In the last hours of 2015 the story on how Social networks are turning the internet into television by Hossein Derakhshan came to me, via Facebook, of course. He writes about striking contrast between internet as a web with its hyperlinked currency before and the television model that it’s becoming now:
Even before I went to jail, though, the power of hyperlinks was being curbed. Its biggest enemy was a philosophy that combined two of the most dominant, and most overrated, values of our times: newness and popularity. (Isn’t this embodied these days by the real-world dominance of young celebrities?) That philosophy is the stream. The stream now dominates the way people receive information on the web. Fewer users are directly checking dedicated webpages, instead getting fed by a never-ending flow of information that’s picked for them by complex and secretive algorithms.
It came just around the time where I realised how my own thinking, learning and doing are disrupted by the stream model, in particularly the one of Facebook. Thinking last few month on what I’d like to do, blogging came at a critical path of everything with an online part to it.
So, more blogging and less Facebook is definitely on the agenda now.
More blogging requires updating and fixing weblog tech and reestablishing my blog reading routine. The first one feels like a big task as I have to dig into technical issues and there is a learning curve and a chunk of time needed for that. Getting back to blog reading has its challenges as well, but tackling those is well aligned with my personal goals for this year.
Reducing Facebook’s share of attention will be a challenge as well. In a last couple of years it has become a communication tool, providing a photo backchannel with family and friends and an instrument for practically all communication around homeschooling, from networking and staying updated, to scheduling appointments and handling other logistics. And, as Johnnie Moore puts it, Facebook is “like junk food: addictive, satisfying in a quick-hit way but not very nutritious” – it’s just a way easier to add something there and to get a response (nobody reads blogs anymore, right?).
Which all comes down to a theme that I’m dealing with all these post-burnout years – how to stay focused when you can’t switch off distractions, disruptions and addictions around you. Sometimes I wish I had mindfulness training when I was 15, but then I probably wouldn’t be where I am now 🙂