Blogging

Should you blog? Should you post? Should you like?

I am a big fan of Professor Cal Newport’s ideas about work and how to use technology properly. He has never had a social media account, but rather has how own website, https://www.calnewport.com/. Rather than limiting himself to Twitter’s 140 characters or posting something jejune on your Facebook wall, he owns his content.

The other point he makes is that by limiting or eliminating your time spent on social media platforms, you take yourself out of the hyperactive hivemind that most of us get sucked into. Rather than idly scrolling through everyone’s Facebook wall or responses to a Twitter feed, by blogging on your own site you can ignore comments (or turn that function off) and read one post or page at a time.

Rather than using email as a general purpose communication system for every time of message you could send or receive, have custom designed email addresses for the projects you run. I used to have a Gmail address that was firstnamelastname@gmail.com, but have switched to Protonmail addresses with specific addresses for blogging, Scouts, online purchases, etc.

As to the prospect of limiting your time on social media, you might be thinking: I will miss out on my favorite uncle’s cat pictures or I need to stay abreast of the current news articles. First ask yourself what you gain by using Facebook, Twitter, Discord, or any other new social app. How much time do you spend on the site consuming other’s ideas or images? If you originally joined a specific site for a club or group, pare down your use of the site so that it only serves the function for how you communicate with the club. As an example, you could check Facebook messages on Saturday mornings while you drink coffee, while minimizing the extra information scrolling by.

For a deeper approach, try a digital detox for 30 days. Essentially, remove all the apps from your phone that are optional. If you need an app or function for work or family, don’t remove it. You’ll also define use policies for how you use your phone, computer, or whatever devices you use. Don’t use your phone when you are bored. Very importantly: find a real world hobby to take up your free time. Create something. You will probably learn something about yourself.

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