One striking feature of the digital-self-help literature is that it treats distraction, overload, and frazzlement almost entirely as personal challenges. If you’re stressed out and unable to concentrate, you’re not enlightened enough. Meditate harder.
Try to be funny as much as you can. Try to participate in conversations, not just start your own. Try to engage, not just talk.
Sheila Heti: What do you enjoy reading on Twitter?
Christian Lorentzen: Because I follow so many accounts I think of it as watching a stream of garbage flow in order to see what colour the trash is today.
David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) is tweeting a short story all this week - line by line. Fittingly, the narrator is a teenage boy high on Valium.
What Would Twitter Do?
In this new ten-part series, ten of my favorite people on Twitter talk about what they do on Twitter and why—their Twitter philosophies, their do’s and don’ts, and what they make of the medium in general. First up: kimmy @arealliveghost whose Twitter feed is unique and moving and poetic and wonderful. One of her most popular tweets (and one of my favorite) is: your body is a ghost factory that takes one lifetime to produce a ghost. Kimmy Walters lives and writes in St. Louis. Her poetry can be found in FRiGG, Plain Wrap’s Quarter, The Chariton Review, and other publications.
Interesting new series from The Believer.
I can’t create a profile on a non-Facebook site that then appears on Facebook, and no microblogging service could emerge to challenge Twitter unless it were capable of inducing mass defections. Social media services or social utilities, as they would better be called, are thus more like highways or railroads than like car manufacturers or freight companies. Trade in my Ford for a Toyota, and I can still drive on the same roads that lead to my friends’ doors. But even if there were another all-purpose social networking site like Facebook, I couldn’t switch to it without losing contact with my Facebook friends. This presents the familiar problems of monopoly.
Michele Filgate was so terrified by Dave Eggers’s The Circle that she quit social media for a week and wrote about the experience for Salon. “I don’t want to become like Mae, sacrificing real-life friendships for the allure of the screen. I want to be aware of the world around me. I want to write about that world. I want to feel more alive, even if that means being lonelier in the process.” Pair with: our review of the novel.