Tweet Less. Write More.

Several related pieces have been going around my Internet over the past day or so about blogging and it made me want to write more. It also made me want to encourage my friends to write more, or at least make more stuff!

Return of the blogs

From Jeffery Zeldman’s announcement on changes as A List Apart celebrates it’s 20th anniversary:

We’re getting rid of advertisers and digging back to our roots: community-based, community-built, and determinedly non-commercial.

We have no beef with networks like Twitter or Facebook, or with companies like Apple and Google that currently dominate our communal digital space. We just think diversity is about expanding and speaking up—not consolidating and homogenizing.

which prompted Manton Reese’s “Decline and return of indie blogs”:

To everyone reading Zeldman’s post about A List Apart and nodding your head, retweeting the link, clicking the like button… Dust off your blog and actually post about it. A better web is built one page at a time.

So here’s me having decided to write today.

The giant bird in the room

In the past, I’ve described my Twitter feed as “digitized grease” and I stand by that. I don’t really like looking at my Twitter feed. When I do check in occasionally I mostly see:

  • One-word (or emoji) commentaries on quoted tweets that link to essays

  • Political partisans condemning each other, changing no minds

  • Links to posts on Instagram

It feels like people are individually punching at the ocean when they really should be working together to build a levy. It feels like there’s so much wasted energy going into Twitter that could be harnessed for so much more. I’m not the one to harness it, nor would I presume to know how to, but if I feel so drained after catching up on my twitter timeline that I have to imagine it tires out other people as well.

If Twitter brings you joy, if you use it for good, if you use it to find voices that you wouldn’t ever hear elsewhere, don’t take my words as anything other than a call for reflection, as I personally try to be more deliberate and mindful about how I use my time.

If you find yourself, like me, exhausted by Twitter, try taking a break to make something. Write a three paragraph email to a friend you haven’t talked to in forever. Schedule lunch with a friend. Text that same link you were about to reflexively retweet to a friend and talk about it with them privately. You might feel better.

Some blogs and not blogs

Here are some things people make that I like:

  • My friend Seth Clifford sometimes writes about things he likes at Greetings from the Grid

  • My friend Tim Nahumck also sometimes writes about things he likes at his webzone

  • My friend John Sarvay used to write a personal blog, but now writes most of his words for the Floricane Newsletter which is great and you should sign up for it.

  • My friend Ross Catrow used to run RVANews, but now delivers great words to your email inbox every weekday with Good Morning RVA.

  • My friend Hayley DeRoche writes a Tiny Letter called Wee Morning Tea. It’s great.

This list is not exhaustive of all the internet things that I like, just a few of them. If you have the slightest inkling that you’d like to make a thing and put it on the Internet, you should. You won’t get fame or fortune, but if you make a thing and tell me about it, I’ll probably like it!

In conclusion, friends, if Twitter makes you unhappy, please spend less time on it; spend that time making things that do bring you joy and share them with me.

Love,

Sam.

Tweet Less. Write More.