Blog The Happiness Project

Less is More

10 January, 2011

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of posts coming from some particular blogs and email lists. The oversaturation in media isn’t helping my creativity blossom, rather it’s hindering me from hearing my own thoughts. It’s not because I’m subscribed to too many feeds or because I’m taking in things from too many channels, but because I am getting so much from particular sources. The sources are ones I used to feel gave me wisdom, but now I have the distinct feeling of wading through muck.

Recently, I read a great post on Quora from Lucretia M. Pruitt entitled Welcome to Quora. Do Yourself a Favor and Slow Down. A post from Lauren Vargas at the Root Report soon followed, where she stated that There Is No Such Thing as the Status Quo. In her blog post, Lauren says, “Instead of thinking of how many social channels can I participate in, think about how should you be participating in those communities…if you should be there at all. Take this much needed breather to assess how you respond and why.”

What a perfect response! I urge you all to take that into consideration when creating your own communities, blogs, and Twitter accounts. How many do you really need? How many do you want? Is more always better? I think not.

This is not a new discussion. It’s been had over and over and over again and, with regard to information, there is such a thing as pushing too much on your followers and friends. If you have something important to say, by all means, SAY IT. But think long and hard about the push of information over this web space and ask yourself if your post is necessary; if it is not necessary, is it helpful, wanted, craved? Because, if it’s just chatter, why not benefit your audience better by giving them something they really want.

I’m stepping back myself. I’m thinking, processing, dreaming, and creating. And when there’s something really good to share, I’ll share it. Until then, my friends, may the muses bless you with important, compelling blog posts.

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  • Reply Lucretia M PruittNo Gravatar 11 January, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I stepped back heavily from my blogging. I found I really wanted to go participate in communities where I was ‘just another member’ for awhile.
    I seem to have found my voice again as a result.
    Granted, that particular post you link on Quora went a little viral – it taught me a lesson about posting in frustration. Instead of being helpful for some people, it was insulting. (Not my intent.)
    But I’m really glad that you got the important part out of it.
    We don’t all have to be haring about the Internet trying to find “the latest place”. It kind of strikes me as running around all over town looking for the “best party” when the one you would’ve really enjoyed was the one you were at, if only you had put your time & energy into it.

    I love Quora. But I’m also completely the kind of person it should and does appeal to. I don’t know that it’s for everyone. Actually, I know it’s not. A lot of my friends from Twitter, Facebook, and blogs have admitted to me that they just don’t see in it what I do. I think of the Internet as a fabulous buffet – all kinds of things you love, all kinds of things you’ve never tried, and a few you know you don’t want. But you only have so much room on your plate. Choose to pile it high with things you love. There’s no ribbon or trophy at the end for forcing yourself through a bunch of things that you don’t. 🙂

    Love your post. Thanks for taking the time to write it!

    • Reply cloverdewNo Gravatar 12 January, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      I think finding one’s voice – and keeping it – requires a lot of reflection and it’s brave to use one’s own voice instead of just going with whatever seems popular at the time. Thank you for doing that.

      I found your post on Quora to be informative, reflective, and just what I needed. And I think, likely, the people it was insulting to weren’t getting the real point behind it – the point, I think, was not to insult anyone, but to remind people of their own voice and to not let the technology get in the way of what is truly valuable.

      What you wrote about the party, “We don’t all have to be haring about the Internet trying to find “the latest place”. It kind of strikes me as running around all over town looking for the “best party” when the one you would’ve really enjoyed was the one you were at, if only you had put your time & energy into it.” reminds me of an episode of How I Met Your Mother, when the main characters literally take a limo to multiple parties trying to find the best one before midnight before they realize that the best place to be is really the place where they can talk openly with their friends…

      I like Quora so far – it seems a great tool, but it’s not for everyone and I could see why others might not need or want to use it, especially if they are overextended in the social space online to begin with.

      Thanks for the comment, taking the time to read my post and respond!

      • Reply Lucretia M PruittNo Gravatar 12 January, 2011 at 6:37 pm

        Dude!! I love that episode! HIMYM is pretty much my favorite show on TV. So often I think “oh yeah, been there” with one situation or another.

        I used to spend my nights at conferences schlepping about from party to party because I had friends who “just needed to go check out this one…” and then realized about a year and a half back that if I just listen and go with the flow, I end up with some really amazing people having a really amazing time. Sometimes, it’s at a party. Sometimes, it’s just dinner or coffee/lobby talk. But it’s amazing what happens when you *let* it happen. 🙂

        • Reply cloverdewNo Gravatar 12 January, 2011 at 9:32 pm

          Haha. I love it, too for precisely the same reason. It makes me feel better about being in that state of limbo of my late twenties.

          I’m definitely trying to just “let it happen” more and more in life. It’s not a bad thing, but it takes some getting used to.

  • Reply LaurenNo Gravatar 11 January, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Less is more and definitely a lesson we have learned throughout life and need to put into practice online too. We need to step back and examine not just what others want, but how we define success. What really matters to us? Lucretia says it brilliantly…we need to enjoy where we are and think (reflectively) about why we are enjoying it…not rush to push it on others. Always enjoy your posts…thank you for linking to RR.

    • Reply cloverdewNo Gravatar 12 January, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you, Lauren. Critical thinking is, well, critical. I’m just wondering why more people aren’t doing it. Especially the ones who used to do it so well. I wonder what has changed. Is it exposure? I am pondering.

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