In the past month, I’ve made exactly two new posts. A mere ten of any consequence since May. This is no way to run a blog, I realize. I’m sure you’ve not been losing any sleep over my relative silence, but I thought I’d check in just to let everyone know that I’m still alive and this site hasn’t gone dark.
The truth is that posting will probably remain light. The school year is back in full swing, and my teaching responsibilities keep me pretty busy. On top of that, I’m getting back to work on my doctoral program after a year’s respite. The next hoop I’ll be jumping through will be comprehensive exams, which I hope to knock out between this semester and next. Following that I’ll be entering the dread dissertation stage, which may or may not drag on indefinitely. Hopefully not. I’ll be focusing my research on what I’ve called, in a more popular vein on this site, a Borg Complex. Just in case you were wondering. It turns out to be a good time to be working on the Borg Complex. It’s on display quite a bit lately, especially in discussions about MOOCs and the future of education, robotics and automation, Google Glass, drones, and surveillance technology. For an example of the last of these, see my comment on this thread.
Given all of this, I’ve been less active online than I have been in the past. In fact, I began to wonder where those who participate more actively online find the time. I’ve not looked at the existing research on this, but I’m curious about the demographics of Twitter in particular. I tend to follow academics and folks who are in the tech writing business. Naturally, these folks tend to spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen as part of their daily activities. It is their work in some regards to be active online. It’s easier for them to participate online regularly throughout the day. This was the case for me when I was a full time grad student for a semester or two and only working a minimal number of hours otherwise. It struck me, then, that Twitter, even if you work hard to avoid creating a filter bubble, is still a kind of socio-economic bubble by default, at least when it comes to those who participate actively since they will tend to be those whose work and family circumstances allow a certain degree of temporal freedom. I may be completely off about that, as I’m just extrapolating from my own experience. All I know is that my particular schedule leaves very little time for social media participation.
Time constraints alone, however, have not accounted entirely for my relative silence of late. You may remember a post from mid-July in which I laid out 11 practical steps I was taking to achieve a relatively healthy and productive relationship with “the Internet.” I’ve been fairly good about sticking to those guidelines and, as a kind of side effect, I’ve found myself a little less eager to write blog posts, post links on tumblr, or participate on Twitter.
In fact — and yes, this is strictly anecdotal and subjective — I have found that the better I stuck to these 11 guidelines that I set up for myself, the better I’ve felt generally. I found there to be a noticeable difference to the feel of a day in which I stuck to the guidelines, particularly after I’d done so for two or three days running, and the feel of a day in which, for whatever reason, I didn’t. And, in my estimation, the difference was a positive one as you may have already assumed.
One last consideration: I’ve also made a decision to focus what time I do have for writing on projects for other sites and journals.
All of this to say that, while I’m not abandoning this site, the posting will likely remain light. Of course, I’ve said that in the past only to then find myself suddenly posting more frequently. Who knows.
Whatever the case, thanks as always for dropping by. I hope all is well in your little corner of the world, wherever that happens to be.