It’s really easy to say something, and not nearly as easy to do something. That’s what I’m finding out little by little as I try to wean myself off of social media. In the wake of constant privacy violations by Facebook and other titans of the internet age, I’ve found it necessary to reduce my internet footprint, and start going full scorched earth on a lot of my old accounts. I’ve been telling my friends that I need to detox and that I need to take a step back from social media.
But, the thing is, it’s always there. I consider myself a writer to some degree and that means that I am going to have to use a computer for most of my writing. And what else is on a computer? The internet, which I have to use for research on various things I know nothing about when I’m writing. My brain can’t keep focus on one thing for too long, so eventually I’m going to end up back in Facebook and Twitter’s loving embrace.
I was born in 1995 and from about the age of four I have been completely surrounded by screens. Some of my finest memories were had in the computer closet of the condominium my family lived in. I was a natural-born web surfer. My parents keep saying that my first words were “dot com” and I’m still not sure whether or not I believe them, though they would have no reason to lie. I have been a member of the internet since I was born and now I’ve seen it morph from a tiny pocket of data on a computer screen to a constantly-expanding electronic eldritch monstrosity that threatens all of our lives on the daily. But, by God, does it draw my attention. There are days when my eyes hurt bad from staring at screens for too long and all I can do is go to sleep and pray that it goes away. I need to take a break; get some fresh air, breathe it all in.
Again, however, that is much easier said than done. So much of our lives are entrenched in these social media spheres that it leaves a gap in your life if you try to quit it cold turkey. I’d have to pick up a new hobby, like knitting or god forbid, reading. Not to mention all of these writers absolutely love to network via twitter. There’s a whole sector of the writing life that I would just miss out on if I were to remove myself from social media entirely.
That doesn’t bother me, though. I’ve made a decision that I feel I can stand by. If I am able to cut out social media from my life, I can be free from the constant buzz of everybody else’s lives, political opinions, sports hot takes, child pictures, clothing purchases, et cetera ad infinitum. I can stop focusing on the banal details of every one else’s lives and start making a change in my own.
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