Why I Quit Quora

(and have no intention of going back.)

I’ll share a quick not-so-secret – I love certain kinds of knowledge. I am entranced with finding out about science and technology things I never knew before. I’m also very big on anything anthropological, and the evolution of cultures can have me reading articles well into the ass-end of sunrise.

At first, Quora seemed like an easy way to do some writing research, but as I got involved in the community, I found that I would dive into the political posts that touched upon cultural norms and expectations. And then I started looking at the intersections of politics and technology. And THEN it grew to how politics and science are at odds when technology is so widely different.

Before my wedding, it was no big deal. People planning weddings don’t have time for much else. (Plus, Amelia required a lot of my time and energy). But after the wedding was done and Amelia was gone? I would spend 4-5 hours a day researching my answers to different questions to make sure I had the right details. I’d read in depth on subjects for which I had only enough knowledge to be dangerous. I’d be called out on something and go research and either say “Whoops, my bad” or “No, I have it right and here’s why.”

Then, this past March, we discovered we had to move… and packing would have to occur right when J was in a 6-week surgery recovery zone.

Suddenly, my time was VERY limited.

I didn’t drop off immediately. Quora is a great place for interesting commentary and has a lot of learning opportunities, particularly for someone who wants to be an ally to communities they’re not close to. So I didn’t spend quite as much time on it, but it was still more than I should have.

The crux point was interesting. I had written an answer about Hillary’s Benghazi emails, and received a response from someone that seemed to have NO idea how SMTP communications worked over mobile networks, despite saying he built email services for the US government. I had made a plan to do some research and respond, akin to my other efforts at being secure in my response when I was called out. And as I dug back into my BlackBerry documentation, I thought to myself,

“Why Am I Doing This?”

It wasn’t like I was going to change the mind of the person who was commenting to me.
It wasn’t like either side of the Benghazi debacle didn’t have enough voices contributing to the echo chamber.
And it most certainly wasn’t going to increase MY level of knowledge about any community to whom I wanted to be an ally. Politicians do not need more of my cultural attention.

So, I realized I was stuck in a new, more tricky version of “someone is wrong on the internet,” albeit one with a much more fascinating population (astronauts! clothing designers!) than most social media sites. It was akin to the Onion article “Open-Minded Man Grimly Realizes…” – I haven’t been listening to bullshit, but I should have turned around and spent that time writing or dancing or any number of things I didn’t think I had time for.

I am now devoted to seeking out new ways of finding the voices of the people who belong to communities I want to learn about, and educate myself about. Quora, as rich as it is in some ways, is bad news to an information addict like me.

So yeah, if you see answers from me over there, they’re old ;) But it was sure lots of fun while it lasted!