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Why I quit social media

2019-04-04

Do I think social media in itself is evil? Of course not. There are a lot of positive things about social media. I met a lot of people on social media I would've never met otherwise. It transcends national borders. That's all really great. But it also set the world on fire and tore apart society.

I really don't think there's any denying that social media had a big role to play in ruining pretty much everything for everyone everywhere.

Social media itself is problematic as it is as it comes with a ton of negative side effects, despite being a generally beautiful idea. But all of this has already been talked about. I'm sure you're very aware of this debate and don't need me to rehash it all over again. What's even more problematic than the built-in issues of social media is the way Silicon Valley has weaponised it. There's a lot of money in manufacturing outrage. And I'm just not willing to play that game anymore.

I do believe open source alternatives like Mastodon have the potential to do a better job at bringing people together, but the last time I spent some time on there, I saw the same problems I saw on Twitter. People who had been bullied away from Twitter flocked together on Mastodon and in some instances became the bullies themselves in a -- righteous -- effort to keep Mastodon free of those who wronged them on Twitter. It's just human nature that keeps interfering with the idea of social media.

Another problem -- or maybe it's actually the root problem -- that I'm just not willing to put up with anymore is that social media values quick gut reactions over contemplation and consideration. The quick pace of social media frees us from thinking too much. I know that social media didn't create the anti-vaxx and flat earther movements. But it amplified them exponentially, because these things are perfect examples of quick snippets of information that sound just good enough to many people to make them "think". Everyone today is looking for the quick answers. For something that makes the world look simpler. And social media is just that. The perfect tool to break down everything into simple snippets. Only ... it's mostly bullsiht. And that's the problem with social media.

I prefer going back to communicating in person -- one on one, face to face or via the internet -- instead of yelling into the void and hoping for someone to notice me. I prefer taking my time again before replying. I prefer long form thought exchange. Do you, too? Fantastic, I'd love to hear from you. Just don't try to convince me that the Earth is flat, because ... well, it's fucking not.

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