I’ve been pondering for some time about my next blog post, my next newsletter. I wanted to discuss the feeling of bother, almost anxiety, caused by constant demands on my attention.
It’s an idea explored in more detail by Matthew Crawford in his book The World Beyond Your Head: How to Flourish in an Age of Distraction. In the book the author focuses on how corporations gradually and relentlessly have been taking over all public spaces around us (He mentions America, but it seems a global occurrence nowadays). He points out how technology adds an additional dimension as it is becoming rare to find publicity-free environments suitable for independent thinking.
My unease about this distraction is that it is not only coming from marketers, the media, corporations or businesses any more. It’s also the constant updates by social contacts, friends and strangers. It’s the frequent posting by an ever-growing crowd of participants on social media, interspersed with the marketing posts.
It feels as if we’ve all succumbed to an epidemic of sharing (selling ourselves?) as a way of life.
In recent times I decided to take action to protect my space and my time and improve my quality of life.
I’d been feeling ‘used’ by those platforms. They cost me my time and attention. They manipulate and distract me from using my time for more positive things. They clutter my mental space with trivia, rankings, politics and fabricated needs. They also collect information about me, my social contacts and my interests, to be used for their own benefit.
I decided to stop mindlessly taking part in this: any contacts I have do not really need to know about friends of friends of virtual strangers. Neither do I.
Never mind if ‘everybody does it’ or if ‘it’s the way of the world these days’. I don’t enjoy the way these updates and random sharing are imposing themselves on my time. Why do we need to know or share so much about so many people? What’s its purpose? Visibility? Recognition? Fame? Networking? Keeping up with the Joneses?
I don’t think it’s worth the price we’re paying, giving away our privacy for the sake of it.
I haven’t been posting much on social media lately…
Thanks for reading this.
PS: I’ve been reading more books with feminist topics. I will tell you more soon.