How My Digital Lifestyle is Changing
This post was inspired by the excellent article, “My War on Doomscrolling” by Toby Kurien and takes it a stage further by adding my own thoughts.
The definition of doomscrolling, according to Urban Dictionary is:
When you keep scrolling through all of your social media feeds, looking for the most recent upsetting news about the latest catastrophe. The amount of time spent doing this is directly proportional to how much worse you're going to feel after you're done.
An interesting and thought provoking post that got me thinking about my own digital lifestyle and how I can improve it's health. Unconsciously, I have already taken steps but there is more to do. Here's some rantings and ramblings .....
Traditional Social Media Platforms
The main social media platforms I use are becoming more and more toxic and inhospitable for me. Twitter, Facebook et al have for some considerable time been, time consuming places to visit and you can spend hours of your life scrolling down through countless posts and photos. I think it's ok for a quick catch up on true friends or family but too often in the past I have spent too much time here.
The timelines themselves, especially on Facebook, have become terribly manipulated and censored. Hey Facebook, I'm a big boy and don't need you to feed me stuff! Just give me a true timeline please. Similar with Twitter which I used to use for news (as I don't read main stream media). But again, with the censoring of timelines I am being fed one reality only. I actually want to read both sides of a story and make my own mind up.
I limit myself to just a few quick visits a day (there is an exception when my favourite football team are playing as I like to catch all the thoughts and views of supporters on Twitter. I find this fun).
Federated Social Media Platforms
I love the idea of Federation (the #fediverse). Hundreds, maybe thousands of small servers running a social platform rather all in the hands of a giant company. You could run your own.This diversifies control. My favourite is Mastodon which I see as a direct replacement for Twitter. It's really cool and I've met some interesting people on there. I use it specifically to research ideas, new projects and find it good for that.
I believe writing your own creative content is really good for the soul. If you think about it, Twitter and Facebook etc will have you believe that the place to upload your creative content is their platform. In the main, this has stiffled creative content and people become lazy and upload a photo and add a small sentence. They then wait and keep checking for the likes counter to rise. Why? The point? In a few days that record of your photo is lost in the ether until Facebook maybe decide a year later they want to show it to you.
Writing creative content should be on your own site, on your own domains, under a system that you have full control. That has to be the first place to put YOUR content. Sure, afterwards let Facebook and Twitter have a link if you wish, but your own place is the most important, not theirs! Yours, to do with as you wish, when you wish.
Your data is your data!
This change in my digital thinking has sparked a new effort of creative writing for me. I have restarted blogging and micro blogging about daily thoughts and events. Are they interesting? Maybe to some, maybe not to others. The point is .... it doesn't matter. It's my thoughts. It's what I want to say. If they help or entertain another than that's a bonus.
My father passed away in December aged 94. He had a “good innings” as we say in Yorkshire. Thankfully he left us with lots of notes about his life. Similarly my grandfather, who died in the 1980's left handwritten notes about his experiences in World War One. All these notes, whether handwritten or digital left a record for the descendants. A family history. I think this is so important and cannot be overlooked. I need to record my life and make it easily accessible.
By the way, I've also started writing a book. More about that another day.
Yes make time to forget the digital age. Leave the computer behind and get out into the fresh air. Enjoy nature, take a hike, sit and be still, enjoy the sun, go and meet a friend. Personally, I head to the mountains if I feel the need to clear my head. It's where I find my peace. You're maybe different, it doesn't matter.