As the year comes to a close, I’ve got lots on my mind. A lot has changed in my life in the last year, five years, ten years. All the pedants repeating that this decade ends at the end of 2020 haven’t deterred me from heading into this holiday season thinking more retrospectively than usual. However, before this calendar year comes to a close, I’ve got some things to take care of.
It’s Advent of Code season! Advent of Code is an annual, Christmas-themed programming competition (but there’s no requirement you approach it competitively.) Every day from December 1st until Christmas Day they release a new two part puzzle.
I’m going to be streaming them as I do them over on my Twitch channel. I won’t always be doing them on time (I’ve not done the first two days as of this writing) so subscribe to notifications for when I go live if you want to watch. I’ll tweet out notifications too.
I’ve got a backlog of blog posts I need to finish. I normally have a back log of blog post ideas, but currently on top of that I’ve also got a whole bunch of half-written posts. One of my goals for December is to get those completed and published. Stay tuned for a couple technical posts, as well as a couple retrospective posts!
Earlier this year I read Cal Newport’s book, Digital Minimalism. While the book itself is unnecessarily self-helpy and contains some downright silly (and sometimes problematic) analogies and anecdotes, I’m on board with the fundamental premise: much technology isn’t built with our best interests in mind and we should be intentional about how we use it.
I won’t dive into the details of the book, nor will I recommend it. The way I see it, our modern lives are full of distractions and many of those come from technology. Many of us might be better off cutting down on our time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, instant messaging, games, et cetera, but some of these services also provide real value. The book simply suggests a decent process for getting a better handle on the value or lack of in the technologies we use.
For the month of December (technically we’re starting tomorrow) my wife and I are restricting our use of technology to the essentials: no social media, no chatting without a purpose, no passive media (podcasts, Netflix, YouTube), no gaming. We picked December for good reason; it’s a month with lots going on and when there will be lots of opportunities to make the most of time with our friends and family.
At the end of the month, we’re going to start intentionally adding apps and technologies back in with the new perspective of having gone without them for a month. I’m looking forward to learning which tools are worth keeping and which don’t make the cut.
That’s what I’ve got going on this December! If you want to spend time with me this December, please reach out! I’m not trying to isolate myself, just be less distracted! I’ll also still be tweeting, but just through scheduled tweets with Buffer, so no need to call me out for cheating on this if you see some tweets from me. You just won’t catch me scrolling my timeline.
Thanks for reading! Let’s go for a beer this holiday season! Message me!
Written by Jared Norman,
published December 02, 2019