Not a Stunt

The web is a stunty place. Really stunty. Heck, by using a word like “stunty” that doesn’t even exist, I’m doing a little bit of stunty right here and now.
Folks trying to grab your attention with stunts that grab you so that you stick around for the rest of the show — their show being the product they’re offering, the website they call home or the book they are penning. There’s no getting around stunts on the web, and they’re not always a bad thing, either.

And when there’s some sense of trust that the stuntperson has established beforehand, it makes it seem less stunty. Or perhaps not even stunty at all.

Enter what Patrick Rhone is doing this week, his week without social networks. He’s got many reasons behind it, but it is an experiment — although to some it may come off as a stunt — to reconfigure his brain on how he plans to use social networks:

Once again, I’m not saying it is good or bad one way or the other. I honestly do not have an answer. These are all questions, along with many others, I will be pondering during my mini-sabbatical. I will also be pondering how to come back with a better intention and approach. Which, ultimately, is what we should be seeking with any tool we wish to use well.

This is no stunt. Again, others may think it is because others have done this kind of thing before with the stunt flag flying. But because Patrick has become a creator of work that I trust, I know that this is runs far deeper than any stunt ever could. This is a challenge to himself — and perhaps to his readers as well, but that is beyond the initial scope of what he’s doing. I have a sense of what he’s doing because I’ve read his work across the web for so long — and am a patron as a result of the quality of it.

He’s decluttering his work.

Patrick’s not going to change the quality of what he does (other than likely improving it), but he’s going to change the pattern on how he arrives at such quality. Breaking patterns is essential for people to break through barriers, whether they are artistic, creative or personal in nature. Staying in the same patterns brings a different kind of stuntiness into play: stunted growth.

While I’ll miss reading his tweets this week, I look forward to seeing what he makes with the time away from Twitter. After following his work for some time, I trust it’ll be something pretty fantastic.