My original plan for the weekend involved driving up to Chicago to see my Dad and friends. After those plans changed, I sat around Friday night trying to plan my weekend. I decided not to do much at all. I accomplished this goal in an exemplary manner. I also decided to take a social media, or as I prefer to call it online community, break. This allowed me to take stock of my current online life. So in what way do I currently interact with people online?
Email: I actually kept doing this over the weekend. I have to read email in case something goes wrong at work. Email is one of the oldies but I still really like it. You can be as short or verbose as you want. An immediate reply is not needed so you can read at your own pace and respond when you want.
Twitter: Probably my most common online interaction. I use it on my phone, my tablet, and on my computer when at work or home. When I wake up in the morning one of my rituals is to look through all the tweets while I was asleep. Disconnecting from twitter for the first time in probably a couple of years I learned something I don’t like about it. The immediacy of twitter requires you to almost constantly be looking at it. I follow enough people that if I don’t check about every hour it gets daunting. The first day I wasn’t reading twitter I got anxious. What was a missing? Did someone just announce something important. Yeah you can scroll back(I didn’t go back and read my feed after I came back online). It helped me confirm my love for email and blogging. They let you proceed and your own pace.
Blogs: I’ve rediscovered my love of blog reading. Like I said above, I can approach them at my own pace. I know it will still be there when I am ready. I read a lot of personal blogs and I love catching up on peoples lives. Once my weekend was over there sat all my blog friends in my reader just waiting to start my week.
Message Boards/Forums: Another old technology but also one of my favorites. I’ve been active on message boards since the mid nineties. I still frequent a few message boards, mostly around sports teams. It was hard this weekend because there were two big loses and nothing is better than going on a message board and seeing all the fans panicking and complaining.
IRC: IRC is one of the oldest if not the oldest form of online chat. I first logged onto an irc chat in 1991. There are a couple of rooms I still somewhat frequent. My irc time has continued to drop over the last few years. I didn’t find it hard to give this up.
Reddit: A warning up front: Don’t ever go to reddit, EVER! It’s s horrible place. I like to call it the greatest collection of morons humanities ever produced. And yet for some reason I am addicted to looking at it almost constantly throughout the day. What I mostly get from reddit are laughs. I sometimes laugh at the content but I mostly laugh at the people. After this weekend I realized I am just a happier person if I don’t read reddit. So back on the banned list it goes.
Google+: Google+ is interesting. It’s basically facebook for people I don’t actually know but find interesting. If you are a geek it’s a fun place full of interesting people. But even with that my use has steadily been growing less of the past months. I hardly post anything there anymore and I don’t really read that much. I’ve actually put a lot of people I follow into a list where I don’t really see any of their stuff. I dutifully open google+ every morning and then hardly look at it.
pinterest: I joined pinterest to have a place I could just put recipes I found on the web. In a world of snark and negativity, pinterest soothes with its nice community and pleasant pictures. The truth is I don’t pin much and only go there about twice a day. So not using it was easy.
Facebook: You probably wondered when I would get to it. I have a facebook account but I don’t use it or post there. To be blunt, I hate facebook. I am writing a long post on why I think facebook is evil and should be destroyed in a glorious cleaning fire 🙂
What where my take aways? I love blogging, but already knew that. I hate reddit but already knew that. I just decided to block it from my laugh.
Cross posted on my tech blog http://www.tech-surge.com/2013/03/my-weekend-sans-social-media.html