Not so social

My last Facebook post was on June 19. My last tweet was on May 4. My last Instagram post was on April 6. I think it is fair to say that I am no longer a contributor to social media.

This was part conscious decision, part lack of interest. After reading Jaron Lanier’s terrific book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts I really wanted nothing to do with Facebook. I learned that even by trying to combat the “evils” I saw on Facebook, I was merely feeding its “BUMMER” algorithm designed to make us angrier and angrier. It’s a modern day cable news, rage is the business model.

I also found Facebook less and less enjoyable. When I switched Twitter back to a reverse-chronological timeline, it became much less addictive.

Once I stopped posting, I was no longer chasing the dopamine rush that comes along with likes, retweets and comments. There was no expectation of a retweet, so I had no desire to check my phone for notifications. I consider all of this to be a net-positive in my life.

This does, however, create a dilemma for someone that is trying to write semi-consistently about the impacts of social media. I am not a social scientist, so I am not conducting my own experiments or surveys. I could peruse the zeitgeist for social media trends and discuss those, but a lot of that feels like regurgitation of someone else’s work, which does not interest me.

So I am going to broaden my focus, for now at least. I still plan to discuss social media, but less exclusively. I’m curious about things that didn’t exist prior to social media – pop ups like Color Factory or The Museum of Pizza and SantaCon – would these exist without social media? The business model of rage interests me as well – Cable news networks invented it, but social networks perfected it. I also often find myself wondering if social media is to blame for my declining eyesight.

So much to think about.