I’m baaaaaaaack! (:-)… Instant gratification, social media and blogging / writing

I’m baaaaaaaack! (:-)… thank you for your patience and thank to the wonderful people of WordPress.com for helping me…

Anyway…

I have noticed a troubling trend in my blogging. Lately, it seems that I have been writing shorter, lesser polished posts.

Have any of you noticed? I really want to know if my perception is accurate. I also have less patience while reading, especially for pleasure. It does not happen that much when it is for work, like a textbook or a paper.

This reminds me a little bit of what Nicholas Carr wrote in his book “The Shallows”, something in the lines that reading a physical book fosters attention and concentration, as opposed to the internet, which condition us to rapidly “sampling” bits of information. Oh, BTW, this is one of my MAJOR pet peeves, byte-size science!

In my admittedly unqualified opinion, I think that at least part of it is that I want to see the reactions about whatever I write as soon as I can (as in immediately). It is exactly the same way that I oftentimes feel when I post something on social media sites with names that rhyme with -acebook and -witter and practically as soon as I post the comment I keep checking them continuously to see if anyone noticed, ‘liked’, ‘favorited’ or replied to it. I know I am not alone as this is a rather common phenomenon nowadays.

Well, here’s the thing.

Those who know me may have already noticed from how I phrased my previous paragraphs that I am in what I call my “battle mode”, which happens when I have identified a problem and well, I attack it or at the very least try to come up with strategies to solve it.

I want to cultivate patience again, I want to enjoy slower reading, I want to pay my readers the proper respect for their time by at least trying to give them something useful, entertaining, insightful, meaningful, complete, and preferably all of the above.

Any of you my dear readers are welcome to comment and give me feedback; I will appreciate it immensely. That being said, I have several bloggers whom I interact with consistently. They are not just colleagues; I consider them friends, in the remarkable style of friendship that spans at least three continents and a couple of oceans, made possible through THE WEB… These wonderful people may be able to relate to this issue in a more direct way.

This ‘Baldscientist’s Super Friends League’ include you oh my faithful readers, as well as the authors of the following blogs:

The upside down world
The silent astronomer
Inspiring science
Thinking Sci-Fi
Paranormal people
Science in the land

Super Friends League (fellow bloggers and readers as well), unite! Have you gone through anything like this? Any ideas to overcome it?

Ahh, it is good to be back…

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6 Comments

  1. I also had a similar experience. There was a time when I almost neglected my blog and even my Internet life because I am so indulged into other things. My initial thought was that I could just go back easily to the world of Internet, but I proved myself wrong. Getting indulged and caught up in something could really make me forget what I had been doing. It was almost like I was in a coma, and all I could do was to check if I had some e-mail or messages from my Facebook account. Well, I’m glad I was able to come back. And I’m glad that you were able too.

  2. I’ve actually been thinking along similar lines. I’ve had less time for my blog since I’ve started writing for other venues, and I also want to develop my writing in new directions (ie, I want to start writing (science-)fiction!)….and so I sometimes get concerned that my blog posts end up being less developed than they should. I’ve tried to shift to posting less often, with the idea that the extra time will let me write posts that are more in-depth instead of focusing on a single paper. That works to some extent, but I think there’s more to it than just time management.

    I’ve discovered that I have “simple” posts, where I just explain the findings of a recent paper or two, and then posts where I’m really drawn to the subject and explore it more thoroughly. Those posts end up being (roughly) the same length as the simpler ones, but I cover more ground and, in my opinion, do a better job (and link more). They do take more time to write, but it’s as much about being in a different mental state…and I guess they feel more like play and less like work. Like you, I relish those posts — both the ones I write and the ones I read from others — and I guess I’m trying to say that while patience is certainly an important element, I think they also call for a measure of passion from both the author and the audience.

  3. Social media does require a balance. It’s too easy for it to become all-consuming. And as you point out, the internet is built on fractured information, fleeting glimpses rather than detail. I enjoyed detaching from it all while on holiday in New Zealand where we had limited-to-no internet access, and am cutting back on this stuff now I’m back in Australia. I want to spend more time reading books and writing. For me, it’s a mentally healthy choice.

  4. Life frequently gets in the way, so says Murphy (and his law), but I hadn’t noticed your posts declining in any way. I’ve always found your writing to be quite consistent. Perhaps with the book and your other side projects, it just feels like your posts are shorter.

    I have the opposite problem though. Often I have to reign in my writing. If I didn’t I’d end up with 2000-3000 word posts, and no one wants to read that much on the internet. I’ve read posts from so-called blogging gurus, who suggest that anywhere between 300-500 words is the idea length, but I’ve found that the topics I write about can’t be covered adequately at that length.

    That said, quality over quantity my friend. You provide wisdom and insight, and commentary on issues we enjoy and are interested in…that’s all that matters.

    Glad to have you back!

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