A slow messaging service for people who don't want a compulsive relationship with the tool they use to speak to their friends.
I’ve been thinking about the importance of incremental UI changes, but it was still stunning to see all of the changes they’ve made to facebook recently. They aren’t all huge, but it had been years since I’d seen someone else use it, so it all hit me at once. It’s astounding how much they’ve tweaked and tuned their site.
My reaction was obvious enough: facebook has gotten pretty dumb these days.
It would be hard to build a better Skinner box to capture people’s attention. Considering how valuable that attention is, it makes sense that facebook is extremely competitive in this area. (Whether or not they are so effective as to constitute a cognitohazard, or direct danger to the proper functioning of your mind – not unlike narcotics or cults – is something I do not know. I can say that facebook seems like a waste of time, but that’s hardly news.)
So I’ve tried to make an island free of compulsive behavior and impulse driven checking, encouraging people away from easy but contentless “communication”.
Write letters to people. Read letters, and respond to them. They only get delivered once a day, so there’s absolutely no reason to check more often than that. Nothing new will be there until tomorrow.
As an aside, if anyone wants to collaborate with me on projects (something I’ve considered before but never had the logistics line up) – please, send me a letter at my Lazy Owl address.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have email, IM, and the option to call people. But doesn’t it make sense to make room for thoughtful letters? I love sending them, and am always delighted to receive something well crafted, so feel free to reach out for any reason.