It's close to a couple of months now since I stopped being an active user on App.net. The only time I'm posting updates now is when I want to reply to any mentions I get about my blog posts and shared links. That's as active as my timeline gets these days. I'm still getting notifications of people unfollowing me as they realise that I'm not that active there anymore. In the past that might have been a big deal but not anymore. I'm just not spending as much time on social networks anymore.
App.net isn't the only social network I've chosen to distance myself from. I got fed up with the Twitter service over a year ago and decided to stop tweeting. At the time I was questioning the value I was getting from Twitter and whether I could afford the time to participate as often as I could.
The problem I have with any social network is the incessant checking of your timeline that becomes an hourly ritual. With every spare few minutes I had I was checking timelines, replying to people, favouriting posts, posting pictures and everything else that social networks bring.
Being active on any social network and getting work done requires discipline. I just don't have that discipline and rather than fight a continual battle against getting stuff done, I've opted to simply stand by and observe. I still have my App.net and Twitter accounts that I share links to, but that's all they are for.
I guess being a software developer I already spend enough time with my head buried in technology and being online during the day that when it comes to outside of the work day, I prefer to distance myself a bit from things like social media.
It hasn't been all bad though. In the last few weeks I've managed to read a lot more, both online and offline. I spend more time with the kids and I've even had time to build an idea for a daily email service. It's still under wraps, but progress on it is going well.
If I don't "socialise online", then where am I getting my daily dose of interaction? Well, I share content daily on my blog, writing for it as often as I can and have even become part of a small circle of bloggers that frequently refer to each other with links. You know who you are gents!
So being a distant observer of social media has its benefits. I might not have my finger on the pulse of what's trending, but I'll happily trade that to get the time do other things.