Jul 18 2020
I Deleted Social Media
If I wrote a 140 character tweet, could I persuade you to change your opinion on which you disagree? If I read a 140 character tweet, could I change my opinion on which I disagree? If I respond angerly to a 140 character tweet, am I improving myself mentally? morally? If I see a wall of text on Facebook expressing an opinion, but don’t feel like arguing in the comments, was this beneficial? This is my criticism of the not-so social media
Social media is crafted by psychologists to keep you engaged. Extreme engagement fuels tension between groups and pushes toxicity and anger. It is too common to find an angry post or feel angry after reading a post. Most arguments are purely emotional, and blockades any chance for real discussion. Again, what value does this have?
Social media has destroyed all long-form of communication. How is it that people could attend live debates in the 1800s for upwards of six to eight hours? Not only were the discussions lengthly, but the content was cognitively demanding. Nowadays, our attention is so severely fractured. I am convinced that social media has destroyed our society beyond repair.
Social media is not solely culpable – news as a whole is. To be crystal clear, this is not an attack on the “Fake News” or other nonsense that people have been shouting. News had begun to depreciate society since the inception of the Telegram. If you’re not convinced, but open-minded in hearing why, I recommend reading Neal Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death.
Personal betterment starts with holding an attention span greater than 5 minutes. Engage in long-form discussion with individuals. Listen to long-form discussions such as podcasts. Read books, essays, and other thought-provoking media. Don’t let attention thiefs tell you how to consume information.
I quit social media. I am not here to tell you how great my life is because I quit. I am only here to tell you that I do not miss it. Quitting social media was merely a crossroads on the journey of personal development. I have now replaced contempt-driven tweets with thought provoking podcast discussions.
I cannot persuade somebody in 140 characters. I cannot be persuaded by 140 characters. I cannot improve myself with invoking anger on another. I cannot benefit from someone else’s anger.
If you vehemently disagree with this notion, you’re not ready to admit the bind that social media has on you. Maybe you will get there, maybe not. The materials that helped me kick the habit are:
- Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
- Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
Sure, there may be the fear of missing out, but once you finally see social media for what it is, you will be content with the decision of leaving. Regardless of how convincing this post is, I can guarantee it is better than the 140 character equivelent.