It makes me feel like everything I’ve posted over the past four years on Twitter, Jaiku, Friendfeed, Plurk, Pownce, and, yes, Google Buzz, has been an immense waste of time. I was shouting into a vast echo chamber where no one could hear me because they were too busy shouting themselves. All this time I’ve been pumping content into the void[.] How humiliating. How demoralizing.
For my summer holiday I decided to take a break both off- and online. For two weeks I didn’t tweet or blog, though I did check email (mainly for practical reasons) and post some holiday snaps and videos to Flickr / YouTube.
The break was immensely enjoyable. It felt nice not to have the constant whirr of web activity going on in the background or the pressure (self-inflicted) when it comes to blogging of doing it at least once a day (Blogging Best Practice, Standard Tip no.2).
But I did miss parts of it. Regarding Twitter I missed friends whose thoughts and opinions I value. Regarding blogging I missed the space the medium provides for thinking about, processing and arguing points in a relatively safe environment (safe in the sense no one really reads it).
Now that I’m back online it’s taken me a bit of time to get going again. I’m skimming through my Twitter feed much quicker than I did before, mainly picking out the good folk and not taking in much of the other stuff. Blogging wise, I currently feel much more relaxed about it and am edging towards the quality over quantity approach.
Which is to say that I’ve reconsidered my web life and am going to amend my behaviour as a result.
In the main this will mean tweeting less overall, following fewer people and using it more in down time than in up. For blogging, it will mean I’ll blog when I can and only when I want to, rather than when I feel I have to.
The main results will be two-fold: more time in the immediate things going on around me, and more time to seek input (friends, reading, films etc.) rather than time on commentary on the input.
The results of the results, of course, will probably feed into more tweeting and blogging. But it will be a virtuous cycle, rather than the one I was in before the holiday, which was more a case of drowning, not waving.
(The opening quote is taken from Leo Laporte. For another perspective on this broad topic, see my valued co-blogger Phil’s thoughts.)