I remember the best Out-of-Office note I have ever received – musing on not being able to get back to me as quick as normally, and culminating in the philosophical question:
But – what is normal?
Probably this is one of the hidden, leading questions that have driven this blog ever since I started it in March 2012. Is it normal to blog regularly? Is it normal to have ideas on a regular basis? Is it normal to follow more and more virtual conversations – not only on WordPress but on other social networks as well?
Nassim Taleb’s books have reminded me reminded of antifragility being grounded in burst-like patterns. At least this is the way I would summarize it. A mundane example is the alleged positive effect of irregular physical training – such as long walks alternating with extreme workouts – both unscheduled.
I would like to continue ridiculing those home-story-style articles about famous persons (One day in the life of…) who manage their lives in such a swift way and who are able to add utmost regularity to the universe’s imponderables. Who get up at 4:00 to mediate in their Zen-like garden, take the first important business decision at 5:00 – such as acquiring a hot tech start-up in passing – by firing off an e-mail on your smart phone, drive their kids to school at 7:00 while having a conf call with your VPs … etc.
Thus I would embark on an experiment I have pondered about for a long time – I owe to these two posts(*) that finally make me pull the trigger. Pull the trigger… what a metaphor. NSA, did you hear that? And I go into hiding. A non-blogging sleeper cell.
(*)Interesting though: In the future of this post, both of these blogs are offline)
I will unplug myself from social media in the next 2 – 4 months. (This is an estimate in terms of order of magnitude – 100 months)
I won’t disappear, I will follow-up on your blogs – but most likely more randomly than I did in the last months, and I will respond to comments.
I will resort to something like a monthly update – as I can’t bear a number of zero posts per months in the blog’s archive. WordPress is still my favorite network. Probably I will appear more radical as a Facebook, Google+ or Twitter user, as a monthly tweet is like not tweeting at all. I have been on these networks now for less than a year and after intense participation. In contrast to other social media users with erratic posting habits I will rather leave an OOF message and clean-up.
Facebook users: I have deactivated posts to my timeline, and tightened the who-can-see-what settings despite or because my birthday is looming. I need to retain some level of integrity when ranting about liking and sharing confessional automata.
There is no particular earth-shattering reason for that – or this is exactly a reason in its own right: I want to challenge myself by unplugging, by reducing input. In a weird sense I am reconnecting with my very first post about my social media denial.
I will even reduce my frequency of devouring books – sorry for that, Amazon.com – or probably I don’t want the NSA follow-up on my Kindle collections.
I am moderately busy, I have some other deadlines, but nothing that couldn’t be handled, and I could of course come up with some posts in the way the social media experts recommend: Recycling content, old posts – and I should have kept some articles in my stores of things to be posted when I have run out of ideas. But I even haven’t run out of ideas.
Since this might be the front post of this blog for some weeks, I would like to add self-serving links to related posts that I do not recycle now.
- Shallow Waters and Deep Reading – on the impact Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains had on me.
- It inspired my experiment of putting my existing pseudo-blog websites on hold and start again on a Blank Sheet of Paper
- I am going to revisit my goals as stated in Reconcile All This (The Goal of This Blog)
- Probably I even might return to the non-interactive refuge of my old websites: On Writing or: What Do I Need to Smoke to Understand Your Websites?
After a break I am rather sure I will continue to write about:
- The strangeness of the corporate world: Burn the Org Chart – if Not the Organization – Down to the Ground
- Physics and philosophy by asking questions again like Are We All Newtonians? and Quantum Field Theory: It’s More Than a Marble Turned into a Wiggly Line
- Probably I dare to return to pseudo-science. You might be surprised – this post is maybe my personal favorite: Physics Paradoxers and Outsiders
- And of course I will remain part of all those movement that generate art from internet trash: Spam Poems and Search Terms Poems: Preliminary Results
My most recent posts have told me something weird and I need to think about that:
Probably I over-emphasize aspects and arguments for the sake of those arguments. I am not at all that concerned with the Evil or Corporate or the Devastating Effect of Gamification, for example. Actually, in the moment I could not care less about these in real live. It is rather my blogging avatar who has seized opportunities. This avatar is adding a filter that enhances contrast, for the sake of entertainment, or for the sake of making an argument. Any hyperbole and sarcasm comes in handy.
Nevertheless, it does not feel like dishonesty though.
And this is not at all meant self-critical – I like these posts more than my balanced ones.
I just need to think about that, and by thinking I mean the thing that goes on in your unplugged brain when you are not talking or writing. Probably exactly when you force yourself not to talk or write.
You get ideas from writing and interacting with others, but in the other hand there is a chance of getting trapped in a social media bubble of like-minded people. Finally it is a matter of available time – I admit I would not read blogs I strongly disagree with.
I feel the last sentence in this post should be sticky and remarkable – and exactly because of that I will not add a final statement at all.