Recently I made one of the most consequential decisions of my life, right up there with my career change and moving out of New York: I quit social media, for good.
Once upon a time it used to be a novelty, a new way for me to communicate online, which had always been the medium I was most comfortable using when connecting with other people.
But what was once a novelty became a perpetuation of mental illness and a cesspool of virtue signaling and mindless memes. You could literally see the breakdown of cognitive function as Facebook became little more than echo chambers for people to morally preen and bloviate on how their political ideology made them better than everyone else, or constantly bombarding their Facebook “friends” with carefully curated content that had little to no resemblance to reality so everyone could see HOW AWESOME AND PERFECT THEIR LIVES WERE.
The Chinavirus made it all worse as it converted an already insufferable class of social media users into the Keyboard Stasi, tut-tutting or reporting on anyone who dared to go outside without a mask, while virtue signaling what an excellent specimen of humanity they were by putting a stupid badge over their personal photo, Hashtag “STAY HOME, IT SAVES LIVES!”
And while the desire to leave social media kept festering in my mind, it wasn’t till the Wo Fuk Mai Lungs virus came around that I finally stopped to reflect on what actual tangible value I was deriving from social networking to justify its continued use.
Was there any example in the last 10 YEARS I could name where social media had a positive benefit on my life? Did it help me form new sustainable relationships? Did it help my career? Did it help me to feel connected? Did it help me stay informed about the world so I didn’t feel like I was missing out?
If there was ever a point when it did any of those things, that time was long gone now.
So I ended it all: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, anywhere I had an account, even Reddit and Disqus. Done.
I had enough.
Interestingly, I don’t miss it, nor did I experience any withdrawal symptoms when I deleted my accounts. I had been going on social less and less over the years, so in a way I was putting the final nail in the coffin of what was already dying a slow death.
So what now?
The internet is still my preferred choice of communicating, but one of the reasons why I’ve been quieter over the years is that I seem to be a magnet for the crazy. People who are just plain WEIRD kept flocking to me online, and I either had to keep them at arm’s length or block them altogether. Eventually I got sick of it. Why is everybody on the internet such a f^&ing basketcase anyway? Where are the normies?
It reminded me of the online dating of old, back when it was a novelty everyone was NORMAL, which made them all the more attractive. Nowadays it’s like somebody dragged the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and dumped the contents on Tinder and TikTok. There’s only so much you can take of that before you finally decide F all to this nonsense and go Galt.
At the same time though, I still enjoy writing and expressing myself with the written word. With social media cut out of my life, I no longer have to deal with this parasite seaping my creative energy and fragmenting my attention. And since my website is now the only outlet I have left to express myself, maybe my muse will finally experience a rennaisance of sorts. (Or at the very least fulfill an overdue promise to a friend that I would finally write a new post).