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social web fatigue, and doing what’s important

I’m suffering a bit from social media fatigue, like everyone I guess. All this stuff – twittering, and building your audience, and debates about whether facebook is good or bad, and linkbaiting and SEO and new tools and old tools, widgets and do-dads: just making my head hurt.

All of us, and all of you (and me), should just forget about all that stuff, and ask ourselves: What is important to me? What do I really, truly care about? If I could improve something in the world, what would it be?

And then think about ways to do that. If you do it well, I am convinced that the audience, and the living-you-need will come.

If you are not convinced that what you are doing is important in some way, then why are you doing it? Why don’t you spend your time on something you think is important?

And by the way, lest I sound like a preachy jerk, I’m talking as much to myself as I am to anyone else.


  1. Christopher Hughes Christopher Hughes 2007-12-18

    I know exactly what you mean. The answer that always comes to me is: providing a comfortable living for your family is important. And it is really hard, in ways you don’t expect.

    So I do very strange and trivial things all day (in the eyes of many – including myself) so that my family have their wants provided for. Everything else has to come second – including my wish for a more ‘important’ reason to get out of bed.

    The point is, of course, that there is no more important reason to get out of bed.

  2. Dan Parsons Dan Parsons 2007-12-18

    I totally agree, Hugh. This is why I go through long periods of not blogging. I feel like communicating is supposed to be balanced with productivity. If I’m communicating all the time, I run out of useful things to communicate, because I haven’t actually *done* anything. Also it just makes me feel sick after a while. I think this is why most of my RSS feeds are for news blogs and not “people” blogs; there’s only so much socialization (even virtual) I can stomach before I wish I lived in an abandoned mine shaft on a world suffering from nuclear winter.

  3. miette miette 2007-12-19

    Well said, of course, and in a world bred on the milk of distraction, good to be reminded of every now and again.

  4. Matt Matt 2007-12-20


  5. Hugh Hugh 2007-12-20

    @chris: indeed family trumps all. i guess i was specifically thinking of the community of web bloggers developers & entrepreneurs out there, many of whom seem to make lots of noise about things that just seem so empty. also the time I/we waste doing silly things that we still don’t enjoy all that much (ie wasting an afternoon surfing the web instead of doing the hundreds of good things we could be doing). It’s a constant battle for me. part of that is day-to-day (ie focus on the things i ought to do); and part of that is larger (what should I really focus on?)

    @dan: yes, getting stuff done is essential to feeling good, for me anyway. socializing is generally more fun, but without accomplishment, it gets depressing.

    @miette: stop reading my blog and start writing dammit!

    @matt: bless you my son.

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