08 August 2010

Social software behavior-modification

I'm a product of the me-80s, self-improvement fads from which I benefited and which I can summarize like this. Figure out what's eating at you and thus making you behave in ways you're uncomfortable with. Make peace with your demons; it helps when others around you are doing it too,  then minute-by-minute, one day at a time, change your behavior. In short: Don't do that. Don't think that.

I don't like the addiction rhetoric applied to technology. It's misappropriates terminology. I'm not alone on that thought either. I am though applying some of the techniques we learned in the 80s--when being addicted became fashionable--to modifying my digital social behaviors. I deleted the FB app from my phone. If I get restless on the bus,  I play a couple of casual games or do nothing. I mostly lurk now, posting and commenting sporadically. When I'm on my computer,  I still have FB and TW in tabs. Checking them is a mental break. But lurking is a refrain from engagement. It changes my commitment level, and thus the attention I feel compelled to give it. Why does it matter? Because most of what's exchanged is trivial and doesn't really add to the quality of my relationships. No need to abandon it wholesale, I'm just attenuating.

I'm generally a chameleon sort of a being; I adapt to my surroundings easily and because of that, I'm picky about them in the long run. So the 80s techniques come in handy; they let me change colors without loosing my skin all together.