I’ll Be Your Trick Mirror

Just added to the reading list.

Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Tolentino’s sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet.”

Kill your feed

Remember kill your tv?

I don’t know where or when that sentiment, expressed precisely that way, started. It feels like an 80s thing.

I (also an 80s thing) still have a TV. But today, I killed my feed.

It’s not the first time. It might not be the last.

I deleted twitter (to the extent that such a thing is technologically possible) and gave a heads up to my facebook friends that I’m going into another social media hibernation. I even found a way to mass unfollow everyone on LinkedIn. I got my email inbox to zero.

I’m not saying the folks I connected with on these platforms aren’t important or important to me. I’m just saying that I think I had the right hunch a few months ago. It’s all too much. It’s all too much at once.

Twitter is an especially wily platform. It’s designed to bring you false release. You really haven’t said anything at all in those 280 characters. Really, how could you?

280 characters is certainly enough space to be awful, though.

Life is too short for sifting through all of that.

Why I’m Leaving Facebook, or, Weaning off The Feed (and Watching Finches)

I have been weaning off of social media. Yesterday, I deleted my Twitter account entirely. I’ve decided to be far less active on Facebook, except for sharing things with people who might be interested.

The Feed is was gets me. It’s too much. It’s too much all at once. I gave it a shot. I gave it ten years. I told it everything I liked and everything I didn’t. After ten years, it was all at once too much.

I don’t need all of those inputs.

I just need a few.

I don’t need to play emotional/mental/spiritual roulette, good news, bad news, red space, black. Hot takes, rants, yours and mine. Pictures of everything just so.

I don’t want all of those inputs. I want the sun, the rain, the seasons. Sometimes, I want Pennsylvania to be more like California, I think, though I’ve never been there.

I want to go there, though.

I want the inputs of voices and eyes and inflections. People stuttering and blushing. The rolled-up gum of sweat and dirt and effort in the creases of my hands.

The Feed is what gets me. It’s left me overweight and undernourished, it’s an anemic drip I’m done stabbing myself for.

Today is the first sunny day in Pennsylvania in what feels like a week. There are goldfinches outside my window, eating seed I put there just for them. They are common, people say. I have never really noticed.

Even so, they’re brilliant.

Meta Sermons and Social Media

I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had to share the message at First Presbyterian Church yesterday at the 8:45 and 10:10 alternative services. Thank you!

I used social media to frame part of the message, saying that Pinterest had bucked conventional wisdom because it’s a platform where people share inspiring and uplifting things.  By offering a new kind of experience and an environment where generative things are shared and curated, Pinterest now drives more traffic to external sites than Twitter.

A bit of meta fun before I hit the hay:

ImageImage

Blessings, all, and peace.

Divergent Visions of the Past: What Would Google+, YouTube, and Facebook Have Looked Like in 1997? (And Some Guest Apperances)

Once Upon has their answer. I love the spirit of their project, but I believe the truth is much simpler, and it’s called AOL. Circa 1997.

Speaking of which:

Beck in 1997

I literally cannot watch that video for fear of the uncontrollable mourning that might pour forth.  Not a longing for my teenage years as such, but a sadness at how the Beckthos just didn’t stick.

MTV in 1997

That song is as good now as ever.

Drew Olanoff on Klout and Doing Things

Image representing Klout as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

An excerpt from “Klout Is Breaking Up With Early Adopters”  at The Next Web:

 

Klout is going after middle-American novice tweeters who might have mentioned a body spray once or twice. With its service, Axe could reach people like that directly in large bunches and give them samples of new products.

How do we know this? Because Klout recently changed its scoring algorithm. People absolutely lost their minds in the comments on the post and on Twitter.

This type of comment was posted over and over again there:

Very unhappy with this change. My score went from 73 down to 53. 20 point drop. I’ve been working for months to increase my Klout score. Please fix this.

This is proof that people who are “working” on being relevant shouldn’t use any type of service. As my good friend Alex Hillman says and has tattooed on his arm, “JFDI”. Just do it, and don’t worry about what you’re getting out of it, and all will be fine.

 

He’s right, isn’t he?  It’s tempting to worry about Klout, to obsess about why your Facebook friend count is down or why someone stopped following your blog.  It’s easy to fixate on stats.  Just do what you like and do it well.  Curate that beauty and be that unique voice.

Also: It can’t be a coincidence that JFDI is just one letter from Jedi.