Changes COVID-19 Has Foistered on Me

I’m not sure that foisted is the right word, but I have changed my mind about several things as a result of COVID-19.

  • I am not a fan of social media so I had deactivated/deleted my SM accounts a long while ago. However, given the situation and the need to stay in contact with far flung family and friends, and given how much information is on SM (good quality as well as poor), I concluded that I need to be engaged in SM, so back on FB, Instagram and Twitter. BUT, I severely limit my time ~ five minutes/day for each.
  • I’m becoming a Slack devotee. I was being swamped with emails and text messages from all directions. I concluded that that was nuts. By using Slack I can consolidate internal “emails” and text messages into defined channels on one platform. I’ve also integrated Slack with Asana, Zoom, and Google Drive. I must admit, it is working well.
  • I’ve forcing myself to learn Screenflow. I’m finding the need to make videos and screencasts for my staff and others. So, necessity is the mother of invention. :slight_smile:

I have a feeling that these new workflows will stick after the pandemic has passed.


Those sound like some good changes. I cleaned my basement office area and (almost) have a proper home workspace again and part of a recording area set up. I’ll be making a few more changes, but I’m hooked on making good use of this space for the first time in years!

I’m doing more social voice chat with people who don’t live near me. As we’ve found rhythms, they’ve gotten shorter and more impromptu. This is a good new addition to my social habits (not much of a casual phone conversationalist.)

My software tools haven’t changed much yet other than finally setting myself up to use Excel and Word on the iPad Pro.

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I was spending WAY too much time on social media and news. I was getting REALLY depressed. Today I spent a lot less time at it and I feel better for it.

I learned that the iPhone face recognition does not work when you’re wearing a mask. That is annoying, as I use an app for a grocery list and I need to open my iPhone AT LEAST a dozen times when I’m at grocery store.

Also, frequent hand washing has inflamed the skin under my Apple watchband. I’ve switched the watch from my left wrist to my right. I suspect fastening it was the hardest part.

I’ve completely stopped social media in light of the virus coverage. I gave up up Facebook/Twitter/Instagram long before this crisis, and that hasn’t changed. I have also stopped reading Reddit, which was the only social media service I used, because it was full of non-stop Covid19 stories (many of them with a dubious factual basis).

I’ve gone back to reading a quality newspaper (in print, and just the one, not multiple sources) and listening to the radio. I’ve also been limiting TV news to just 30 mins a day as it tends to just repeat the same things all day.

I’ve found that I need to share files much more, and that most people where I live use Dropbox. Everything from schoolwork for my kids to sending files to family on other platforms has meant that I rely on Dropbox more than any other service.

On the plus side, I’ve been connecting to family much more than usual on Facetime and Skype, at least daily and often a few of times a day. I’ve never been a texting person and I don’t do messaging - I like to talk face-to-face always. Fortunately, even my close family (who are in their 70s and 80s) use Facetime and my work does everything on Adobe Connect.

I use Apple News, Google News, and Inoreader for news. I subscribe to a variety of sources. One newspaper = one perspective. We also watch the ABC TV news. And I listen to about an hour of daily news podcasts a day, with Castro, my current podcast player of choice.

I really need to cut down on news consumption. :slight_smile:

My wife and I, 4 adult children and their families had a wonderful dinner get-together last evening via video conference using Zoom. Fun! And we plan to do it again for Sunday brunch. We may end up “seeing” more of each other during the CV-19 shutdown than we did in “normal” times.

We have heard about the security and privacy issues with Zoom and may look into other apps. Easier this time to just go with the flow and use Zoom. 3 of our 4 kids use Zoom for work, so it was easy for them.

I started filtering my social media follows.

I was able to setup Friends lists in Facebook. I unfollowed many “friends” with dubious political posts. It doesn’t mean I un-friended them. Their posts just no longer appear on my main timeline (or whatever Facebook calls it). Then I created new Friends lists and grouped different people. I had a music list for my favorite bands. A newsfeed list held some of my favored news sources. I have another feed for friends that started spewing toxic posts (especially political). That was the saving grace. My main timeline contains posts I want to see the most. I have a COVID-19 list to group Facebook accounts about COVID-19.

If I go to Facebook, I can target specific topics or groups if I wanted to know. My main timeline isn’t clogged with random posts. I don’t want to see someone’s rants next to a cat/dog video. It just made my main timeline too cluttered.

I’ve also done the same with Twitter. I wasn’t happy with the original Twitter client. I just wanted to follow certain accounts and didn’t want the “if you follow this person, here’s a list of twitter accounts you might also like” suggestion. I switched to Tweetbot and have been happier. I don’t see ads and the Twitter suggestions anymore.

My main Twitter feed holds the local news and any major accounts I want to follow. Like Facebook, I created multiple lists for different topics. I didn’t want my Mac News in the main timeline. I also have lists for different interests. When I want to check a specific topic, I’ll go to that list. I have more listed twitter feeds and not a whole lot of main twitter follows.

Now is as good a time as any to start curating your social media accounts.

Now that we are in lockdown, I was able to eliminate duplicate follows. I had followed some folks on multiple social media platforms. I eliminated most of my duplicates and followed them on one platform. Oftentimes, it would be promotional posts that duplicated each other.

Take the time to curate all those follows.

My reading vice is books, I often get through two a week in a normal week. If I’m on holiday more, it’s only Tuesday and because it’s spring break I’ve already finished a book on AI which I started on Sunday!


I think books are more rewarding. When we browse our sinkhole of social media outlets and news feeds, we are consuming bite sized pieces with little in the way of common themes. Much of the value in these sources are good for a day or two.

A book can take you on a journey. I enjoy fiction books that lets me live a different life experience for more than a 5 minute news article.

A non fiction book will have a focus that social media posts and news articles won’t give us. I would get far more benefit reading Atomic Habits than a hundred blog posts on habits. The author has already done the research and has distilled his discoveries into the pages of a long form book.

I’ve been in the black hole of cat videos, pranks gone wrong, memes, and dumb things that stupid people do. Nothing wrong with enjoying them. But I have to set time limits and I don’t really get anything of value.

Books are the way to go. I’ll also do more serial TV series. I’ve grown weary of TV shows that have the bad guy of the week or the court case for this week. I’m enjoying the serials that has a season long story arc nowadays.

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Not interested in social media at all and COVID didn’t change it. It was, and still is, a waste of time.

Since outside activities are cut down, I am reading more, missing sports, rewired my audio setup, reconfigured my router, cleaned the basement, watching tutorials, re-learning some programming languages…and I am happy to have enough work to keep me busy.