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Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Taking another social media break

Jake Dahn:

In many ways it feels like the more “information” I consume, the more burnt out I become.

And:

Ideas feel different, though. When I consume a new idea, I fall into a natural optimism where I can’t help but be motivated to remix the idea into something new.

Please read his entire post for the context of these statements because they are not entirely related to what I’m about to write.

When the pandemic hit we immediately instituted some rules for taking in information. We limited ourselves to just 30-minutes of news per day so that we were informed but yet not overwhelmed. After a few weeks, we began to skip days and most weekends since much of the information being shared by news outlets and authorities were mostly the same day-to-day.

I believe this helped us a lot.

Lately, though, I find myself consuming more citizen journalism via social networks than in recent memory. Like Jake, I can feel it drain on me in a variety of ways. I can see my capability for long form reading, focus, and deep thought lessen the more tiny bits of information, video clips, etc. that I take in. Consuming social media has always had that effect on me which is why I’ve taken extended breaks.

Jake’s post is a good reminder for me to take care of myself by limiting the amount of time I take in this type of information. I believe it is important to be informed but it is also important to be cognizant of your own mental health.

To that end, I’m taking another social media break. I’m unsure how long. Likely until I feel a bit better and I notice my mind settle and my ability to focus return a bit. I’ll still write here (in fact, that may increase as a result of this break).

I also have an idea of how to separate my subscriptions in NetNewsWire to allow me to still read some of my favorite web sites and publications (which provide me with inspiration) without getting too much news or short form bits.

Colin Walker on thinking out loud on his blog

Colin Walker:

It’s always a little weird glancing at my visitor stats and seeing that someone has read a post that no longer reflects my position.

100% agree. Most of my posts are out-of-date and my opinions have changed slightly since I’ve written them.

I love this bit:

This is why I always refer to the blog as an ongoing conversation with myself – it is the public manifestation of working things out in my head.

That is why I say that writing is how I think. See also.

Everyone should write (or, blog?)

Deanna Mascle wrote on her blog on why all teachers should write. In it she says this about why students should write in every class every day:

Reflective writing at the beginning of a class or before a lesson can help students access existing knowledge and build a foundation for new information. Writing activities during a lesson can reinforce new knowledge and help students connect it to their existing framework. Writing after a lesson can serve multiple purposes from supporting knowledge transfer to fostering memory development to demonstrating comprehension. Plus, creative projects can increase engagement which in turn improves learning and retention of knowledge. Writing (if you do it right) is active learning. Writing (if you do it right) is fun. Writing (if you do it right) is meaningful.

See also this bit I linked to from Mascle about one year ago.

I think everyone should write. And I also think everyone should write publicly. So many are willing to write SMS messages or Facebook status updates… but what if you took just one of those ideas and fleshed them out? What if you took the time to take one of those tirades about the cost of strawberries at the local market and examined it from all perspectives; farmer, distributor, grocer, customer? By doing this you’d be teaching yourself, as you write, and if you still felt compelled enough with your argument to hit publish, everyone would be better for it.

Why blog?

Deanna Mascle on her blog in February of this year:

Blogging isn’t for everyone, but as I must write to think and process life, blogging is a gift (What Blogging Taught Me). I hope my blog benefits others, but I cannot measure the positive impact blogging has had on my life.

Then, yesterday, in a follow-up post she wrote:

For myself and for my students, blogging is a reflection tool as well as a tool to share what we are thinking, learning, and doing with either our community or the greater world.

Whenever I slack here on my blog I regret it, not because I lose readership or traffic (I do not track those numbers at all so I have no idea what they are), but because I tend not to think as clearly as when I’m consistent in writing. Here’s an excerpt from this by me in 2013:

But writing, for me, is my way of deep thinking. I then get to edit my thoughts. What a beautiful idea! To write something down that you‘re thinking about and, rather than the thought simply going away, you can go back and and begin to craft that idea and mold your own opinion until you can fully come to a conclusion.

Great post by Deanna. Inspiration for me to get writing and thinking a bit.