thoughtwisps One commit at a time

a cacophony of bits

In the end, I decided to leave again. There is something about the Twitter user experience that does not suite me. Most importantly of all, I find the soothing lull, which my brain slips into when I browse an endless stream of content, frightening. The signal to noise ratio is too low to justify spending hours sifting through random conversations.

I am sure there are opportunities I will miss and connections I will have to live without. I will miss the laughs of WeRateDogs and the random cats of Caturday, the serious conversations and tweetstorms. However, the positives do not outweigh the fact that there may be serious negatives that no one is discussing. This worries and frightens me.

It worries me that a father of a 5 year old Netflix and Youtube addict is posting on Hacker News, asking for tips on getting his son away from the screens. There are only 3 comments on the post. It flickers on the New page for a brief instant before drowning in the flood of new articles and posts.

It worries me that truth has become a flexible concept, ready to be molded by anyone who has enough followers.

It worries me that there is very little public research on designing non-addictive human computer interfaces and very few long term studies on the effects of shallow, rapid context switching on cognition.

“The idea of purposefully introducing into my life a service designed to fragment my attention is as scary to me as the idea of smoking would be to an endurance athlete, and it should be to you if you’re serious about creating things that matter”, writes Cal Newport in “Quit Social Media, Your Career May Depend on It”.

I have lived with some form of social media for most of my teen and adult life. It has become my escape from boredom and loneliness, a crutch and a trap and I think I would like to try a life with less cacophony from the interwebs and more focus on the things that matter to me.