Offline First

Welcome to 2018 where everyone is online, all the time. The more I think about this, the worse I think it is for us in general. For the past few months, I’ve largely bailed on social networks. More recently I’ve been avoiding news as well.

On my phone I’ve removed a many applications, and while I’ve left a few games for when hanging out in the bathroom taking a ?, I try to avoid my phone for things other than phone calls and text (eg. no social media and limited web browsing).

I took a quick peek at twitter over the weekend and immediately saw this tweet from @jjj which made me think of a new old approach to life in the 21st century.

In web development we try to take an approach called mobile first. This is where the content is loaded as minimal as possible and designed considering mobile first, rather than designed with the kitchen sink (everything) for desktop then scaling it back for mobile. The reverse approach tends to be slow and bulky on mobile where you may have an old device or limited bandwidth. It’s not ideal.

This week starts an experiment I’m calling “Offline First.” For years I’ve worked off one or two laptops, work and/or personal, they’ve always been on, they usually travel with me (sometimes even when going to visit family). I get up in the morning, move the mouse to wake the screen, then lose time checking email and surfing the web. 30 minutes later I realize I’m late for something and I’m  ignoring my family.

In avoiding my phone I’ve found this thing called the “real world” (scary, I know) and it’s amazing. I’ve felt better about life, spending time with kids and family, and most important of all, NGAF about what is happening in the world at large.

Back to Offline First and @jjj’s tweet. This week, I’m going to take a new approach to work. When I’m done work at the end of the day, I will be powering down my laptop. No longer will it be there, at the ready for me to unlock and start writing emails or surfing the web. It then becomes a conscious decision on whether or not I want to turn it on then sit and wait until I can use it, or defer until the morning. In most cases, hopefully the answer is “no, this can wait until the morning” and I write myself a note. While certainly there may be cases where I actually need to address something that involves more than an email reply on my phone, hopefully those are the exception rather than the rule.

In the morning, I’ll get up and have coffee or breakfast, then do whatever I want to do with this newfound time-slot before I sit down and consciously start work. Once ready I’ll start my day, work on accomplishing what I need to, and then turn it off again at the end of the day. It will be similar to going in and working in an actual office with a desktop computer then leaving for the night.

While work may never be done, it does need to be paused from time to time so that we spend some time enjoying life in the real world.

I’ll keep you posted on how my experiment goes and hopefully it’s something that yields good results, becoming a permanent fixture of my life rather than a one week experiment.

Giving up Social [Media]

Since I joined Twitter in 2008, I haven’t written much here. I wrote about eighty posts since then, and about seventy of them were written between 2008-2012. That’s right– I’ve only written ten blog posts in the past four years. Even worse is that out of those ten, I wrote seven in 2013 leaving only three blog posts in the past three years.

Social media had taken over my life. It was easier to write short quips and have conversations on Twitter than it was to share thoughts here.

Twitter was nice for a while. It allowed me to meet new people. It allowed me to find and learn new things. It allowed me to share new things and get more traction. But it’s gone to shit. Granted, there’s always been some shit on Twitter; but now it’s festered into a cesspool I’m tired of wading into on a daily basis.

I’ve muted accounts. I’ve blocked trolls. But the magic is gone. The interaction held in the early days is gone. I’ve lost interest. The bad outweighs the good that’s left.

So with that said, I’ll be leaving my account there for historical reasons. I have a ton of favorites that I had more or less used as bookmarks at one point. People I follow can DM me (sorry not opening up DMs) and I’ll get an email notification. I won’t be tweeting any more from this point forward. My preferred method of contact is email if you have it, or the contact form on this website. To follow me going forward, there’s this thing called RSS

Thanks, and hope to catch you elsewhere in life.

2010 Resolutions – 1 Month In

Today is February 1st. Where are you as far as your New Years resolutions?

I’m not one to make a whole list of resolutions, but I have one major thing I wanted to accomplish this year. Form my consultancy and make it profitable by the end of the year. I’m still working on the website, but I have gotten my business cards done and handed some out. In return, I do have some clients and potential clients. I hoped to have my website done weeks ago, but due to other circumstances, that has been delayed. So, I am making progress, just not at the rate I would like.

With a baby on the way… April 1st if she decides to stay in until full term, I do need to get working on getting things done now. I also need to finish the nursery– sooner rather than later.

How have you been doing with your New Years resolutions? Are you on schedule, ahead of schedule, or behind schedule one month into 2010?

We’re Having a… Girl!

In case you haven’t heard yet, or don’t follow me on Twitter @ryancduff (Which you should be doing!), Crystal and I are having a baby girl. She’s due around April 1st, 2010. I’ll have more details as we get closer.

On Other Projects

So lately I’ve been caught up with some other projects. I’ve been trying to develop a new site which should be launching in the near future. I have a domain name and twitter account, which will be released in the near future. I’ll also release some other details as time gets close.

Besides that, it’s just been my normal workload keeping up with my garden outdoors. Speaking of which, I need to go weed it tomorrow.

The only other thing I have which has been keeping me away from what I’d rather be doing is maintaining a friend’s yard while he’s selling his house. It’s about 3/4 of an acre that needs to be cut one to two times a week until the growth slows down. I spent a few hours on that today when I would have rather been working on my new site. Oh well, he sweetened the deal with the $1000 he has invested in a commercial grade mower, blower, and trimmer. I get to keep all of those in return for mowing his grass for a few months.