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Changed My Mind: 2021 Edition Part 1

I always find it interesting when I change my mind about something. It can happen at any time for any reason, and I might not become conscious of it for awhile.

However, when I actually realize it, it’s an interesting moment. It’s hard to remember my previous mindset and reconcile why it happened. Some amount of cognitive dissonance sets in when I’m convincing myself that I maybe always thought about it this way.

After I get past my ego, however, I try to remember that changing my mind is usually just learning. I have new information or new circumstances that I should adapt to.

So below are a few things I changed my mind on recently.

Baby Pictures

I used to not get baby pictures. What’s so exciting about your baby? I still believe that most babies look kind of odd. I didn’t ask for the pictures in the first place.

Unsurprisingly, my turning point was actually having a baby. Now, I will seize any opportunity to share a picture of my daughter. If you ask about her just to make smalltalk, I’ll show you a picture. If you don’t ask about her, I’ll bring her up anyways and then show you a picture.

I can’t explain why. I was so thrilled when my daughter started walking that I posted the video to my entire company (in the “random” channel, of course). It’s an important milestone, but most children get there, so it’s not exceptional like, say, an olympic medal.

I’m not quite onboard with posting pictures of her on social media, but ask me privately and you shall receive!

Twitter

Until 2021, reddit was my favorite social media platform. Then I just stopped enjoying it. I had in the past tried to use reddit less on multiple occasions without success, but it was pretty easy to go cold turkey when I stopped wanting to use it.

Well, not totally cold turkey. I still had a gap in my downtime, and Twitter was the patch for me. Despite having an account for over a decade, I had never really used it, but when I gave it a shot, I really liked it.

Compared to reddit where the content was entirely siloed by subreddits, Twitter felt like it had more organic discovery of ideas and content simply by what others were doing.

I found the content and discussions more interesting. I could follow thoughtful, forward-thinking people rather than just seeing subreddits replay the same content every few months when a new batch of users (often unintentionally) recycled the same ideas.

And Twitter has an end to make it easier to stop. After scrolling for long enough, you hit the point where you left off, and that’s kind of it.

So 2021 was the year of Twitter for me.

Twitter

That’s not a typo or deja vu. I really changed my mind twice on Twitter.

Just like with reddit, I’m not exactly sure why I got off the Twitter train, but I have a few theories.

I became gradually less impressed with the people I was following. I don’t mean to criticize: I think there are very genuine, thoughtful people working hard to make Twitter content. However, I wonder whether there’s a distorting effect inherent in being a social media thought leader. There’s a lot of pressure to constantly generate innovative and thought-provoking content on a regular basis for a wide audience. That’s really hard.

(On a more general note, I recently have come to the theory that much of the best advice is personal and targeted. Maybe that sounds obvious, but we all take a lot of advice these from the internet because we’re trying to get ideas from the world’s experts even if it’s generalized. This is why having a personal trainer is still helpful in the age of YouTube workouts)

I also really started to notice the effect of filter bubbles. I didn’t quite notice it at first, but when I was just chatting with friends, I kept bringing up topics that they hadn’t heard about. That in itself isn’t bad, but then I realized these topics didn’t truly reflect my own interests or opinions. That was weird.

Since I stopped using Twitter, I have become a much more boring person and am trying to address that in my 2022 goals.

More to come

Based on the introduction, it might seem disappointing to only see three items. And two of those were actually just one thing.

However, I noticed this post was getting long, so I broke it up into two parts. The rest is coming soon!

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