How I’m Trying to Break the Vicious Circle of Social Media

At some point in my life, I realized that social media was not serving the purpose I wanted. It was more likely to be me serving the purpose of those social media platforms.
Over time I changed a few of my habits, getting back in control of my online presence. Here a few of the things I tried and actually worked for me. I encourage you to try!

Postponing reactions

Since a few months ago I stopped commenting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Those systems are designed to leverage our instinct for immediate reaction. However, as humans, we need time to read, digest, understand, and remember things.
When big things happen in the world, like natural disasters, or wars, in order to form an informed decision around them, we need time.
For this reason, I don’t comment on the news on social media. I prefer to read all that’s available and take the time to understand. Sometimes it takes hours, sometimes days, sometimes months. And that’s ok. The world does not need my immediate reaction, I don’t need to join the noise of nonsense that always shouts loud around every day’s events.
When I have made my opinion, I keep working on it, accepting the possibility that I might be wrong.
If I feel the urge to express it online, I publish a post on my blog.

Disabling notifications

My phone does not ring ever. Not a blip, not a ding, not a flashy banner ever. Notifications are meant to interrupt and get the immediate attention. I don’t want that anymore.
For this reason, I disabled all notifications, and I only allow the visual badges on the icons of my phone. If I get a message on Telegram, for instance, a little number next to the icon tells me that something is waiting for me. When I feel about it, I’ll read it and answer.

Contribute actively and in person

I realized that my political activity needed an outlet to be expressed. For a long time it happened online, but at some point, it was not enough anymore.
I started attending, contributing, and sometimes founding, WordPress meetups. I also volunteer as a WordCamp organizer. I don’t consider it work, I consider this as “political activism”.

The WordPress community has a political stance for me. It’s based on principles I believe in, and it promotes inclusion and diversity. There are elements of democracy and representation that still require to be refined, but overall I feel my political position to be correctly represented in it.

This level of contribution requires more than online interactions. It requires to put work into organising activities, hosting meetups, traveling to places, and dedicating effort. It’s hard sometimes, but it has an impact.

How about you?

Do you have any experience in the matter? Have you found yourself viciously trapped on the social media circle? Have you tried to do something about it?

Drop a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Hiša Franko

Today we visited Hiša Franko, Ana Ros’ restaurant in Slovenia.

The food was extraordinary, the wine pairing was excellent (yes those glasses were all for us), and the service was amazingly warm. It felt really good.

It was an amazing experience that we’ll repeat soon for sure. We can’t wait to taste the winter menu.

Wanna Help? You Are In! – Leiden 2013

Summer 2013 was hard on me. The love story for the company I was working for was over, and by the end of September, I had resigned. I was looking for a new gig, but mostly I was looking for a sense of belonging.

A few months before I had helped Paolo in kickstarting the WordPress Meetup in Vienna, and along with that it came the idea of organizing a WordCamp in the coming year.

One of the last days of my notice period, over lunch, and probably as a joke, Paolo suggested me to get a ticket for the upcoming WordCamp Europe in Leiden, so to understand how a WordCamp was operating. I had no idea where Leiden was, nor what WordCamp Europe was, nor how to get a ticket for it.

He patiently explained to me about the city in the Netherlands that was hosting the first regional WordCamp, how to get tickets, and a few more details. I book a last minute flight to Amsterdam, and so I went.

When I got there I got a little lost. Early in the morning and everyone seemed to know what to do, except me. I knew a few people, but not many and the buzz around the registration desk was a little overwhelming. Until Paolo came along again with another proposal: “Wanna help? You are in! We have to fill in for a room manager on the second track. This is the schedule, make sure the stage runs smoothly, good luck, have fun.”

“What’s a room manager? Where is the second track? Smoothly? How smooth, is smooth enough?”

No answers were given, and in a few seconds, I was catapulted into the working machine of WCEU, coordinating people to get on stage, making sure there were water bottles in the backstage, sending mic runners along the aisles.

And that’s how I got sucked in into a fantastic project. I did not plan it, I was not prepared, and I never got tired of it.

I’m sure it’s a typical experience for most of the contributors to the WordPress community. You happen to be there when your help is needed, and you provide support to the best of your capacity.

The first lesson I learned in Leiden: give people the chance to contribute, and they will.

The second lesson I learned in Leiden (still very valid today): if you like to work hard, Paolo is your guy!

WordCamp Europe 2019 is looking for new organizers: apply now!

Letting Things Go

I spent the last few days trying to find my balance. I co-organised WordCamp Europe for 5 consecutive years, and this was the very last one for me.

Organising this event requires ten months of dedicated work, starting in fall with a few hours per week, ending in June with more than a full-time commitment. The very last week was extremely intense, with a contributor day for 500 people, two days of conference with 2100 people, and an over the top after-party.

Leaving this project is hard.

But it’s also necessary to let go. It’s necessary for myself, so to find new adventures to jump in. It’s necessary for the project itself, so to find fresh blood in the new contributors.

It’s also good for the ecosystem, letting people be in charge for too long it’s never healthy.

WCEU will grow bigger and stronger, and it will always be home for many of us.

See you soon WCEU, I can’t wait to cross roads again!

How to Properly Poach an Egg

I’m a poached egg lover and I spent several years looking for the perfect way to properly poach an egg. I can guarantee that this video by Jaques Pépin is the best guide available for poaching eggs.

I just want to add a few DOs and DON’Ts that will help you big times:

DO

  • Take the water up to the boiling point, then lower the temperature. 95C/203F is what you are looking for.
  • Add white vinegar. How much? A good splash. Maybe a little more you would feel comfortable with. Acidity is key to the coagulation of the albumin.
  • Cooking time is 3 minutes. 180 seconds. Not a second more, not a second less.

DON’T

  • Don’t salt the water. It would prevent the coagulation of the albumin.
  • Don’t use eggs that are not super-fresh. Just avoid those eggs that were sitting around your pantry for too long. They are good for baking eventually.
  • Don’t spin the water. Master the static technique in the video. It allows you to cook several eggs at the same time, I usually cook 4 eggs at a time.

Have you tried this tutorial yet? Drop a comment and let me know!