Saturday, 25 March 2017

The Sublime Art of Faffing

As in a dream where our pursuer cannot catch us nor we escape, Achilles could not overtake Hector, nor could Hector shake him off.  The Iliad, book 22, ca 760–710 BC

The feeling of not getting anywhere, or of running on the spot, or like a headless chicken, is not new. Neither is the desire and the anticipation of getting somewhere, of getting things done, of bettering ourselves in a way or another.

Before apps, google and mobile phones, I had my Mum. When I felt that I wasn't getting anywhere, or that I wasn't solving the problem that I wanted to solve, we would make ourselves a cup of coffee and we would sit on the couch with pen and paper. The only interruptions were my dad, and the phone, that in our house was ringing constantlyApart from that, the process was quite simple. I would state a problem, we would discuss a goal, and organise a plan of action. She would pose questions, I tried to answer, and she would give me suggestions. The feelgood factor was incredible. We were solving everything. Of course, we never had a follow up session on any of my problems, because the next time we sat down there would be a new problem to tackle. 

FORWARD TO NOW: Ah, isn't it great that now, instead of Mum, pen and paper, we have an app for everything, a million ways to be organised, retrieve information, and all the stuff we can set up in order to convey our message! Social media, connectivity. We can set up a blog, set up a website, a Facebook page, a twitter account... Then we can set up an app that connects them all. And, see, everything is set up to receive and distribute our amazing content.

So why am I feeling like Achilles chasing Hector? Why am I feeling the buzz of all of these apps and connections and opportunities, and find that the only thing that is not flourishing is... content? Because I spend all of my time and energy perfecting the Sublime Art of Faffing. Here is how it works. I discover a new app that can schedule my amazing content across all the different platforms. How exciting. So I register, and then I have to link it up to my various accounts, which proliferate at a frightening rate. It goes without saying that I have forgotten most of my passwords. Easy, I have an app that contains them all, so all I need to do is sign in. Ah, but the app doesn't recognise my location, so it sends me an email to verify that I am who I say I am, although I am not where the app wants me to be (at home). But while I search my email, my email app decides to update, and I have to wait until it's done. While I'm waiting, I do something else, like look something up, which reminds me that I haven't updated my calendar, that I double booked myself, that I have to cancel something. I check my fb page for the latest news and events, get distracted by something else, finally retrieve my email verification code. Connect all the accounts that need to be connected to show my amazing content, and guess what? I had no time to create any.

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