Ah, social media.

It has been a big part of my life of late.  In part, it is a way of connecting.  In part it is a way of remembering how fickle I am (‘oh yes, I will start this.’, ‘look, I’ve started again!’, ‘… turning, turning, we come down right.’).  And in part, it is an attempt to use the time off I have this year to become more fluent with the forms of communication which are essential to ministry but which take time.

Learning to blog, or tweet, or use facebook takes no time at all, of course.  We proved that one year during lunch at synod (30 new tweeters, at your service).  Maintaining it and building it into something worthwhile is rather more demanding.

Twitter should be easier.  Fast and furious.  Funny and rewarding.  But how on earth do you keep up with it?

Every ten minutes or so, enough interesting links come through my twitter feed to keep me reading for an hour.  Many of these links are good — blog posts and articles written carefully by clever, engaged people.  But they come in helter-skelter, and I soon reach information overload.

And that’s the part that interests me, right now:  how quickly even good content on twitter turns my brain to mush.  I see university students constantly on their phones.  Twitter.  Facebook. Texts.  I do it too.  And I wonder:  how do they ever get anything done?  Do they ever spend 10 minutes uninterrupted?  Is it possible, now, to read for an hour?  To write for two?  To sit an exam for three?  Or do their neurons rebel if the constant ‘bing, bing, bing’ goes dormant?

I like social media, and I want to keep learning to use it better.  But it is a wild beast that I suspect will only be tamed by deliberate silence and withdrawal.

Or is this an introvert/ extrovert thing?  Readers: how do you do it?

9 thoughts on “bing”

  1. Agree with you! I try reading in the morning (early) then in the evening, but even so there is so much to enjoy reading.
    That’s the clue I think – we *read* – and the younger texters simply flick and scan, enough to trend, but not to drown !

  2. By doing less – don’t tweet, it is not for me – do blog, follow a few blogs – some for a long time now, some occasionally for a long time, some regularly for a bit then get fed up with them and stop. One discussion group, and a couple of private blogs/discussion groups where friends can chat in total privacy. Useful for off-loading. Watch less telly than those who internet less. I am better informed on some things than some people, less than others. Comment largely on her,on Kelvin’s blog and on Thinking Anglicans, there partly because I knew the main editors from another group which I left because the conservatives came to dominate it too much for me to get any pleasure reading there. I spend too long on line, but I have no significant other.

    Reading suffers but not writing, which is fed by it.

  3. I don’t doubt its interest at all. I just don’t have what it takes to do it, or have it done to me.

  4. I surf a fair bit (mostly favorite websites, waaaaay too much online retail), follow fewer blogs then I used to but still a few consistently and others sporadically. I spend far too long on Facebook but less than I used to (well, all of it less than I used to for the obvious reason). Twitter I can’t handle. I followed it once during General Synod and literally got nothing done for half a day and gave up after that. For me, when I was a student, I could go back and forth between internet and writing for a while, then would have to cut the internet so I could focus on writing. Reading I would do away from the computer, (though with breaks to check email, FB, blogs, etc). I’ve never had internet on my phone for fear of drowning.

  5. I suspect you are right: it is on the whole the extremes of communication – 140 letters/spaces is a different discipline from the luxury of exploration that a blog allows.
    At present, I’m exploring all these, though without time to discover new blogs, to see how time-consuming it is: or whether some manna is left after the deluge!

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