Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Friday, January 2, 2015

Month of the Month Club: January

So, as I recalled yesterday, I am not in the habit of making new year's resolutions in any traditional sense. But, as anyone who has followed WARMER and Around Walaka in Eighty Days knows, I do like me a Structured Self-Improvement Plan. That's Thread One of the current Big Idea.

Thread Two is a growing sensitivity on my part to the half-life of enterprises that I engage in. Specifically, this awareness came from thinking critically about tabletop RPG campaigns (like Dungeons & Dragons) that I have been involved with. I have become persuaded that open-ended or extremely long-term commitments are less successful than mid-length arrangements: those long enough to develop depth and breadth, but built with a specific end-date and exit plan. It seems to me that these shorter agreements are more likely to avoid the obligation fatigue that sets in when players' circumstances or interest have changed but their social commitment is ongoing. I think the same sort of principle applies to personal endeavors; saying I will commit to do X forever can be foredoomed, having built-in land mines of obligation fatigue.

Thread Two informs Thread One and leads us to the idea of short-term commitments rather than absolute resolutions. Of course, if within the the short-term program an activity or disposition becomes hexis, that is all to the good. In the meantime, we are more freed to engage robustly for the specific duration of the activity. Hence, the Month of the Month Club. I am going to take one project or practice to concentrate on each month this year. The notion is that focusing on one primary objective for 30 days (give or take) may be be more illuminating and ultimately more productive than attempting to hold onto a whole string of initiatives simultaneously.

The January Month of the Month Club Selection: Social Media. I need to re-adjust my relationship with social media. It's been just shy of ten years since my first-ever blog post and just over seven years since I showed up on Facebook (I think Carole Vacher was my first "friend"?). Besides these, I have got all sorts of channels through which I can express myself and keep up with people I care about and get the news and stay on top of geek culture and do all sorts of things. I just need to figure out how and how much and when to do all this.

I like to follow my tribe, but I want to avoid the time-sink that is Facebook. Heck, I'd like to avoid FB altogether, but so many of my peeps are on it that dropping out would mean a big loss of connection. (Unless I can somehow get them all to move to Twitter.) I also want to continue to develop my online platform and focus on what I call long-form blogging (like this post) rather than brief updates.

Besides the give and take, there's a real behavioral aspect. My days usually start with me at the computer: checking Facebook, reading blogs, catching up on the news while I have my coffee. I need to get back to early morning exercises and walking, and that's a habit that may need to be broken. Where do I slot my onlining into my day? There's an appeal to being totally connected all the time - feeling like I'm living in a Star Trek future with my smartphone - but there's a downside to it, of course.

I know I am not alone in considering this issue; just recently my RL friend Elinor Appel announced that she was taking a Facebook Break, and there's an article like this one every so often. But it's not just Facebook; I'd like to try to make more order of how I get my news (since all me news comes from the Internet) and get back to "real" blogging more frequently. I have recently been exposed to the Federated Wiki concept by my buddy, e-maven Alyson Indrunas; here's a recent article about it from NYU. How does all this fit together? I'm not exactly sure yet.

Well, I'll let you know in 30 days or so what I come up with. But it'll probably be through this blog... or someplace else.

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