of that time is actually playing mindless grind games like WSOP and Deer Hunter. And yeah, there’s some Instagram and Twitter thrown in there, and occasionally Tumblr. Even less time is spent on things like Pinterest and Goodreads. I depend occasionally on Yelp for food recommendations (hit and miss, like everything else), and LinkedIn feels like a necessity because it has effectively replaced the initial contact within the job market (the last four gigs I’ve gotten have all come through LinkedIn). But mostly, the time-wasting happens on Facebook (especially the social/grind games) and Reddit.
- It’s scorchingly narcissistic: if this isn’t prima facie evident, then you might as well stop reading now and get back to taking selfies. What makes this worse is that it is a consensual masquerade of communal activity by way of everyone being narcissistic TOGETHER.
- It’s overwhelmingly negative: it has to be said — for each of the very few people that I have stayed connected (or re-connected) with, there have been 10 folks with whom I accepted connections and have come to regret. Forget the incessant poking, the yammering political stupidities, the bad grammar, the reinforcement of cliques and all the rest of that claptrap (although it is relevant, too). Overwhelmingingly, NO ONE IS LISTENING BECAUSE EVERYONE IS YELLING. Maybe that shouldn’t be in all caps, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
How do I do this “reduce social media time” thing? Cold turkey seems doomed to failure and self-recrimination. Maybe I need to set up a reward for having gotten something done on my priorities list? I doubt I have the tools for that kind of transactional self-discipline. Even now — RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS — I have the strong urge to check into Facebook and go grind through my Deer Hunter updates — FOR WHAT? To get to the next level? To get the next gun upgrades? To see what pieces of the hidden maps I can find? SO FUCKING WHAT?!?!? Gah…
I do have to recognize that there is SOME value to the “sharpening the saw” aspect. There has always been something I use to just unplug. I don’t really enjoy television, and gaming has always been an unplug activity for me: Unreal Tournament, Soldier of Fortune, Red Faction, WWF — all of these things I do just to “fill a drool cup”, not because the activities themselves are intrinsically valuable.
But the challenge is that I feel like I don’t have enough time in my life for the things that I want to do, and SM is an enormous chunk of time. Maybe I need to scale it back — get it off my devices and stop giving myself the distraction. Like I should probably put a distraction blocker on my work machine, maybe look into those as a way of managing my SM time while at home, as well…
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- 8:00 AM, ~10 minutes: a brief check on Facebook while drinking my morning coffee and downing the day’s regimen of supplements and vitamins. Catch up on a couple WWF games. Bug out for the commute to work.
- 8:20 AM, ~2 minutes: on the iPhone, standing on the platform of the train station, waiting for the train. Gah, really?
- 9:20 AM, ~10 minutes: after arriving from work, I realized I still had a browser session logged in. I scrolled through the first few posts, and I was irritated by the vast amount of non-content there was on the timeline. So what did I do? I banged out an off-the-cuff status bitching about all the advertising and how it might be a good reason to stop using Facebook, for which I got taken to task by — what? The Facebook Defense League? Nope: just the standard cadre of devil’s advocates and demi-trolls who seem to like nothing more than simply to provide an opposition. Oh, and of course, a couple of decent folks who sorta nodded along with my sentiments but also voiced how much they enjoyed staying in contact (however tenuous it is vis-a-vis social media).
- ~10:30 AM, ~5 minutes: taking a crap. Yep, I said it. Responded to a couple of the comments my off-the-cuff post garnered. Also probably spent another ~10 minutes here browsing Reddit.
- ~12:45 PM, ~10 minutes: eating lunch and ruminating over the weeds of FB. More commentary on my post.
- ~3:30 PM, ~5 minutes: dropping a link to a blog post I found whilst grooming my RSS feeds.
- And here don’t we have something special — my off-the-cuff whinging earlier got all sorts of comments and likes, but yet, the link to the blog post, for which the core message was “Love, strive, believe and hope” got just one Like. Like, I can’t even…
- ~9:00 PM, ~30 minutes: posting a picture and video from Sunshine’s and my archery practice from earlier in the evening. New profile pic. Subtle brag on the video about getting my groupings looking better. A little hate post about the stupid Supreme Court decision regarding Hobby Lobby today.
(5 minutes later: GAH — so, I’m now deliberately logging off of Facebook and closing out the browser. Guess what? Facebook has integrated itself with my desktop notification system — like, I never even noticed this before, but I had to go into that notification system and disable Facebook & remove its tentacles there. Feh.)
- Woke up to micturate at 3:00 AM, couldn’t get back to sleep. Spent the next TWO AND A HALF HOURS grooming FB, Reddit, Tumblr and even Pinterest. I really hate my cortisol cycles, I wish I knew how to fix them. Finally got back to sleep around 6-ish, struggled out of bed at 8:15. Probably another 5 minutes of FB browsing — why? I don’t know…really, this is seeming ridiculous.
- On the train in, ran into a co-worker who mentioned needling me on a status, which precipitated this very conversation about wondering why I spend ANY no less SO MUCH time on various social media and the concomitant death of this here blog. Still, once I got in, I had to go see what he posted. Such a slave… (I think they call this foreshadowing…). Also, logged out and shut down all of the browser tabs holding SM (FB, Twitter, Instagram). Openly wondering if RSS feeds qualify; think I’m going to decide for now that they don’t…
- ~10:30 AM, ~5 minutes: FB on the toilet.
- ~4:55 PM: logged in to grind some Deer Hunter during halftime of the World Cup game. Fell into some status updates and comment banter. Watched a Jenna Marbles video (and now I want that five minutes of my life back). And finally brought up the game, 20 minutes later. Finished my DH grind at 5:40 PM. Wow, that’s a lot of time…
- ~ 5:45PM, ~30 minutes: browsing Reddit while waiting for this god-awful World Cup game to end.
- ~10:00 PM, ~30 minutes: FB Deer Hunter grind
Being the first of the month, I’m trying meditation again. Hooked up the HRV monitor, downloaded Sam Harris’ 9-minute guided meditation. Unfortunately, I’m back on the Allegra-D (as in Decongestant) because I ran out of my hippy-dippy anti-allergy concoction (will go rectify that).
- Again, up in the middle of the night, ~3:00 for about an hour, grooming Reddit & some Tumblr. I think a little FB there, too. It’s like I don’t even notice it happening anymore. Had a weird muscle spasm in my left knee that actually prevented me from falling back asleep, but I do feel like the meditation may have had something to do with the slightly better sleep I got last night. That, or just the carry-forward exhaustion from the three hour gap I’d had the night before…
- ~8:05 AM: Fatbet wrap-up on FB, DH grind (probably a little TOO much time wasted on that one…). Time for the commute at 9:00 AM (heh).
- ~12:40 PM: a little RSS’ing, blog reading, and about 5 minutes of FB.
- ~9:00 PM, ~60 minutes (at least): FB’ing, DH grind, some Redditing.
But I also got a great meditation session in and sleep pretty soundly — was up once to pee but didn’t stay up for the normal 1-2 hours.
- ~6:30 AM, ~15 minutes: a little FB grooming, some Redditing.
- ~9:30 AM, ~15 minutes: again.
- ~12:00 PM, ~60 minutes: FB, DH grind…
- ~3:00 PM, ~30 minutes: DH grind…
- ~7:00 PM, ~30 minutes: WSOP during dinner cooking…
- ~9:00 PM, ~60 minutes: WSOP
- ~10:00 PM, ~30 minutes: DH grind…
A good day off, with a fairly comical scene where I was caught outside grilling when the rain blew in. If I stepped out of the rain, it would stop. If I stepped back out, it would start pouring again. Still, an excellent lemon/sage chicken with some chili/lime grilled sweet potato. It could have been better, but it could have been way, way worse.
Slept in, decent night’s sleep, up a couple of brief times, did some Reddit’ing, call it ~30 minutes.
- ~11:30 AM, ~60 minutes: FB grooming, DH grind.
- ~12:00 PM, ~60 minutes: WSOP
- ~3:25 PM, 5 minutes: Instagramming these awesome homemade mojitos.
- 3:30 PM, 35 minutes: DH grind…
- 6:40 PM, 20 minutes: DH grind…
Decent fireworks in Collingswood, I deliberately did not shoot them. Although there are a few local events that got postponed because of the hurricane, so I might still be able to get some shooting in…
Seems like I got a better night’s sleep, even though the meditation didn’t go nearly as well (stuffed up nose made breathing difficult and therefore focus on breathing not exactly relaxing…)
- Woke around 6:00 AM with my lungs rattling full of mucus. Took both the quercetin/bromelain and Allegra-D. Unfortunately, the pseudo ephedrine hit in the Allegra-D meant no more sleep. Some Reddit (30 mins), some Tumblr (30 mins), some Instagram (10 mins), some WSOP (30 mins). Eventually dragged ass out of bed around 8:45 to get some breakfast.
- ~9:30 AM, 30 minutes: DH grind, some other FB’ing
- ~4:30 PM, 30 minutes: DH grind, some other FB’ing
- We slept on the queen bed last night, and went to bed really late, so those two factors may account for the outcomes: namely, I only woke a couple of times during the night, and then only got up to pee once, and never really had any big interruptions in my sleep. My shoulders are still seriously sore, but that may be a function of the first night in the different bed. It may turn out that we end up going back and forth between the two beds for the time being…
- 11:10 AM, ~80 minutes (!!!): FB’ing, DH grind (long one), some WWF. Kinda feel dirty now.
- 2:50 PM, ~30 minutes: FB, DH grind
- 6:00 PM, ~20 minutes: FB, DH grind
- 10:45 PM, ~5 minutes: posting fireworks pictures on FB
- 10:50 PM, ~25 minutes: FB, DH grind
Shot some fireworks, did a bunch of blog posting, kind of a day of getting my house in order. It was a good day.
Two days straight I’ve posted links to pictures I shot of fireworks. I thought I’d done an OK job, not great, but I’m a little stunned that I’m not getting any responses at all. Of course, it is entirely possible that the time of day I posted them (both at 11pm-ish) means that not a lot of people are seeing them. But it’s also possible that Facebook has decided to bury them. I will give it another day or so, and maybe bump them Tuesday morning to see how it goes. Might also try cross posting to G+ to see what else I can get.
But so I know that I logged into FB this morning to get my grind on with DH, and decided that I was butthurt enough about the total lack of response to either post that I decided to log back out and just move on with my day.
- ~6:00 AM, ~10 minutes: FB browsing while laying in bed
- ~6:10 AM, ~30 minutes: Tumblr, while laying in bed
- ~6:40 AM, ~20 minutes: Reddit, while laying in bed. Finally gave up and got up.
- ~3:30 PM, ~2 minutes: crosspost from RSS to FB
- ~6:00 PM, ~10 minutes: FB browsing