I have been mostly offline for about two months. Or, at least I have not been writing here like usual, nor posting on Twitter. I have been very disconnected, particularly from work but also the internet in general, starting right before WWDC this year. I still have not watched a single WWDC video, not even the keynote. I have hundreds of unread posts in my RSS reader. And, I am a month behind on reading iOS Dev Weekly.
This is the first time I have ever been completely absent from WWDC since I started doing iOS and macOS development. It feels simultaneously liberating and overwhelming to truly not give a fuck about staying up-to-date on literally everything. I still need to work on that overwhelming part. There will always be too much information to absorb, so why let myself get overwhelmed? It’s best to learn what you need as you go anyway. So focus on knowing where the information is, not what it is. Life is too short to carry that stress.
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To stay current and relevant in this industry is to be perpetually blasted with a firehose while attempting to drink through a straw. Even if you are diligent you will get trampled eventually while attempting to gasp for a single breath of air. Nothing and no one slows down for you when you are having a hard time or simply need a rest in this capitalist hellscape of a society that is continuously in crisis. Tech companies, like all corporations, expect peak performance from workers at all times. And they persistently reproduce the features of capitalism — manufacturing miniature crises, generating constant urgency around arbitrary deadlines. It doesn’t matter if the world is on fire. Your time is theirs for purchase and you better be fucking productive. And of course, if their mismanagement and greed results in layoffs, you are on your own. Good riddance.
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And then there’s social media. I can barely spend a few minutes on Twitter or elsewhere before my patience runs out. I can’t tell what changed — me, or the algorithms. Probably both. In any case, scrolling through a feed has become mostly insufferable for me. Social media shits in your head. I’ll be back on Twitter in some capacity, but likely much more limited. Luckily, all my posts here get tweeted automatically so I don’t have to log in for that.
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I needed a break from it all. I needed to focus on prioritizing all other aspects of my life and wellbeing that do not include work. We are all worth more than our capacity for production under capitalism. Yet the unrelenting culture of careerism and workaholism convinces us otherwise and pressures us to ignore all other aspects of our lives, to forego joy in exchange for chasing promotions. We are left centering our lives around unfulfilling jobs and work that often rarely matters beyond its capacity to produce shareholder value and concentrate wealth for executives. And for what? Why? There is no avoiding work, we have no choice if we want to survive in this system. But we can stop it from consuming us.
This is one of the main reasons I left full-time work to do freelance. Even then, I still sometimes get swallowed by the despair of toil. I took this break to recalibrate and remind myself that everything else matters more than work. Work will always be there tomorrow. And it will always be the least important part of living. But it is too easy to forget that sometimes. It is too easy to lose your balance.
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Anyway, this post is my attempt to slowly come back from this break and return with recalibrated priorities. I will be catching up on reading and watching WWDC videos, at least in some sense.
I have always enjoyed writing here and I do miss it. I have a lot of drafts in progress and a lot of ideas in my queue, so expect my posts to return somewhat regularly. Though this time, with balance.