My State of 2019 – Social Media

A couple of years ago I gave up Facebook. I was not enjoying my time there, and I didn’t like their business practices. Fast forward to the end of 2019 and I’m trying to figure out how Twitter and Instagram, the two social media platforms I routinely use, are going to keep playing a role in my life moving into 2020.

Twitter

Social media has been a tough spot for me in 2019, especially Twitter. I really have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. There is truly a lot of valuable information to be had there. I love using it to keep up with weather forecasts and information, using it as a support tool (the support I’ve received from Comcast there has been fantastic), and keeping up with various companies I have an interest in. But we all know about the dark side of Twitter, and that has been the toughest part for me in 2019.

I simply don’t like the types of nonsense Twitter allows on their platform. Their claim that censoring content is of freedom of speech issue is tenuous. Twitter is a corporation, not the Federal government. By censoring content they are not inhibiting anyone’s freedom of speech. It is in the best interest of the public to take care of clearly inappropriate content and make sure that people keep things civil. So far their track record in those areas has been middling at best.

All of that said I’m just not sure what role Twitter is going to play in my life in 2020. It most certainly provides value. But I’ve “quit Twitter” multiple times in the past. I think the path forward is to use it as an information source and steer clear of participating in most conversations. There are a couple of people there I like interacting with but I think ultimately the plan for Twitter is going to be “listen, don’t talk”.

Instagram

I hate to admit it, but I absolutely adore Instagram. I have a very narrow focus there and I love posting my own photos. It is so unlike Twitter, at least in the way I see it on a daily basis. On one hand part of me wants to “quit Instagram” for various reasons. Yes, it’s owned by Facebook. Yes, it is exploitative in many ways. These things bother me and give me thoughts about leaving the platform. On the other hand it is a wonderful outlet for creativity and expression. It’s also become my preferred way to keep in touch with people. I just don’t have an answer right now for Instagram.

Going forward…

In my introduction I wrote that my theme for 2020 was going to be “stability” and that I was going to take the opportunity on a quarterly basis to review these areas of my life and reevaluate them. I think for both of these platforms I’ll have to take a close look in March at how I’ve been using them. If they are too distracting it might be useful to use some of the tools that the Mac and iOS provide for placing limits on myself and how I use them. I just don’t want to make the knee-jerk reaction I have in the past, which is to “quit” and then come slinking back with my tail between my legs. It’s much better to be open and honest with myself about how much value these platforms are providing in my life and move forward based on that.

Adobe posts record 4th quarter. Proves subscription naysayers wrong

Lots of people like to bitch on the Internet about how the software business is moving to the subscription model. If you listen to them it’s the end for all of these companies because people just aren’t going to pay. In the meantime Adobe and their Creative Cloud subscription go and post a record fourth quarter and many other companies are doing well with this model. Why? Because it guarantees revenue. For the customer it means software is updated on a regular basis. A win for everyone except for those clinging to their copies of Photoshop CS 3 because “Adobe just hasn’t added anything to Photoshop.

My State of 2019 – Introduction

As we head in to not only the end of 2019, but also the end of the decade, I thought it was important for me to do a personal review of how I approached things in 2019 and how that will influence how I go into 2020 and the new decade.

When I look back over my Day One journal entries, I notice a distinct pattern: I revisit the same problems over and over again, year after year.1 I have tried grand experiments, like the one I am going to attempt in 2020, multiple times over the years. Like New Year’s Resolutions they have gone pretty much nowhere every single time. But as I approach 50, and my health, while still good, is having some problems, and my children get older (with one a little over a year away from college), I’ve been taking stock of where I am and where I think I want to be. Honestly I’m not liking what I’m seeing.

My “theme” for 2019 has been “experimentation”. I love to tweak my “systems” and fool around with new stuff. Unfortunately that can get expensive, not only in monetary terms but also in time2. 2020 is the time to start getting cost conscious. Time and money are both important and I need to start working on both. For 2020 my personal theme needs to be “stability”. That means settling in on a set of tools for the year and really giving it a go.

So, for the end of this year I’m going to write for 7 days on 7 different categories that are important to my life both online and off as a sort of a personal State of the Union. My plan is to review this stuff on a quarterly basis this year and really take stock of what is going on. I know it’s cliché to say but we don’t know how much time we really have and as I get older this becomes more and more clear to me. I might have been preoccupied in the past with things that don’t matter much but that doesn’t mean that moving forward change isn’t in order.

So tomorrow I’m going to write a bit on how I use social media, how I want to change that, and what it all means for 2020.


  1. Day One has a wonderful “On this Day” feature which show all entries for the given day from any year. It’s one of the features I like most about the application. 
  2. Time really is money (and vice versa)1 They are very interrelated. 

This guy is so wrong (assuming of course he’s not joking).

The idea that tweets should be around for all time is ridiculous. If anything in this world is ephemeral its 280-character bits of text. The fact that I want to delete tweets every 30 days is not being a coward, and quite frankly none of your business.

Nobody should have to suffer years later for some stupid shit they said on Twitter. Nobody.

I was watching one of the Sunday morning political shows today and they had a “town hall” with some people in Michigan. One of the women said she was “pro-life”.

I really, really dislike the term “pro-life”. If you’re anti-abortion say so. Don’t be wishy-washy by saying you’re “pro-life”, because every normal person is pro-life, even those on the pro-choice side!

New Theme

Testing out some of the new WordPress themes and have setting for the moment on the new Morden theme. Without paying a significant amount of money WP.com really limits what you can do. One the one theme where I can change the fonts, Twenty Twenty, the font weights are just plain stupid and of course I don’t have control over that. Who thought a font weight of 700 (bold) with a sans serif font was a good idea? It looks terrible.

Morden seems to have reasonable typography but all of this is really making me rethink staying on this platform. I love the new block editor but I hardly use any of its features. This is convincing me that I either need to spend some cash on an upgrade here or start looking at Hugo again on Netlify with GitLab or GitHub.

Many are talking about the 4K remaster of the Wham video for “Last Christmas”. Truly a terrible song but the 4K remaster looks crazy.

A glorious late afternoon walk today. The air crisp and filled with the scent of a fire. The sunset was spectacular. The pink-orange light first lightly touching the tops of the trees. Then, as the sun dipped lower, applying a blush to the underside of the clouds. Fleeting of course as sunsets tend to be. Such a beautiful light, and such a desire to capture it in a picture. I think though that sometimes it should be good enough to just enjoy the moment for what it is.