Twitter has never exactly been a walled garden, but over the last couple of years I’ve been able to curate the kind of experience I wanted to have using the platform. For the most part, the posts I was seeing were of interest – ranging between current day Army policy, to politics, to general history and more specifically the age of fighting sail.
The last few weeks, I’ve increasingly seen posts (and ads) that are of no particular use or interest to me. This morning, for some reason, the theme mixed in with my normal fair was posts and ads from whack job conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine organizations.
I just can’t muster the time or interest to deal with that. I want to like Twitter. I find it an incredibly useful tool for breaking news and information. I even appreciate the often serendipitous posts that land in my feed.
What I don’t appreciate is having those normal bits of my feed shouted down in favor of whoever happens to be the loudest, most obnoxious people using the app. I more or less abandoned Instagram when its “new and improved” features ceased providing the experience that added value to my life. I feel Twitter slowly and surely following the same route. Increasingly, it feels like the direction the whole universe of social media is taking.
I’m going to give it one more try to adjust the settings and lay in some new “words to never show me,” but it’s quickly descending into “more trouble than it’s worth” territory. It almost feels inevitable that eventually I’ll just withdraw from the socials altogether into a world of books and animals where everything else can bugger directly off. I’m fast approaching the hard limit of the amount of fuckery I intend to allow into my life.
This Friday is going to mark the first time since 2007 I haven’t schemed, connived, stood in line, or woke at three in the morning to get my hands on a new release of Apple’s iPhone on it’s release day. The idea of it leaves me with mixed emotions to say the least. Living in Apple’s universe has never been about having cutting edge hardware or software so much as it’s about having a platform the feels somewhat more refined and well put together than the competition. There’s very little doubt I my mind that iPhone 7 will continue this trend, but if I’m honest, my 6S Plus is still feeling like a really solid device in terms of fit and function.
As much as I hate to admit it, iPhone has reached a point in its life cycle where it is already doing everything I need or want a cell phone to do. It’s capable of doing much more than that, really. I know there are plenty of features that I either purposely don’t use or find myself not even aware of until someone shows them to me. With this year’s round of incremental improvement there just isn’t a change significant enough to convince me to spend the $1000 to be an early adopter – although I have to admit the dual lens camera is looking pretty sick.
I’m not quite ready to concede that I may have entered a period where I’m no longer compelled to have the newest and shiniest tech. The 2006 vintage plasma television in my living room and the 12 month old phone on my hip may belie that point, though. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind a week from now or three months from now, but whatever desire once drove me to take a vacation day and track down the update on day one seems to have gone cold.
Thanks to Amazon, my Kindle is now happily stocked with what could well be months of reading material – ranging from the Battle of Jutland to the reign of Richard III to fiction of a decidedly pulp variety. It makes me happier than it probably should.
I’ll admit that I was a holdout during the formative years of the e-reader, but I’ve come to appreciate it all the more as time goes by. While I miss the more frequent binge visits to the book store, there’s something deeply satisfying about having the preponderance of whatever you may want to read available at the stroke of a few keys.
I suppose I have to grudgingly admit that the pre-Cyber Monday sales from Amazon where good for something after all. I’ve heard it said that you can’t buy happiness, but as long as you can buy books, I’m not at all sure that’s true.
Apple’s fall media event kicks off in about three hours. The fact that I’m home while the landscapers finish up the yard is purely a happy coincidence. Really. It is. I won’t bore you with what the Apple blogs are expecting to see this afternoon. Suffice to say I’m expecting to see at least one thing – and possibly two or three – that will eventually be showing up in my tech tool kit. God knows I don’t need all the things, but I do certainly want them. Whatever they are.
I wonder if this is what it felt like the day they rolled out the latest Sears catalog back when that was still a thing. Probably not. Sears wasn’t exactly a hype machine. Apple, on the other hand, is the master of making me want to gladly hand over fists full of cash.
In a world full of war, refugees, hunger, rape, murder, and all manner of pillage maybe that makes me a bad person. Probably. Still, the heart wants what it wants.