Blog General thoughts
A almost a week ago exactly, I stopped conversing directly on Friendfeed.
This was a difficult, but pre-meditated decision, one I had mulled over for months. Over the past two years, I had used the service almost exclusively for conversations, and by conversations, I mean anything at all. Not just tech, code, and other intellectual pursuits, I mean general and genuine down-to-earth conversation with other people from all walks of life around the world. I've chatted real-time with social media greats, discussed art, debated tech, religion, science and politics with incredibly talented and intellectual personalities and learned more than any mere exchange on the much vaunted Twitter.
Friendfeed is an exceedingly effective aggregation and conversation platform - if you're unfamiliar with it, it's basically a more advanced version of Facebook's primary news feed. However for me, far more immersive, uncluttered and easy to use. It's this ease of use and "immersiveness", not to mention the magnificent personalities and real-time flow of interesting information that makes the service so addictive.
It's for this reason I had to end my participation on it. The actual decision took months to eventuate. You see, despite what some social media elites have said, Friendfeed is the leader in addictive, rewarding conversation. It's real-time, it's interesting, it's personable, customisable and pleasant. Even after social media elites have panned the service, it remains the best possible platform to date in which to converse in real-time, explore content and sink time.
The amount of time I have sank into using Friendfeed for the purposes of content discovery and conversation is immense. My addiction to it has meant that for the past two plus years, I've let all my projects and interests slide. I have become a complete, total consumer of information. My creativity, personal interests, health, skills and creations were forfeited - not explicitly - and that's what worries me.
This revelation made me re-examine a bit about myself as a person. I'm not cut out to be a total consumer of information, and I felt I was poisoning my creativity by only consuming and not creating. Sure, there's plenty of inspirational things in my feeds I could use, but over time I'd absorb (I call it 'sponging'), but not create. I feel I have the capability to be a content creator, I definitely used to be and I have decided to become one again. In only a week, my personal projects have leaped forward, even with full-time employment. Even the fact that I'm writing this blog astounds me. Deeply immersed in feeds and conversations, I would rarely think of doing this, or on the off chance I did, I would not be able to complete what I had started.
Real conversation is indeed priceless. It's so much more than a mere tweet, status update or utterance, so much more rewarding and stimulating - but there's a penalty behind it, just like with all things worth doing. I just cannot pay it anymore without changing part of who I am.