I’m at a conference, having dinner with some of the attendees. I’ve met them before, know them well enough on a professional basis and talk turns to Twitter and Facebook.
Turns out the three of us are developing very similar relationships with Twitter and Facebook, namely that we now approach each service with a view on how much quality we will get from them.
Twitter is the easiest one to tackle. I have two Twitter accounts, a personal one which is useful (in a limited way) for keeping up to date with the goings-on of a mish-mash of friends and colleagues, and a professional one to which I push interesting articles but in which I don’t spend all that much time. It is becoming increasingly easy to avoid Twitter.
Why? Because it rarely offers me anything of deep quality. From time to time someone will say something I will follow up, or a link will be posted that leads to something interesting but most of the time, and this isn’t a bad thing just the nature of the beast, it is transient.
Facebook for me is slightly different, it is more focused on closer friends and family but fundamentally still has a similar transient feel. If I don’t check it for a couple of days I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything.
What we realised at dinner last night is that we all crave more from the time we use. Twitter and Facebook can suck hours from your day for scant reward. There is little nourishment there.
I mentioned that I’ve started looking to services such as LongReads and Byliner to get longer things to read, things which have substance and which, after reading, I feel like I’ve learned something or certainly spent an hour or so lost in something interesting. It’s also why I backed the Matter project on kickstarter.
Is it an age thing? As I get older, am I putting more emphasis on ‘me’ time and wanting that to be substantive and meaningful? Perhaps.
Or perhaps it’s just a kick back against the constant stream of information, the overloaded streams that flow into my computer, my phone, demanding my attention.
This blog, at one point, was called “Informationally Overloaded” and I think, these days, it’s becoming more and more true.