Finding time for Long-Form Writing and Other Pursuits.

Finding time for Long Form Writing

This morning I read twenty percent of a book whilst sitting in the car waiting for shops to open. In the process I occasionally looked up to see private jets and airlines fly over me. A few years ago in the same situation I would have been staring at my phone. I would have been refreshing twitter and Facebook looking for conversations. These days social media marketers and others are using social media as if they were Really Simple Syndication feeds, RSS. The problem with RSS feeds is that there a low signal to noise ratio. You need to skip hundreds of pieces of content for one or two worthwhile posts.

Highest Return on Investment for Social Media

When I finished university in London I had an extremely high return on investment for the time spent with twitter, Facebook and social networks. I was invited to events, to alpha projects and establishing friendships that last to this day. When I left London Facebook and twitter were still sticky because I was able to keep in contact with friends in a diversity of geographic locations. We’re the easyjet generation after all.

Flooded with content rather than Conversation

For several months now I have been spending less and less time with social media, not because my desire to socialise has gone down but because the success rate has suffered. News organisations, celebrities, personalities and brands are flooding social media with content rather than conversation. Facebook and Twitter have algorithms to make sure that brand and paid for content is seen a dozen times. A consequence is that we don’t see conversations. Not seeing conversations negates the purpose of social media.

Back to Passive pass-times.

Without conversations on social media we can go back to reading books, playing computer games, watching television series, blogging and more. The reason we came to social media was to socialise. The reason we cut down on social media is that like the bars, pubs and playgrounds of our childhood people have moved on. Some are in their marriage bubble, others are focused on their career and yet more are enjoying sports.

This year I will try to finish at least one book every two weeks. I will try to go on multi-day hikes every single weekend and more. We can also go back to reading and writing blog posts.

A missed opportunity.

When I was in London and we were living the golden age of social media I almost started to believe that social media adoption rates were increasing so much that they would be a great way to meet people who lived within walking or driving distance. For a moment being an online introvert was fruitious. over time of course engagement decayed and social media stopped being a practical place for introverts to meet up. Commercialism turned social media into the same competition as the Physical world.









2 responses to “Finding time for Long-Form Writing and Other Pursuits.”

  1. Chloe Gilbert avatar

    I’m finding that I’m doing the same these days. Twitter has become a torrent of noise and nobody seems to be really conversing these days. I had a lot of value out of early Twitter, and made some good friends as well as getting support for things like programming and events etc. Lately as you say it’s become useless. Facebook for me was always a way of keeping in touch with close friends and family, as well as getting support and organising events. But in the last few years it’s got worse and gone from a time sink to a toxic mess.

    I like blogs, they’re honest, you can make longer articles and people are guaranteed to see them if they want, and they’re longer lasting. Blogs will be around long after Facebook has gone away.

  2. richard avatar

    The strength of twitter was when it was used as a synchronous conversation medium. Once people fed RSS content to the medium it lost it’s primary purpose.

    That’s where blogging regains its appeal. We can comment and wait for a few hours before answering.

    We’ve been blogging for two decades by now. :-).

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