I am so bored (with my phone)

posted by Jeff | Monday, May 20, 2024, 8:52 PM | comments: 0

With the exodus of humans that I care about from social media, and its tendency to not show me stuff from them anyway, I find myself completely bored with looking at my phone. Endless algorithm-supplied short videos do not interest me at all, and it feels like that's mostly what's out there. Instagram shows me a little from friends, Facebook even less. When I sit down and unlock my phone, I don't open anything. My brain has reached a point where it knows there's nothing that's going to even short-order entertain me.

Outside of texting Diana, Simon and a few friends and neighbors, I use my phone to do NYT crosswords and NYT news (until it bums me out). I think this is mostly good, because it forces me to do stuff elsewhere, and in the moment. I noticed on my last set of flights, because I wasn't looking at my phone, that virtually everyone else was. My hope is that this also diverts my attention to the other things that I want to (or should) do.

But this comes with a strange and unexpected sense of loneliness. Because of all of the moving that we've done, and the very distributed nature of friends made because of the roller coaster nerd sites, there was a golden age where about 200 or so people that I wanted to stay in touch with were on Facebook. Now there are about 500 "friends," but few are active, many deactivated their accounts, and an unsettling number have passed away.

The optimist in me wonders if there's some way to reverse this decline. There are still a ton of things about the Internet that improve the world, including access to real information, but the social bits really fell apart. I'll continue to post stuff, which I've always primarily done for myself, but it's jarring to know that others aren't really listening anyway.


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