No Social Network Day 35: Mis-managing My Calendar

Just a quick note on this Facebook/Twitter black out. A couple of times when I show up for in-real-life event stuff, friends say “OMG I miss you!”, “My Facebook is so quiet with you gone!”, “I can’t wait until you’re back online!” It’s kinda funny. It’s odd because from my perspective, while I may have missed it initially, it’s back to normal for me. But I wonder if you’re on the networks all the time, someone’s absence is bigger than it seems?

Roman Calendar

So far, this social media blackout thing is great. Kinda don’t wanna go back. Why is it working out so well?

OK, there’s this thing my brain does that has always annoyed me, caused stress, etc. and lately it hasn’t happened as much: mis-managing my calendar.

I have a seriously hard time remembering a date/time. If it’s outside of a week, I will totally miss it/transpose it/forget it. Transposing is my favorite thing my brain does. Your concert is on Wed March 12th? I will show up at March 21st. Skiing on President’s Day Weekend, I will book the hotels for MLK’s birthday. Those are real life examples. When I’m showing up to a party, I will re-check my calendar multiple times. Problem is, sometimes I enter the date wrong in the calendar. In “calling to confirm” I convince people it’s the wrong date. Nothing is to be trusted.

You’re thinking, oh everyone botches dates. I’d argue that I botch them with almost persistent regularity. The funny thing is the knowing look on friends and family when I realize I have screwed up a date. Despite going to yoga and dance twice a week I still have to look up the schedule for when they start each day.

Adapting & Adaptations

I’ve consciously or unconsciously done the following to manage this:

Being spontaneous. Besides the regular occurring things, I keep it pretty open. Events are so stressful to schedule and remember, that I’m happier if there’s nothing scheduled. So I end up being a better “last minute” friend.

Associations: Birthdays are in months that are astrological, and I can remember those associating them to personality traits.

Regularity. Dance classes always on Tues/Thurs, yoga on Mon/Wed, etc. The start times are all different, but I just check those daily. You build up subtle clues to the day when you do this, on Thursday the Mission is full of people, certain friends are in the classes, etc.

Confirming. Calling before an event, emailing, etc. to confirm the date/time. Not having any ego about it, if I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

One Calendar. It’s the laptop’s, not the mobile or the kitchen wall calendar- there’s also a work one but I don’t schedule personal stuff in it. Making sure to enter dates (even if I do it badly, it’s 50% of the way there).

Off Social Networks

So what I realized recently is that being off social networks has helped extremely. I’ve only botched one date- my friend’s singing gig in North Beach, and it was salvageable. I wrote her asking something about it, and she wrote back immediately “You know it’s tomorrow right,” and “I know you ;)” haha. That was a case where I entered in my calendar wrong. My schedule has been as busy as usual but only messing up one event is really big to me.

I’m not sure why being off social networks has helped- the lack of distraction, or it could be that I hold in-real-life events as more important now because they are where I meet and chat with people. My ‘social life nutrition.’

It may also be that I don’t see the events in Facebook. As more of us start scheduling in there, it mutes the “chatter” of events that I’m not directly related to. If someone bothers to email or tell me personally about something, it’s that much more of a real invitation. A digital invitation, especially one shared out to one’s entire network, is less special. It may just b the “clutter” idea- lots of extraneous social information is competing with my adaption skills in calendaring.

Total aside re: Evite.
On the note of digital invites- I won’t attend anything sent by Evite. Why? Not because I’m just randomly picky, it’s just way too stressful. Evite allows you to invite people without putting the logistics in the email. This is nice if you are an organizer and don’t want “looky-lou’s” not committing and just looking at your guest list. But what it means for me, is that in the 5-10 times I look at the invite to confirm the logistics, I have to click through to the site. The problem is here: I have been online so long, that I have many email addresses. Longtime apps like evite have some old email in there, and it takes drudging up 10 passwords to register.