This month I posted a book review/meditation on Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost for Broad!. It’s a book I love and I hope others will read it too. In the post I ended up lamenting the difficulty of ever getting lost in the digital age. So much of Solnit’s book is about writing and art that it made me think about how getting lost is a worthwhile part of creating, and I want to expand on that by connecting writing to my discussion of the internet. I use a lot of social media, but I’m increasingly disenchanted by it. I think this is how it feels:
Like a loud, colorful, burgeoning thing.
Social media can be good for publicizing published work, and sometimes for making professional connections with other writers. Is it really helping anybody write? Hell no. But writers, myself included, are always on there, tweeting #amwriting, using 750words.com (which I didn’t like after all), blogging instead of working on our stories, distracting ourselves from getting any real work done. This is why I plan to spend large spans of my winter break time with my computer off, or at least with Freedom on. It’s not so much that I want to be uber-productive on my vacation, although I hope I get some projects done, but that I want to recover my own internal rhythm: my attention to the books gathering dust on my shelves, my spontaneity, my uninterrupted thoughts. Maybe I’ll just drive somewhere without a plan, and then not put any photos up on Facebook. Everybody needs that break sometimes, but I’ve been thinking about lifestyle on the whole, as a pattern of actions, and in the long term I want my connections with people to be more meaningful, if less frequent.
Some of my friends in Guard Llama Comedy made this video about social media, so I’ll leave you with that.