SOCIAL MEDIA HAS MELTED MY BRAIN

This bit from Ryan Broderick’s ‘Garbage Day‘ newsletter melted my brain.

“According to Know Your Meme, about 60% of the memes we’ve seen in 2022 were created by Twitter or TikTok. And the three biggest apps behind those two —YouTube, Reddit, and Instagram — all trail far behind, contributing around 10% each. And if these current trends continue, it’s likely that by next year TikTok will outpace Twitter. In fact, we’ve entered a new interesting moment where it’s usually unclear whether people on Twitter are talking about something because it’s on TikTok or if people on TikTok are talking about something because it’s on Twitter. Soon it won’t be. Very shortly, every every platform on the internet will be completely downstream of TikTok.”

Ryan Broderick

Like, what?

Sometimes I see some Twitter drama, and follow it for a day. Then, when I tell someone who’s not on Twitter about the drama, they look at me like I have three heads.

This is that. That is this.

I want off, I want out. I am 46 now and while I’m not going back to a 56K modem or purchasing a flip phone, this idea that we all need to be plugged into the social media slot machine, constantly pulling the lever to ingest more more more into our eyeballs is just about over for me.

Half the shit anyways is in response to things on the internet anyways – news reports, new videos, and – of course – the trendy new happing on TikTok.

So whatever.

I’ve been writing here at sethw.com since about 2018. On and off, stop and start, sometimes not a lot of writing, and sometimes a bit more. But this place is mine, and mine alone.

Anyone from the world wide web can discover this site, read what I’ve been writing about going back to 2018, and go on about their merry way.

Try reading someone’s Tweets going back to 2018. Good luck.

For the last two months I’ve been getting my ass out of bed and to the gym instead of scrolling social media. I deleted Twitter from my phone (again). And two months later I feel better.

Social media is a habit that’s meant to be broken.

HOME IS WHERE I’LL BE

I’m working out of a nearby co-working spot again, which is close enough for me to walk home for lunch. This tiny side street always amazes me, with the shade, the trees, the church; it’s a great space, though this photo doesn’t really capture that.

Nights are quiet in a college town when school is out, so I’ve taken to doing some night riding with my fixed gear. Very slow and deliberate, listening for crickets and speeding trucks.

I keep thinking to upload photos like this to Instagram. They’d get a few likes and comments, remind people I’m alive. But I am burnt to a crisp on social media.

I liken it to the food court at the mall. As teens, that was the place to be. It’d be weird if all our parents were there, too. That’s social media. Oh, and the mall cops won’t let you see some of your friends, too. That’s the algorithms.

My website is the tiny store front on a side street with no foot traffic. If you want to see what I’ve got in my shop, you’ll have to open a web browser, as I’m nearly done placing ads at the food court for you to come check out my stuff.

Does this mean less traffic? Maybe people will forget about me? Sure.

But I email friends, and text with pals, and get on the phone and Facetime, too. I’m not lacking, and for that I’m grateful.

Investing my time and energy at the food court is over.

FIND THE GOOD STUFF

I removed Twitter and Instagram from my phone, as both were sucking up way too much time. Way too easy to just lose 10 or 20 minutes at a time and come away with nothing of any value.

Of course my brain somehow found Google News, or Apple News, which is just throwing more blunt force trauma into my eyeballs on the regular. No thanks.

Then I remembered, wow, there were design sites I used to frequent which always linked to the coolest stuff.

So in hit up Swiss Miss and found earth.fm, which is amazing nature sounds from all over the world.

Then I found this amazing video, too. A soothing, gorgeous video. Absolultey inspring.

So scrolling through Swiss Miss didn’t flood me with all these things. They were spaced out over several days, not just video after video, pummeling my senses and stealing my attention.

Worth checking out: https://www.swiss-miss.com/

STOPPED SHOUTING

One of the two “blogs” I regulary check out has gone on hiatus, or sabbatical as Jason Kottke puts it (the other is Daring Fireball, but he’s still going).

It’s weird – I had been writing online since 2001 with a music blog, and responsible for running a music site up until 2011. Then I did daily metal trivia on social media from 2011 through 2018, with nightly fucking email newsletters with the answers.

Not to mention regular Tweeting since 2006, with the occasional podcast (Workbench, Metal Minute, On The Rag Again, Later, etc.), and newsletter (The Soft Run, etc.). A Daily Loop. Just always doing… something.

I’ll tell you what gets me going, though: talking to other people about putting stuff out there. Making their websites go, or their newsletters, or starting a podcast. Not like I’m the guy to talk to about how to make it “go viral,” but I’ve done enough of this stuff to know how to build a foundation, and build from there.

That’s such a different medium, though, for me. For years I’ve followed the wisdom that I need to always talk about it, put it out there, share my knowledge with everyone. And weirdly enough once I stopped shouting about it from the roof tops (I’ve slowed down Twittering, stopped sending out my HEAVY METAL EMAIL newsletter), that’s when a few calls have been set up to actually talk about the stuff I do.

LOVING THE OLD MAN AND THE THREE

I’ve been watching NBA basketball since the early 90s, during prime Knicks, Bulls, Pacers. Jordan, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, Bird, fuck…. and through all the years, like, damn, I still watching the game.

During most work days I have ESPN going in the back ground. Just background noise, but it’s a nice way to put in the work hours and hear some good stories.

Gotta say, thouhg – the Old Man and the Three podcast by JJ Redick is so good. The latest with Willie Green is great – the story about how he got into coaching.

Some of my other faves:

Seriously – like stories of eating shit, doing the worst gigs, playing overseas, bus rides… not that allll hard work leads to riches, but man, if you don’t put in the work, that’s usually a good indicator that you ain’t gotta win it all, too.

Love these.

QUIT YOUR JOB SOMEDAY

In the past few months I’ve started following some “career development” accounts on Twitter, and signing up for some emails. Then immediately regretted my choices in life.

Everyone loves a success story, but dear lord, must everything be “how I quit my job at NASA and earned $500,000 a month selling e-Books?”

Like, not everyone is destined for e-book writing.
Or starting an online course.

“Get on Twitter, be helpful, then you can write an ebook and teach a class, and earn six figures in a month.”

Like, what?

I can’t find the “how to pay your cell phone bill with a helpful skill” sort of articles or videos, because all the algorithms are tilted towards the six figure hustle porn.


ENJOYING THIS LIVE STREAMING THING

Unfortunately the only way to put a video of mine on this site is to upload it to YouTube, which seems silly, since this audio file actually expires in less than 24 hours, but just posting about it on social media ain’t the answer!

So if you read this blog – I make up these tones and sounds in real time, and stream them on Blast Radio, live to the world. To listen to you need to download the Blast Radio app, but I promise it’s pretty nice. Get it here.

On tonight’s broadcast I had four listeners, which is more than I had a week ago when I started doing this. So I’m just putting this here as a small piece of history. Not really aiming for the stars with this, after all, but I enjoy making these, so if you like them, tune in. Listen here while it’s still live.

Yes, I have downloaded archived copies of each stream, and will be putting them on Bandcamp in a bit. Stay tuned.

I’m going to do a live stream this Friday, January 14th at 9pm ET on both Blast Radio (audio only) and Mix Cloud which will have a video element – bookmark this page here.

My latest mix (#20) was live streamed last Friday. Click below to listen..

I’ve watched a lot of people get into the live streaming thing, mostly on Twitch, or Instagram Live, neither of which I enjoy. Right now Blast Radio and Mixcloud do the job, but my ultimate set up would be something I control, on my own domain name, on my own website.

But that’s a project for another evening.

CREATED FOR MYSELF

Found this quote from an artist today while sourcing tracks for an upcoming Goodnight, Metal Friend mix:

“These tracks were originally created as a source of inspiration for both myself and meditative purposes.”

Ran Kirlian

For myself. And meditative purposes.

As I recklessly pay for hosting and domain names and set up a newsletter for Goodnight, Metal Friend, I think that’s the biggest part.

I love my new site (see it here). It makes my eyes light up, seeing all the mixes I’ve produced over nearly two years.

The newsletter on Substack will be partly meditative, too. A log of the journey, seeing where all this goes.

Putting this out into the world doesn’t feel like obligation, like a regimented “content creation” schedule that I must adhere to. The easiest “posting schedule” or whatever is simply sharing what you make every now and again.

A lot of people won’t get it. Some people might. In the end, it’s for me.

LET PEOPLE DO TIKTOK

This year TikTok got more traffic than all of Google, which includes Gmail, Maps, search, and about a million other things.

It’s a trap. Just like every social media platform that came before.

It’s a new gold rush, right? You have to get a TikTok account, they say.

But what about writers? Or poets? Teachers?

There was a time when TV production involved dozens of people, a studio space, and tens of thousands of dollars of equipment.

Now we have 4K cameras in our pockets and we’re expected to shovel video content into a new social media platform everyday.

When, in fact, I’d say 99% of of still haven’t managed to optimize our websites or social channels to sell something, get hired, or build trust.

But yeah, let’s all sign up for TikTok.

Just because your audience heads to TikTok doesn’t mean you need to meet them there! People are allowed to leave your shop, set down your book, listen to other bands.

Focus on who is in front of you. And get their damn email addresses, while you’re at it.

GOING LIVE WITH HUNTERTHEN

Sunday evening HUNTERTHEN live mixing. Listen live on Blast then it’ll be available for 24 hours. After that it’s gone.

On Blast Radio, artists get their own radio station to broadcast what they want, when they want. From talking to tracking, album debuts to venue performances, daily request radio to live production sessions, rehearsals to reviews. Listen to the artists you love share what they love.

Blast

I started making these as mixes, and called them Goodnight, Metal Friend.

I would search for hours on Bandcamp, sourcing the sound and vibe I wanted. Now I’m finally figuring out how to make my own as HUNTERTHEN.

Dark ambient? Drone? Atmospheric gloom? I don’t know.

Something mechanical. Robotic.

It’s like you’re in sleeping bunk on a futuristic space train. I dig it. And been nerding out to it since the pandemic started. Weird hobby, I know.

Going to try to stream live to Blast in the evenings, when the days are winding down. Install the app, maybe, and find me on there as hunterthen. The app will notify you when I’m live.

I tried doing the same on Twitch, but holy shit, Twitch is a beast. So much going on, especially for something as low key and chill as this.