Social media reduction

I stopped using Facebook in 2017, I stopped using Instagram in 2018, and am much better off for losing both. My mental health is better for it and I get back time I can use for more constructive things. I’ve felt the same about news in general for about 8 years now, I never seek it out, only consume what little I see that gets through my defenses, mostly on Twitter. I still use Twitter most days, but a lot less than before.

Why the move? Platform changes and simply caring less about the content shared. But the biggest reason was the realisation I don’t need the social gratification or involvement in the minutia of friends (and stangers) lives. I’d rather wait until I see them and ask where they’ve been on holiday than already know everywhere they’ve been and have already seen their holiday pictures (picture that are mostly 90% face and 10% location). There’s nothing of real importance I feel I’m missing out on. If there is it’ll find me by other ways, albeit slower.

The human mind is not meant to deal with such a deluge of information and many hundreds of social connections. I believe social media can lead to an array of mental health issues and stress. Two things I could definitely do without.

If I take a nice picture I no longer feel the need to make it public. I share it directly with those closest to me, or just keep it to myself. From a photography perspective I feel this frees me to go back to taking pictures I enjoy rather than what I think my friends or followers might most engage with.

I still use Twitter, but less than before. But Twitter is different, it’s less social for me and few friends genuinely use it. Twitter allows me to stay abreast with my hobbies and passions, and occasionally wider important news might break through there too. I use Nuzzel to aggregate the most shared things amongst those I follow as a first pass, then dive into the timeline (tweetbot of course) when I find the time; a few times a week right now.

Linkedin gets checked weekly as I find industry articles to read there. I also like to stay professionally connected to past colleges and clients which is useful for hiring, recommendations and questions that arise from time to time.

So what’s different about sharing on your blog Jon? Well, this is primarily for me. I want my own record of my thoughts on this today to look back on. There’s an element of self righteous gratification, sure, but I’m only human.

Part of my 2018 year in review


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