Given that it is a Friday and the first of February… I thought I would spend this morning talking about a few experiments that I did during January. First up is the EufyCam E that I was given a copy of to review by Anker. When I posted the review I said I would provide updates talking about how well it has generally worked, and I figured now might be a reasonable time for one of those. I have used this WAY more than I expected to use it, in part because it is constantly alerting me when any motion has been detected at my front door. Because I also use a TicWatch I will get a little buzz buzz buzz on my wrist and see that the EufyCam has detected activity. At which point I flip open the app and see a stream of video similar to the still that I snagged above. Do you know how much it improves my day when I see my neighborhood cat friends have decided at random to come visit during the day? In fact as I am typing this my wrist has buzzed to let me know that this exact same cat is outside wanting attention… which is adorable because he likes to kinda jump up and head butt your hand.
Without the Eufycam I never would have noticed that I had this visitor one morning either. At first when I viewed it on my mobile device since I tend to just watch a postage stamp sized preview… I thought to myself “well that is a chubby cat I have never seen before”. It was only later when I watched it full screen that I noticed…. oh that is a Raccoon. This makes an awful lot of sense because last year we had something trying to tear into one of our plastic chests in the backyard, and I guess I always assumed it was a squirrel… but knowing how tricksy Raccoons could be I would not be surprised if it was this little guy. Also weirdly we have had a flock of birds just sorta randomly land on the porch… I am guessing gobbling up the excess catfood that I gave the buzz buzz cat above. Regardless… all of these little breaks in the day when I have animals on the security camera make me very happy.
The other really useful thing that I did not think about with this camera is since my wife and I right now have staggered schedules… she often times gets home before me but immediately goes out for a walk. The camera gives me a time when she left the house so I know approximately how long it will be before she gets back. Lately I have been using this arcane knowledge to time a cup of coffee so that it is ready for her to come in from the freezing cold. Other times I just use this as a way of determining when is a good time to start dinner so that it is ready when she gets back also. There is of course the ubiquitous use of determining when a package has arrived, but weirdly… I am way more jazzed about the random animal friends. I’ve not actually had an occasion of a solicitor since I installed the cam, but I did freak out the outdoor cat one day when I used the “talk through” feature to say hello. All in all I am super happy with how well the setup has been working, and when it is more widely available on the market I want to see what it would take to add a few more cameras.
Another experiment that seems to be working is the whole “kick all products off to a twitter list” thing that I did shortly after the New Year (January 4th to be specific). Originally this list was called Brands, because that was my original usage… to cleanse my twitter feed of all spammy brand related information. Recently however I have renamed it to “DistanceFollow” because that is effectively what I am doing… following a user but putting some distance between them and my day to day twitter usage. So there are a few things that have come about as a result of this. Firstly this combined with turning off the retweets of a few accounts has made my twitter experience way more enjoyable. I actually enjoy popping in to read twitter because it feels more like it used to… me checking in on what my friends were doing throughout the day. While I don’t have near as much time to check in as I once did, that actually makes this feel better because I am not having to wade through a bunch of promotional junk to see updates that I might actually care about.
The second part about this is… I am way more likely to “try out” following someone by throwing them in the Distance Follow list because I expect it to be spammy and if I happen to decide that I really want to follow them more closely… I will actually do a proper follow. This is effectively what I tried to do with the whole Timeline 2.0 initiative a few years back… but I was going about it the wrong way. In that I was trying to create a special bubble that only had the people I cared about interacting with… but in this I’ve started weeding my ACTUAL follows and making it represent that core group of people that I care about. I am sure I will continue to prune… because once that process starts it gets a lot easier.
Another part that has helped this process is that I have been spending significantly more time on MMORPG.Social and Mastodon by nature is not a network that seems to give a fuck at all about follow numbers. I have tried throughout the years not to care about this… but still did to some extent in spite of not wanting to? There are a lot of people that I never unfollowed just because they happened to be following me back. Hanging out on the Fediverse and the fact that being mutuals isn’t really that bit of a deal there… is starting to remove my giving a fuck about it on twitter. As a result you can look at my Analytics and see that I have been slowly hemorrhaging followers for awhile now… and I am okay with this. I’ve come to accept that I do not have enough time in my life to hang out with every cool person I meet, and have also come to the realization that not everyone is going to like me… and that is okay.
Social Media has always set up this weird dynamic giving you a false sense of connection when often times… you are just an assemblage of pixels that occasionally says something funny to the person on the other side of the connection. I’m wired weird where I tend to actually care about a lot of the people that I interact with. The problem with that however is that there is no way I can keep that many people in my head at all times… and then I feel like shit when I realize that it has been three months since I last had a conversation with some random person in my feed. So as a result I am trying to care less about the minutiae and beat myself up less about not caring enough. I have a circle of friends that widens and shrinks organically… and I am generally going to try real hard to be okay with that fact.
In the meantime however… looking forward to playing some more Anthem this weekend!