Leaving social media feels like escaping a cult

I’ve never done social media very well, but I’m almost certain Twitter wasn’t a screeching technicolor firehose of seething panic and spittle-flecked rage when I first joined in 2006.

That’s bad enough, but here is the cumulative effect: the feeling that social media insists on telling me what to think, what to think about, and how often to think about it. Which is constantly. And often by people who are wholly unqualified to do so.

Maybe I’m just not built for it. I’m an introspective guy. I like to have long thinks about stuff. Social media insists that I shorten my thinks. Social media would rather I not have any thinks at all. It would prefer that I just react. And keep coming back.

And keep coming back. Social media is optimized for addiction and positioned as utterly indispensable.

I’ve been off most social media for the last few months. To me, leaving social media feels like escaping a cult. A cult strives to impair your ability to think independently. A cult gaslights you, makes you doubt your own judgment. It requires you to defer your thinking to the cult and to believe you can’t thrive outside it.

Lies. Turns out you can still think rationally about things that are happening in the world when not encapsulated in a tornado made of wet garbage and fire. Who knew?

See also: Social Media Is An Amoral Force Of Destruction.

April 6, 2017