It’s time for a new habit.
Like many, I spend too much time on social media. I was able to avoid Facebook hell, I rarely read Reddit, but I couldn’t resist the seductive chirping of The Twitter.
So to me, social media is Twitter.
When I started, I saw Twitter as a challenge. You have 140 characters—How do I share thoughts succinctly? For a while I saw it as a tool to improve my writing—Less is more. But today it’s one of my greatest distractions. Yes I’m more informed about world and industry events, as well as the accomplishments of friends, but even with my curated feed it’s sensory overload. All I need is to read one bad take and I can lose hours.
I hate that. I hate feeling unproductive.
I wish I was here to say “I’m quitting social media”, but what I do is so closely tied to social media, communication, and marketing, that it’s not really possible. I just don’t feel accomplished using Twitter, and I’m not sure I ever did. As a medium it’s summary at best, or a hot-take at worst. Twitter is a broadcast medium, and in hindsight I don’t think it’s healthy for me to have immediate access to other people’s thoughts.
So no, I’m not quitting, but I am changing my approach. I will try using social media less; Replace it with something new, but old: blogging.
To me blogging is a distraction, but given how my brain works, it’s a productive distraction. I think out loud, both by speaking and writing. I feel I’m most organized when my thoughts are written down; It means they’re no longer trapped in my head. I’m not going to say I was more productive when I blogged regularly, but there’s a satisfaction to it, and I miss it.
So, generally speaking, goal #1 for 2022 is to write more.
As my social media use grew, blogging felt less important to me. Social media became where my casual thoughts went. I didn’t stop using my blog though, it just switched to something I call a “note-blog”. Like a notebook, whatever I was up to, I took notes; But like a blog, I tried to structure it. I wasn’t too strict with my structure, at most requiring an intro before I delved into the chaos. It was good, and I plan to continue this in its own section.
But unlike blogging, note-blogging is a structured information dump, similar to note-taking in a class at school. In hindsight it wasn’t a substitute for blogging. I lost something when my blog became just regurgitation.
Eventually my social media use became stagnant. With over 10k followers, I had an audience. That combined with my credentials—over 20 years of professional experience in making games—it was a lot of pressure to be right. On social media, my now sole casual commentary outlet, I didn’t feel safe being wrong. I also put way too much thought into engagement, crafting the perfect Tweet(s). With no edit button, when you delete-and-tweet again, you’re flooding; This hurts engagement. If something catches on, you can’t fix it.
It’s not a healthy medium if you think out loud.
I’m reluctant to say “I’m going to start blogging weekly”, but I would like that. I’m not sure what it’ll take for me to be consistent. I constantly battle with the idea of something becoming a chore. I want this to stay positive, I want to do this for me, and I want to be excited to do it. I want to be open and unafraid to be venerable.
Most importantly, I want to start. And with this, I’ve started.
Hello blog. Hello blogging. I’ve missed you.