I’m not quitting Twitter, at least not for the moment. I am, however, in the process of migrating to other platforms and using Twitter basically as a reposting service for content that’s primarily hosted elsewhere. That means, for now, this website and flickr (the latter for photos, obviously). I’m not sold on Mastodon yet, though I did stake out a territory there today (more when that territory is better occupied).
A little about how I use social media, just for context:
- As a publishing platform for brief thoughts, links, and photos.
- A way to promote updates on the site.
- As a reading list for other content I might want to see more of.
That’s pretty much it. I don’t generally “engage” on social media. I don’t get into long discussions and I avoid arguments entirely for the most part. Who has the time or energy for that? Life is way too short.
Interestingly enough, though, this is why Twitter works well for me. It’s easy to post links, photos, etc. when I’m on the road, and it allows me to pretty well curate what I see (or don’t see). It’s no different than handling toxic politics, white supremacists, homophobes and other bullshit every day walking down the street. My feed is pretty much buildings, retail history, a little music, some random Canadian pop culture, and a couple of friends. That’s it. No drama, no pointless arguments with idiots whose minds will never be changed anyway, and a lot of pointers to good content that’s posted somewhere else (and some that’s actually posted just on Twitter). I tune out the moronic conspiracy theories the same way I tune out the moronic “Let’s go Brandon” bumper stickers. They irritate and horrify me, sure, but they’re not the majority of what’s out there. We have to choose our battles and choosing “all of them” is invariably a losing proposition.
I’m the muskrat’s nightmare user.
I swore off Facebook a few years ago mainly because it was such a “walled garden” and because it no longer seemed like a good use of my time or something I enjoyed. I make no promises right now that I will or won’t be exiting Twitter altogether. There are things I like about it, just like there are things I like about the purple state where I live. Leaving either would be, in many ways, like cutting off my nose to spite my face. The muskrat doesn’t care whether I’m here or not. And there need to be people hanging around to balance out the crazy, in virtual environments just like in “real” ones.
I do think the platform will ultimately implode, which is why I’m also using others. Backups are good.
(Cross-posted from the other site.)
…but the clock is ticking.
It was fifteen months ago today that I started working from home “for a few weeks” due to the pandemic. I’ve been shooting a selfie every three months since. This may be the last one, as I’m already back in the office about twenty-five hours a week and will probably be doing more in the next month or two.
It’s been a weird year (and a quarter).
Today marks one year of remote work for me. I’ve been taking a selfie from this same basic angle every three months since the first day and this is Number 5 (or Volume 2 Number 1, if you prefer).
- Work-wise, it’s been a really productive period. I rebuilt our digital collections platform from the ground up (link upon request), contributed to several articles, wrote an ill-fated grant application (long story over which I had no control), and co-authored a book that should be published this fall.
- I have traveled a bit (not nearly as much as usual) because I avoid human contact on the road even when there’s not a pandemic, so I felt like I was being cautious.
- I’ve had the first shot. The second comes a week from today. I may start going into the office at least a couple of days a week after that.
- Lots of Groceteria research, some of which has actually made it on to the site.
- I’ve read so many books. And bought even more with all the money I’ve saved not doing other things.
- I haven’t gained nearly as much weight as I expected, but the painful aftermath of a long walk last week reminded me that a little exercise is probably in order.
- I also still haven’t gotten someone to fix the damned bathroom floor.
Time marches on. Or at least I think it does.
When I get overwhelmed or start wondering where the last year went, I remind myself that since March I have:
- Co-authored a book that should be published later this year
- Migrated one of the largest library digital collections in the state to a new content management platform (link later)
- Participated in the salvation of American democracy
- Added a bunch of new cities to Groceteria
- Eighty-sixed Facebook
- Rebuilt a friendship that had been dormant for almost thirty years
- Watched at least a hundred vintage episodes of “What’s My Line?”
- Become disturbingly conversant in the MODS metadata schema as well as several new XML tools
- Supervised three student capstones and independent studies
- Managed to avoid getting a COVID-related illness
- Done a few pretty good media interviews (radio, national magazine, well-trafficked blog)
- Read many good books (and bought way too many more)
- Never hoarded toilet paper and also never run out of same
- Managed three big grant projects simultaneously and remotely
- Only gained about five pounds and actually ended up with better labs than last year
- Stayed reasonably sane
Try it yourself. It helps!