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    Science of Us | Kathryn Schulz | 11/7/13 | 13 min
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    Science of Us
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    • CamemBearsandPampleMoose1 month ago

      Is very much identify with Kathryn Schultz‘s perspective on Twitter, And how it has stolen my time in misdirected my intentions. And all in the most enjoyable fashion!

      I follow very interesting, thoughtful, knowledgeable people, and I think somehow that that makes it okay, the time I spend. And there’s been a lot that I’ve been able to learn as a result of that time on that platform, but I feel like I have lost some things as well. I know this has had an affect on my brain, and my attention span, on the way I think. I find it harder to read long articles and books. I find it harder to pay attention to a single thing for more than a few minutes. I find the joy of things as in the attention and effort given to them, and that’s even more difficult and more elusive than ever.

      • Alexa
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        4 weeks ago

        I find it harder to pay attention to a single thing for more than a few minutes.

        so relatable, I've been battling to get my long-term attention back lately and what an uphill climb.

        But more importantly...you have my official, hands-down favorite username on Readup. SO GOOD.

    • Alexa
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Oh yes, this is magnificent. Another great throwback that is insanely relevant right now.

      Also: the one I adore. The one to which I am addicted. And the one that, over the course of the past three years, in tiny nibbles exactly the size of this sentence, has proceeded to eat me alive.

      and isn't this what happens, it slowly eats you alive? The thing about Twitter is so many talented people can (and do) get really good at it. But...at what cost? What incredible works are we missing out on because their time and attention is being sunk into ethereal 240-character snippets instead of a novel, a short story, or anything else with a bit more tangible substance and evergreen staying power?

      I can’t tell you anything at all about what Twitter looks like elsewhere, or in the aggregate. I can only tell you what it looks like to me.

      and this... this is the essence of the black mirror of social. We don't know what these platforms look like to other people, and we can't. It's insane! We think we're on the same platform but no, you're all in your own microcosm thats built just for you...to keep you there manically tweeting away

      that other Twitter IPO: its Infinite Procrastination Opportunities

      favorite thing ever is this IPO twist, hahahahah YEP

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Eighty percent of the battle of writing involves keeping yourself in that cave: waiting out the loneliness and opacity and emptiness and frustration and bad sentences and dead ends and despair until the damn thing resolves into words. That kind of patience, a steady turning away from everything but the mind and the topic at hand, can only be accomplished by cultivating the habit of attention and a tolerance for solitude.

      Social media causes shorter attention span and instant gratification leads to procrastination. Focused time, patience, and sometimes omens/cravings are important to continue the flow of writing. I have a lust for writing, by looking at a blank page or empty text file, I start writing.

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      WOW. Just WOW. The way that Kathryn Schulz writes about her experience on Twitter (back in 2013!) speaks more clearly to the exact experience that I'm having right now, in 2020, than anything else I've read anywhere else - especially recent stuff. We're so caught up in misinformation and toxic discourse, we're missing the bigger problem. (What's a feature? What's a bug?)

      Here's where the nail hits the head (I bolded my favorite sentence):

      Wide-ranging, intellectually stimulating, big-hearted, super fun: Wait, so what exactly is the problem here? For many people — those who use Twitter in moderation, dipping in to check the news or post a thought or pose a question — there isn’t one. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people, chiefly because I am way too susceptible to that other Twitter IPO: its Infinite Procrastination Opportunities. And here is where Franzen got it right. I am convinced that steadily attending to an idea is the core of intellectual labor, and that steadily attending to people is the core of kindness. And I gravely worry that Twitter undermines that capacity for sustained attention. I know it has undermined my own: I’ve watched my distractibility increase over the last few years, felt my time get divided into ever skinnier and less productive chunks.

      More disturbing, I have felt my mind get divided into tweet-size chunks as well. It’s one thing to spend a lot of time on Twitter; it’s another thing, when I’m not on it, to catch myself thinking of — and thinking in — tweets. This is a classic sign of addiction: “Do you find yourself thinking about when you’ll have your next drink?” etc. In context, though, it’s more complicated than that, because thinking in tweets is only a half-step removed from what I’ve done all my life, which is to try to match words to thoughts and experiences. The job of a writer is to do that in a sustained way — a job I find brutally hard, and, when it works, deeply gratifying. The trouble with Twitter is that it produces a watered-down version of that gratification, at a very rapid rate, with minimal investment — and, if I am going to be honest with myself, minimal payoff, and minimal point.