Every five minutes someone writes a 4,000 word article about how they gave up social media for a minute, a month, a year -- whatever time frame it may be -- and then lists how they were more mindful, connected, and could just about levitate since they evolved so much without being on social media.
A few years ago I took summer off from Twitter, removed the thing from my phone. Happily, that was during Obergefell vs. Hodges.
Well, I'm not quitting social media. My Twitter feed is a finally honed mixture of "Never Trump", Deplorables, center-left, cat videos, satire, and stupid human tricks. And Instagram. Heck. I could take stupid photos all day and leave witless commentary about them.
That's a unique sewer of a place.
I stay on the thing for two reasons: you can't manage other people's pages if you don't have a profile, and it's the only way I see photos of my extended family and find out what my family is doing.
This past year, I changed a few of my Facebook rules, which were fairly strict as to who could have access to my posts and my information. I did this because of the Dakota Access pipeline protest which was here where I live, and I wanted to connect with community members to both deal with some of the things that were happening in the community as well as share and see information others were gathering.
So now here we are, in May.
I made all of my posts private, which means people who are following me or are maybe even friends but aren't on my "close friends and family lists" can't see anything but one post, the one where I kinda say I'm reducing my usage.
Now the obvious reason would be the things that come when you live in a place that the antifa and activist keyboard warriors are targeting (the NoDAPL protest) and you get tired of the gross messages and general harassment. That didn't bother me as much as you might think. I've been writing on the internet since 2000. I've seen a few jerks. And that nonsense behavior actually provided me with some great screenshots that I will use when I write about the protest from a community experience.
The reason I'm taking the app off of my phone and avoiding it is because I'm seeing too many divisive things that reduce my ability to think broadly (and is seriously harming the breadth of my vocabulary). Not just politics (though certainly that's part of it), but different forms of fear, paranoia, and apocalyptic visions of modern life in regards to health, food, and fitness. It's as if we're all in a competition to see who can be the most organic, the most natural, the most mindful, the most (ugh) woke. Even worse, as Facebook tracks our interest, it serves up even more of the same and hides information that might be contrary to what we want to be true.
I will most certainly bore you to death about this later, but this is the gist of it, particularly for Christians who latch onto articles that warn and create fear about foods and modern life and politics: we have traded a life of faith in for one of false gods. We get distracted by so many things that we miss The Most Important Thing.
So Facebook made it difficult for me to enjoy life by making me feel guilty that I didn't care about "clean eating". And it also made me tempted to think that if I just ate the right mix of the right foods and did the right exercises and avoided the bad modern medicines, I would live forever sort of.
Well, we're all going to die, but in the meantime, I don't need Facebook telling me all of the different ways that might happen.
This is a judgment on my use of Facebook, and my thoughts. It is not a judgment of you.