Calm our interfaces with an option for no stats. Unhook from the optimizing of engagement.
I updated “An Option for No Stats” with selections from “Audience Doesn’t Matter. | THE TEMPERED RADICAL” and “My name is danah and I’m a stats addict. – The Message – Medium”.
I love data and I hate stats. Not stats in abstract - statistics are great - but the kind of stats that seem to accompany any web activity. Number of followers, number of readers, number of viewers, etc. I hate them in the way that an addict hates that which she loves the most. My pulse quickens as I refresh the page to see if one more person clicked the link. As my eyes water and hours pass, I have to tear myself away from the numbers, the obsessive calculating that I do, creating averages and other statistical equations for no good reason. I gift my math-craving brain with a different addiction, turning to various games - these days, Yushino - to just get a quick hit of addition. And then I grumble, grumble at the increasing presence of stats to quantify and measure everything that I do.
For the vast majority of us practicing educator types, blogging and participating in social spaces is about reflection, plain and simple. Every time that you sit down behind the keyboard for any reason – whether that’s to join in a Twitterchat, to read bits that appear in your social streams, or to create a new bit on your own blog, you are an active learner.
Articulation of ideas – whether it comes in the short form of a Tweet or the long form of a blog post – requires you to think carefully about what you THINK you know. Finding the right words to express your core notions about teaching and learning forces you to wrestle with what you actually believe.
Every time we make the argument that audience matters, we forget that reflection matters more. Our goal shouldn’t be to #becomepopular. It should be to #becomebetter. Blogging and sharing in social spaces can help us to do that whether anyone is listening or not.