There Is No Cat

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Social Media Holiday

I took the last month off from my Twitter subsitute social media networks, Mastodon and BlueSky.

It was wonderful.

These firehose-of-posts networks serve as distraction engines, sucking up my attention and making it hard for me to focus on anything else.

Social media has been part of my life for basically my entire adult life, going back to my early 20s when I spent all my time on Usenet.

It was useful to get away from it. I found myself being more present in my daily life. I took an improv class, and I didn't tell the entire world about it as it was happening.

I'm dipping my toes back in now. I don't feel like I can let myself dive in head first and go back to how I used to use these networks, though. BlueSky, in particular, annoys the fuck out of me with how its clients work, taking me to the most recent post and then forcing me to remember where I was before. That's a basic violation of the user experience need to minimize cognitive load, and it makes me want to use it less. For Mastodon, using Ivory as my client means that I can catch up at my leisure. I intend to take it up on that, only checking in a few times a day instead of switching to the program every few minutes to read the most recent three or four posts.

Social media is made up of people, and if I follow you, there's a reason I follow you. So I don't want to lose track of that. But I can't deal with the constant theft of attention. It's like having a hyperactive hyena baying in your ear every few minutes. I can't deal with that right now. Either I make social media work on my own terms moving forward, or I have to walk away.

Posted at 12:04 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.



This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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