This blog will still be about career development for software engineers, but I thought I'd share a personal update in case anyone was curious.
Stopping the use of Twitter
Sometime in June, I stopped logging into Twitter. It was around the time company layoffs began to happen in the tech industry. Reading about layoffs, and everyone's opinions and experiences around it, was causing me a great deal of anxiety. I couldn't focus on my job and my life.
Even before the tech layoffs, I didn't feel great after using Twitter. I'd scroll for about an hour or so and find myself feeling drained, worse about myself, and unproductive. The feature updates to Twitter also brought more content to my eyes that I didn't ask for, and even after configuring my Settings, I still felt heavy and overwhelmed by it.
The "head in the sand" approach is not a great way to live your life, and especially in tech when it's important to stay up to date and all that. But it's still possible to stay abreast with tech through other sources like newsletters and blogs. Twitter is an unedited garbage fire and the accounts I followed perpetuated similar views that sometimes feel too much. Sure, I could have unfollowed certain tech Twitter influencers and shut the door on that noise. But somehow they find their way back to you through mutual followers and so forth.
Another reason to leave Twitter was that I had my account since 2009. I hadn't deleted Tweets along the way. My Twitter account represented over a decade of cringe-worthy digital clutter that I did not want to take up mental space.
Leaving the community on Twitter meant I closed off connections from people I really wanted to keep in touch with (whom I only really interacted with on Twitter). But for my sanity, I had to just cut myself off right away. And in any case, if I needed to find them again or they needed to find me, I was available on other social media platforms. If you're one of those people, you can e-mail me.
Filling the void
Logging onto Twitter was a daily, or sometimes hourly, ritual. It was muscle memory for my fingers to type twitter.com into the browser bar. How did I break the habit that was so intuitive for the past decade?
With any habit you try to break, the brain needs something else to replace it. It's not as easy as "replace it with something good for you" like reading a book instead. I had to deliberately work at it. This sounds hilarious, but I tried replacing it with another text-based community. I tried to get into Reddit, but holy cow, that's just another version of Twitter with bigger personalities. So I didn't pursue that.
Recently I have been hiking and taken a keen interest in my local provincial parks. I have been travelling internationally more often. Along the way I've documented my experiences and edited them into longer videos on my YouTube channel posted about every 2-4 weeks.
I have found a new energy from taking the time to create content over a longer period of time and sharing them less regularly. My travel blog is still alive and I intend to keep posting there because it's a chance for me to reminisce about my travels and document my memories the way I want to.
The world of micro sound bites and attempting to stay relevant through Reels and TikToks has made me feel very yuck. I have chosen to opt-out of creating in that format and consuming that format. If that means I lose opportunities to connect with people, or if it means I am not appealing to an algorithm, so be it.
So that's where I'm channeling my energy now. And in between, I will probably blog here a little more frequently. Returning to older-fashioned, longer-form of content creation is likely helping me find my way. If you've made it here, thank you. I hope you continue to follow along. 💖