Hello after a long break and yes to “Social Internet”
Hello!! It was a little quiet around here and I'll explain why.
Around 6 months me and my husband left our home country to start a new life in Canada (the picture is a hint of exactly Where in Canada). And I can tell you that these first 6 months were intense!
Moving to a foreign country is a marvelous experience. During the first months I felt like I was reborn because I was learning new things 24 hours a day. In a sense I felt like a child again!
Everything was new:
- looking for a place to live;
- understanding how rental contracts work;
- buying furniture, learning to use the public transit;
- looking for a job;
- figuring out groceries and everyday products;
- getting a driver's license;
- filing tax returns;
- getting used to the local slang;
- experiencing the Canadian winter for the first time;
- finding out which type of winter boots are right for you;
- learning how to skate....
......and many, many more things. It has been quite a ride!
So now that the most urgent life essentials are dealt with, I got a job and my routine is running smoothly, I will get back to writing here.
I survived winter (and loved it!), I saw the Tulips Festival I don't own a TV for the first time in my life and I feel rejuvenated.
I continued to read a lot during these months and I've been rethinking my social media usage.
So, I want to recommend 2 articles by Cal Newport:
- On Social Media and its discontents
- Beyond #DeleteFacebook: More Thoughts on Embracing the Social Internet Over Social Media
They really got me thinking about my relationship with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What is connection? Is having followers a useful type of connection? Why we feel the need to post photos of our food to strangers? What is happening? Who owns my data after it is published? Aren't we just being used?
Cal Newport makes a distinction between “social internet” and “social media”. The first is about meaningful connections and learning, the second is about companies monetizing these interactions. And Newport gives some ideas on how to embrace the social internet. He is in advocate of everybody having their own website:
“In other words, acquire your own damn digital land on which you can do whatever you want without anyone else trying to exploit you or influence your behavior.” — by Cal Newport
That is an interesting approach because social media is now a huge business in which our attention is being used for monetization. That is scary! And how come clicking a “like” button or blindly sharing headlines have become a social expression?
Anyway, these were all reflections I had during these months amidst living new experiences and having the best time of my life doing so. I will write more about these topics.
Spring is here (if you are in the northern hemisphere) so let's be mindful of our time and escape from being negatively influenced by social media.
Note: Cal Newport is writing a book on “digital minimalism” and I am really looking forward to it!
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, skeptic. I don't leave without my Kindle.