Please know this isn’t some cry for help or a rage-induced impulse. My relationship to social media has been something I’ve questioned for a while. For easily over a year, or maybe longer now.
This week, I read Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by technologist Jaron Lanier, and it’s driven home a heap of my concerns. There’s nothing inherently wrong with technology that allows us to reach out to others and develop meaningful connections. I’ve made amazing friends through social media, who I’m very grateful to have in my life today.
It’s just that I don’t feel comfortable in those spaces at the moment. It’s partly me and partly those platforms’ engagement-driven business models. I don’t like what my chopped up feeds are doing to my brain and attention span. Every time I load up those giants, I feel overwhelmed and burnt out before I even get to scrolling. It’s a price I seem to be paying for a product I’m not sure I like.
This isn’t by any means a dig at you if you’ve chosen to stay on there. Social media platforms do make a lot of things possible, and you’re most likely better at managing the discomfort than I am.
I still read and follow people’s posts on those platforms where I can. I’m just not Follow-ing them now, if that makes sense. This is an experiment for me. Whether it suits or not remains to be seen. But for the time being, it does feel right.
To anyone feeling even a little pinch of fatigue, anxiety, foreboding or concern when it comes to social media, I highly recommend Jaron Lanier’s book. You don’t have to “delete your social media accounts right now”, but you certainly do have a right to know what it is you’re participating in.