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Mediations #3: Real-life vs. Online Relationships
The importance of close relationships and the impact of social media on relationships
I've been silent for a while because I was on a late-summer vacation. During this trip, I had the opportunity to reflect on my daily routines. Those who are close to me know that I have been making some changes in my life recently and trying to reduce my digital interactions. I have been writing regularly about these changes on my blog as well.
I have realized that my attention span is quite low, and this realization has made me fight against my digital addiction in order to increase my attention span. Activities such as checking my phone, scrolling through social media, and reading emails or messages on Slack provide a tiny dopamine rush that encourages me to continue with these habits. Although some might argue that staying connected with friends and family on social media can be beneficial, I feel that the overall impact of these activities is not worth the time and energy they consume.
In fact, I believe that these shallow digital connections can even weaken our real-life social connections. When we meet up with friends, we often have nothing new to talk about because we already know everything that’s going on in each other’s lives through social media. Our conversations become superficial and meaningless. While meaningless chats with friends are okay, I have found that the healthiest relationships are built on a certain level of mystery and not knowing everything about the person.
That’s why I have decided to stop using Twitter, deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts, and reduced my reliance on the internet. Instead, I am seeking out ways to connect with others that have been proven to be effective, such as face-to-face conversations, emails (if you want to connect with me, just send me an email at candost[at]candostdagdeviren[dot]com), chat apps, or even physical letters (I would if anyone would like to try 😅).
Rather than silently following the lives of my third-level cousin's life or a friend I've never seen in the last 15 years on social media, I want to learn more about the lives of my close friends and family members. I reach out to them, call them, and ask them about their lives. I have realized that dedicating even four seconds every day to people I don't communicate with regularly can add up and take time away from the people I love and want to spend time with today. And that's not fair to anyone.
Some Things I Found Great
I am leaving West Africa |S7E60| - Itchy Boots — I have been following Noraly for a long time. Her resiliency is legendary. She not only amazes me with her journey but also with her kindness to everyone and surviving (physically and mentally) alone, mostly thanks to her kindness and smiling face to strangers in foreign lands.
Aardvark'd: 12 Weeks With Geeks is a movie from 2005 that features so many people we know today in the tech world, including Jessica Livingston & Paul Graham (founders of Y Combinator), Aaron Swartz & Steve Huffman (founders of Reddit), Joel Spolsky (co-founder of stackoverflow.com). When I see all these people together, I understand the network effect on founding a business. By the way, the movie itself is terrible and very amateur.
Aaron Swartz — The movie above reminded me of the life of Aaron Swartz. A prodigy, a geek, an activist. Aaron was a remarkable person who is mostly unknown outside of the tech world (and probably many folks in the tech world also don't know). He made a significant contribution to the web, such as co-creating RSS Feeds and a Creative Commons license (e.g., I use both on my website), besides co-founding Reddit.
some people who make programming easier by Julia Evans is a fantastic zine acknowledging so many unsung heroes impacting software engineers' lives every day.
Recently, I Thought About
a team's commitment to their goals.
We always talk about a team's performance as how they achieve their goals: processes, automation, team happiness, and technical capability and knowledge. Yet, a more important driving force is achieving the goals themselves—making a commitment and fulfilling it within the committed timeframe. When a team commits to a goal, it's their promise to the organization. Regardless of the goal, they must achieve it to gain trust in the organization. When they reach the goal, they also trust themselves (and each other in the team) and work toward improving their performance.