Finding the [love] button
You drop your bags on the lounge floor and look about – everything seems in order. That done, you’re at a decision point, either you can unpack – which means loads of washing – or you can delay the inevitable and pop open the laptop to catch up on the world.
Slipping into your favourite armchair, you watch your MacBook power up for the first time in two weeks. You bring up dashboard with a flick of a wrist that has spent more time flipping sausages than stabbing at keyboards since your Christmas break began.
January 4, 2011 and nothing in the calendar.
Good, you think. Another week before the holidays are over and nothing to do but clean up the inbox. But you can deal with that later – first you have to see what’s been going on in your social spaces.
You know there’ll be some potentially embarrassing photos on Facebook. Glancing over at your camera on the table you remember you have your own load of photos from New Year’s eve to return the favours some of your snap-happy friends will have tagged your way.
Twitter first, then. Your stream is pretty quiet today, only a couple of pages to leaf through before you’re up to date – it looks like people are actively enjoying the sun more than they are talking about it today. But as you start to page back, the days take longer to get through as you hit New Year’s and then further back through Christmas week.
There are some gems in there, links to photos from New Years parties you opted not to go to, some ‘Top of 2010′ lists that you haven’t read, but it’s becoming harder to sort the wheat from the chaff. Your eyes skip over the timelines of workmates, networking bods and various brands as you find your way back to where you left off last year.
Itching at a particularly flaky patch of sunburn with a little more energy than necessary, you realise you’re mostly seeking out tweets from people you actually spent time with over the past few weeks and decide to stop reading around Christmas day. Time to face those Facebook tags.
A friend request from the cousin you hadn’t seen in years – accept. Five from people you vaguely recognise from Twitter or LinkedIn – hmm. Cursing the friend-finder, you defer making such hefty decisions til later. And then there’s 55 notifications and 25 messages – not a bad haul, but they look to be a mix of season’s greetings, “have you seen” links and yep, those photo tags.
You realise this is starting to feel a little less like a holiday than you’d like. A beer perhaps? It’s mid-afternoon so there’s no reason why not. Except there is that inbox to tackle and a stream full of posts to read. Perhaps a coffee – you’ve not had one in days, and getting through this calls for a little chemically-induced haste so you opt for a mug of instant when you realise you’re all out of fresh beans.
Sipping the none-too-subtle brew as you cruise down your stream – with every click of “older posts” you find yourself facing another flurry of largely samey messages – memes of the minute/day/week repeated ad nauseum, personal-in-public exchanges between people you vaguely know, and oh so many well-executed social media campaigns trying to engage you in conversation.
Nothing is feeling very relevant after a week in the sun catching up with friends and family. Sure there are some LOLs in your stream but the more you click the more you realise you clicked LIKE too much in 2010. And quite possibly these “friends” whose posts you routinely skip over aren’t the people you spent your break with for a reason.
Putting your coffee down to itch at your sunburn again you pick up a notepad and pen and decide to make a new year’s resolution. You’re not sure what this year will bring, but you have a feeling that spending more time on less may be the way to go. <!––>