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Blog // Thoughts
May 6, 2016

This Week I Quit Medium

This week, I quit Medium. A popular blogging platform, Medium is a darling of the tech and digital world and to be fair, there is a lot of great content writing to be found there. Regardless, I’ve decided to not only delete the medium app from my iPhone, but also take down all writing I […]

This week, I quit Medium. A popular blogging platform, Medium is a darling of the tech and digital world and to be fair, there is a lot of great content writing to be found there.

Regardless, I’ve decided to not only delete the medium app from my iPhone, but also take down all writing I had posted there, unsubscribe from their mailing list and remove my account.

What It Takes To Be Everywhere, All The Time

There’s an argument that goes something like this; in order to grow your “audience,” you have to put your work on every platform you can find, or at least, every platform that has any kind of buzz around it. There’s no doubt Medium is popular. And, since it’s free to post, there’s little reason not to try.

But, like so many similar arguments about creating an online following, this assumes you have infinite time to invest in creating a presence, reformatting your work for each platform, or creating unique work for specific platforms, managing your accounts and so on.

I don’t have infinite amounts of time.

When celebrities, business leaders, artists and the like say they write every bit of their social media stream, the reality is there’s usually a team behind them, helping manage their accounts, creating the images, managing the following and even curating material and links for them to share. For a few hundred dollars a month you can buy the same kind of services that big name online “thought leaders” use, not just to manage their multiple digital outlets, but also to create and edit a big chunk of the “content” they share.

Our Algorithmic Destiny

As almost every socially oriented platform seems to be shifted towards an algorithmic timeline, the game is stacked in favour of those who have the resources to maximise their presence on every platform, and against those of us who are spreading ourselves thin trying to keep up.

I’m not jealous. There’s no reason to be. It’s just the way things are going.

Managing The Flow

Small business owners are accustomed to managing cash flow, making sure they have enough coming into the business every week to pay the bills and keep the lights on. In creative work, we also have to be aware of our time flow, or perhaps our attention flow, making sure we have enough time and attention available every week to solve the challenges we face and follow the threads of inspiration wherever they might lead us.

Leaving Medium isn’t a comment on the platform, it’s a commitment to be a better steward of my most precious resources – time and attention.

What It Took To Quit

Quitting Medium wasn’t hard. It might have taken 15-20 minutes to delete crime from their mailing list, but thankfully there’s a Delete Account tab in the account settings. This let’s you remove your post and profile in one move. As expected, you are met with an emotionally potent warning, but it felt liberating to go ahead and remove another burden from my already crowded list of online commitments.

Delete-Medium-Warning

This week, I Quit is a weekly series where I try, in a personal way, to address the habit of overcommitment. Each week I quit something, it could be an app, a habit, a possession, a word, anything that had a hold on my attention. I explain why I made the choice to quit and what it was like.

Responses
Toni 3 years ago

Its overwhelming sometimes, isnt it? The pressure to be everywhere, post images on every site imaginable. I’ve gradually cut back my net presence to the point where its just the blog and one forum, plus a hosting site for pics, though I have a job not connected to selling images.

Yi Shun Lai 3 years ago

How I love this series! So inspiring, to let go of things. Isn’t that strange?

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