Colin Walker

on social media, tech, blogging and the internet.

Lessons learnt or common sense?

So, I took most of August out and distanced myself from social media and blogging – it seemed a good time to do it as I had some other stuff going on (a mini cruise to Amsterdam and a weeks holiday).

I had an occasional glance at FriendFeed but only very rarely and Google Reader went begging – there are thousands of unread items I need to wade through/mark as read and a number of feeds that I will most likely unsubscribe from.

Before I start anything here I’d first like to say thanks to Mark and Hutch for thinking of me while I was away, it’s always nice to know that out of site isn’t always out of mind.

Have I learnt any lessons from my time away or is it all really common sense? Let’s have a look.

Who needs social media?

What did we do before we had what we currently think of as social media? We found other things to occupy ourselves, and that’s exactly what I did during last month.

As a family we have started playing World of Warcraft so that’s good to eat up a few hours and it also helped that the UK domestic football (soccer) season has started again so that provides something else to keep me occupied.

Do I need social media? No, and to be honest I haven’t really been missing it as I have been spending more time with my family in the ‘real’ world.

Social media, just like anything else, is habit forming – we can create our own addictions by getting, and wanting to stay, involved. Conversely, distancing ourselves from something for long enough reduces the craving until you can quit. Will power is needed and having a distraction is very beneficial.

Common sense. The above can apply to just about anything and not just social media.

Who needs blogging?

I have had no inclination to blog during my time away and have had to force myself to write this; do I feel I owe it to myself to summarise what happened, or owe it to you the reader? Why should we owe anyone anything?

Blogging is a tough mistress and we often put undue pressure on ourselves. Whether it is because we feel that our readers have invested their trust in us by subscribing to the feeds so we feel compelled to explain ourselves I don’t know but we are always our own worst critics when. let’s face it, most others couldn’t care less. For every social media blogger who disappears there are dozens more to take up the mantle – this is not an area that will dry up anytime soon.

Hutch remarked that if you are having problems blogging then you should return to what interests you but it can be worse than that: what do you do when the blogging process itself doesn’t interest you? You just have to step back like I did and wait for the enthusiam to return. I think I’ll be waiting for a little while longer yet.

Addiction

I’m the kind of person who becomes addicted to things very easily but I also have a very low boredom threshold. If I’m not kept interested then even the strongest addiction doesn’t stand a chance (alcohol and gambling in my past can attest to this) so I need to keep myself challenged in order to thrive.

We’ll have to see what happens over the coming weeks.

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September 2, 2008 - Posted by | Blogging, Social Media | ,

9 Comments »

  1. […] aside, blogging is a tough mistress that should be about exciting and moving ones readers through some form of conversation. To get […]

    Pingback by A Lesson on Blogs and Blogging | Gino Cosme | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  2. Good to see you back!

    Comment by Mark Dykeman | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  3. Much nicer having you in the real world, the kids love you being off the computer more too 🙂

    Who needs social media? Not a real family who love each other, thats for sure 🙂 It's easy to get addictied to things, but being addicted to having a great time with your family is much better 🙂

    Plus Stormwind needs you 😉

    Comment by Sally Walker | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  4. Family WoW? That's awesome! And hopefully Arsenal wins the league!

    Comment by Daryl Tay | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  5. Interesting… but what made you come back?

    Comment by adondai | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  6. I always said it was just a hiatus and had planned to see how things were after August.

    Comment by colinwalker | September 3, 2008 | Reply

  7. […] Colin Walker (friend of Hutch Carpenter): Lessons learnt or common sense? (via Blog) […]

    Pingback by 21st Century Spirituality · Hyperstream of 2008-09-02 | September 3, 2008 | Reply

  8. Being another with addictive personality disorder I have been glancing down around the “C” area every time I open Google reader… hoping for a Colin Walker post.. and there it was.

    I can sympathize with the sliding in and out of needing/wanting social media. I have done it myself recently.

    Good to see you back Colin! I am looking forward to more posts.

    Comment by Kyle Lacy | September 3, 2008 | Reply

  9. Kyle,

    Thanks for the comment and, I must say, I've been reading some of your recent posts with great interest.

    I'm not sure how often I'll be posting at the moment but it will be more a case of posting when I've really got something to say rather than due to a misguided need to make sure there's new content.

    Comment by colinwalker | September 4, 2008 | Reply


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