Suw Charman-Anderson commenting on a great post from David Weinberger:
I wonder too if my lack of blog writing is related to a lack of blog reading. My RSS reader became so clogged that I feared it, wouldn’t open it, and ultimately, abandoned it. And then Twitter and now Zite arrived to provide me with random rewards for clicking and swiping, showing me stuff that I had no idea I wanted to read. Instead of following the writings of a small cadre of smart, lovely people whom I am proud to call my friends, I read random crap off the internet that some algorithm thinks I might be interested in, or that is recommended by the people I follow on Twitter.
This resonates pretty deeply for me. I’ve always been somewhat an angsty blogger, or angsty about blogging. It’s been a long time since I felt like I’ve blogged often enough, or, more importantly, “well” enough. (So many truly brilliant people I read today make me feel totally unworthy.) I know every writer struggles with these demons (I can’t read those that don’t,) but what Suw writes above cuts to much of my experience over the past few years.
But then there’s this: At the beginning of last year, I lost all sense of balance with social media. Trying to start a weekly parent newsletter (which will be back in some form at some point, I promise) meant non-stop reading and thinking and writing to the point where my brain just started to fry. And then did fry.
No surprise then, looking back on it, that I started running again last June. And I’ve run or done something workout related almost every day since. I may actually be in the best physical shape of my life. And it’s because something just clicked and said “step away from the Twitter.” Not that I’ve been absent completely, but I find myself less and less inclined to put all of this before my kids, my wife, my sanity. I’m physically away enough already. I’m choosing to be present in a way I’d forgotten. I’m learning to carve out important offline time to write and create. And it’s good.
I still believe that these technologies provide us huge opportunities to learn and to create and to change the world for good, but I’ve been realizing more and more that for me, at least, they can also distract in ways that aren’t wonderful. Kudos to those of you who don’t share in that struggle. And to be honest, I’m just weary of the egos. I’m thinking the best way forward might be to follow “the writings of a small cadre of smart, lovely people whom I am proud to call my friends” and let the rest of it just float on by. As Suw says, that may or may not be a good thing. Serendipity and randomness have their merits.
Three basketball games to watch my kids play this afternoon…don’t expect me on Twitter.