A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.
Posts tagged "social media"
1) “My feed (full of people I admire) is mostly just a loud, stupid, sad place… I think I’m following the right people, I’m just seeing the worst side of them while they’re stuck in an inhospitable environment. […] Christopher Alexander made a great diagram, a spectrum of privacy: street to sidewalk to porch to living room to bedroom. I think for many of us Twitter started as the porch—our space, our friends, with the occasional neighborhood passer-by. As the service grew and we gained followers, we slid across the spectrum of privacy into the street.”
2) “I have found that my greatest frustrations with Twitter come not from people who are being nasty — though there are far too many of them — but from people who just misunderstand. They reply questioningly or challengingly to a tweet without reading any of the preceding or succeeding tweets that would give it context, or without reading the post that it links to. They take jokes seriously — Oh Lord do they take jokes seriously. And far too often they don’t take the time to formulate their responses with care and so write tweets that I can’t make sense of at all. And I don’t want to have to deal with all this. I just want to sit here on the porch and have a nice chat with my friends and neighbors.”
3) “Why do we give people such access to us? Why do we read what every random asshole says two seconds after we post anything? We allow people access to us 24/7. We’re always in public, constantly checking an anonymous comment box, trying to explain ourselves to everyone, and trying to win unwinnable arguments with strangers who don’t matter in our lives at all.”
I still like a train best for this kind of thing. I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers.
That’s it. Two sentences. And then this happened:
And here’s Jessica Gross on writing on the Amtrak during her test residency:
[There is] a sense of safety, borne of boundaries. I’ve always been a claustrophile, and I think that explains some of the appeal—the train is bounded, compartmentalized, and cozily small, like a carrel in a college library. Everything has its place. The towel goes on the ledge beneath the mirror; the sink goes into its hole in the wall; during the day, the bed, which slides down from overhead, slides up into a high pocket of space. There is comfort in the certainty of these arrangements. The journey is bounded, too: I know when it will end. Train time is found time. My main job is to be transported; any reading or writing is extracurricular. The looming pressure of expectation dissolves. And the movement of a train conjures the ultimate sense of protection—being a baby, rocked in a bassinet.
As John Cleese put it, the artist needs “boundaries of time and boundaries of space.”
What a great story. And PR dream for Amtrak. Well done, y’all.
Marie Myung-Ok writes about getting writing done while being on the internet:
I work via slow accretions of often seemingly unrelated stuff. When I complete that unwieldy, puzzling first draft, I spread it out on the desk like a soothsayer viewing entrails, and try to find patterns. If asked, I might pretty up my process and call it bricolage or intellectual scrapbooking, but it really is merely the result of a magpie mind/brain, one that flits from one shiny thing to another. While I still work in my plodding way, the ever renewing bits of information in my Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr feeds provide endless fodder, like going shell collecting on the beach on a normal day versus the day after a hurricane when the ocean has burped up every interesting bit of stuff imaginable.
I like this bit about using social media as a warmup to the “real” work…
One of my lifelong superstitions is to never talk about any work when it’s in progress — lest its essential energy leak out into the atmosphere rather than the page — but I have no such inhibitions doing unrelated, throwaway writing while I’m writing. In fact, I find that posting a tweet or a Facebook status update can be a nice little warm-up, mental knuckle-cracking before getting down to the real business.
…but I would make the case again: you don’t really know what’s Big Writing and little writing. Something that starts as a throwaway might turn into something else later. Writing is writing.