In this post, Austin Kleon, backpedaling a little from the approach he seemed to promote in Show Your Work!, talks about the problems we all face with ‘living in public’.
It seems ridiculous to say, but 2013, the year I wrote the book, was a simpler time. Social media seemed much more benign to me. Back then, the worst I felt social media did was waste your time. Now, the worst social media does is cripple democracy and ruin your soul.
Kleon quotes Warren Ellis, who writes one of my favourite newsletters (his blog is pretty good, too):
You don’t have to live in public on the internet if you don’t want to. Even if you’re a public figure, or micro-famous like me. I don’t follow anyone on my public Instagram account. No shade on those who follow me there, I’m glad you give me your time – but I need to be in my own space to get my shit done. You want a “hack” for handling the internet? Create private social media accounts, follow who you want and sit back and let your bespoke media channels flow to you. These are tools, not requirements. Don’t let them make you miserable. Tune them until they bring you pleasure.
In May 2017, after being on Twitter over a decade, I deleted my Twitter history, and now delete tweets on a weekly basis. Now, I hang out on a social network that I co-own called social.coop and which is powered by a federated, decentralised service called Mastodon.
I still publish my work, including Thought Shrapnel posts, to Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It’s just not where I spend most of my time. On balance, I’m happier for it.
Source: Austin Kleon
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