About a month ago, I spent a few hours doing a self-evaluation of my life. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, which was a big problem because I hadn’t slept much already. Usually, you can overcome the lack in quantity by increasing the quality, but when both of these are bad, you are in a really difficult situation.
thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii There was so much to do and it felt like it was taking a lot of time. I had to give something. It’s one thing to experience it for a few days (eg the week leading to a Kickstarter launch), but I’ve been in that situation for months. It wasn’t good for my family, my heart, and my health.
But what I realized while evaluating everything was that it wasn’t really a matter of time. The time was there. It was a matter of energy and attention.
My time was not well spent. It was like there was a hole in my watch.
The great Algorithm Gods in the sky must have been aware of my struggles as YouTube started recommending lots of videos related to this issue. Authors, biologists, psychologists, professors, and former Facebook employees have all posted content with the central premise that the current state of social media is a problem.
Platforms that were originally meant to connect people have become much more adept at dividing us. The algorithm that showed us what matters most has been changed to show what holds our attention the most.
Businesses have invested billions of dollars in finding ways to spend as much time as possible scrolling through their news feeds. The more time you spend scrolling, the more money you make and the less time you spend on things of real value.
Looking at my time, I realized that I was wasting a huge amount of time scrolling. You would have eaten and scrolled down. I would push my son on a set of swings and scrolls. I will wait for my wife to get ready for a date and scroll. I’ll edit and scroll through the podcast. I took a “two minute” break from doing something worthwhile, and after 30 minutes I realized I was still scrolling. I sat on the toilet and scrolled down until my legs fell asleep.
This had to stop.
It’s easy to make a strong case that scrolling didn’t improve my life in any way, but made it worse.
And despite not wasting my time getting caught up in pointless political debates or getting on the latest train of fury, I watched them unfold. And I think that’s for most of us. Several studies have shown that the majority of posts on social media platforms are from very few users. It’s like a car accident in the middle of the highway. Most of us have enough sense to drive a car, but we spend a lot of time watching the carnage as we pass by.
And just as squeezing a rubber neck slows down your crawling on the highway, scrolling through your newsfeed slows your productivity to a near standstill.
Realizing how much attention you put into scrolling, you unlock your phone and start deleting social media apps from your phone. However, I was hesitant to start the process and watch the app icons dance across the screen.
I wasn’t sure if I could do it. What was the result of deleting these things from my life? Did I really want to do it? Aside from being the victim of wasting time, would I be prepared to blame myself in the future?
First, I deleted the Twitter app. It wasn’t a particularly difficult decision for me, as I hate Twitter and didn’t spend much time anyway. But my finger paused, pointing to Facebook.
Thinking about all the good things about Facebook, especially the BGDL Facebook community. Basically, it’s the only place I can post and comment, and nearly 9,000 people are working towards the same goal as me. It’s about designing great games that people love.
I closed the phone. I needed a plan.
I have never had to delete Facebook from my life. I had to control it and get it to work for me.
I took some notes.
– Delete the Facebook app from my phone.
– I watch what happens in the BGDL group 2-3 times a day, only on my laptop.
– Do not scroll the news feed under any circumstances.
And I started doing that about a month ago and life certainly hasn’t gotten worse.
Instead of scrolling, I now spend more time talking to the people I care about the most. Productivity has increased significantly and we are doing more in less time. My kids don’t need to pull on my shirt to get me to look up at my phone to pay attention to them. I am more active in the BGDL group because my time is more focused and purposeful. I’m reading more. I am writing more. I sleep better.
Would you do something similar? maybe. I am not declaring the “right” way of life here and your mileage may vary. But it definitely worked for me.
find a better way
A little over a year ago, I started brainstorming and thought about what it would be like to have a website that the BGDL community could buy. The Facebook group was strong, but even at the time, it was well aware of the platform’s limitations and shortcomings.
I wanted a site with all the best parts of the Facebook community and I wanted to get rid of the worst parts.
I wanted a place where we and the game designers created for us could mingle.
I wanted a platform focused on helping designers create great games that people love.
I wanted a course that would help people grow as designers.
I just wanted to ask a question on the forum.
I wanted a calendar to organize Kickstarter launches, conventions, and playtest events.
They wanted a job board where freelancers could find opportunities and publishers could find amazing people to work with.
I wanted a blog where people could post articles and design diaries.
I wanted a way for people to create groups and subgroups around activities and their designs.
I wanted a way to track game design time.
I wanted a random game idea generator.
I wanted a monthly design challenge.
I wanted an amazing mobile experience.
And I wanted a news feed that would help us, not against us.
There is no algorithm. We do not collect data and sell it to the highest bidder. No drunk uncle.
And after a year of tremendous work, BGDL+ is almost complete.
Is it the perfect solution? no. But I hope you join me in finding a platform that offers a better way.
Despite all these features, it’s only on the first floor and there’s a lot to look forward to.
Thank you for being an amazing community. We want to share BGDL+ soon!