I do not have any social media.
I have not had a Facebook account for over ten years.
I have not had Twitter for over five years.
I have not been on Instagram for around a year.
I had, at one time or another, been very active on all of these platforms.
This is a personal choice. Its not a form of political, ethical or moral standard. Ultimately, I just lost a sense of what value I was getting from the services. I am not a particularly political person and tend to find the public conversation on the implications of technology simplistic and binary at best.
I have over the last 5 years become more introverted, more private and more secure. This is, I have been told, a common part of getting a little older. From this position, I cared less about injecting myself into peoples thoughts, keeping in their peripheral, within earshot.
Additionally, my life got more full. It got more complex. I had more responsibility, more things to think about, more people I knew. I also really stopped caring what people I knew were up to. I did not stop caring about them. My close friends and family use whatsapp and text for that. Outside of that group of people I don’t care what most people were doing and I like finding out what people have been doing when we catch up in person.
On top of these - there are a few ideas
Distraction and Deep Work
I am trying to live with less distraction and I find being in the presence of others who are distracted, deeply frustrating. My own peace of mind as well as the ability to focus and do deep work
I am trying to solely form the things I think about, work on, do, how I fill my time based on and those closest to me. The canvas of things that one presents to the world is reduced. The tapestry of a persons life becomes less rich, and ultimately this becomes their life.
Robert Keegans model for adult development -
The highest order of Keegans model, is what he terms ‘Self Transitioning’. A self transitioning mind still has a POV, a perspective. However, it is able to turn on itself and see it, to reflect on it, to interrogate it. It is also able do this with other people, to hold multiple perspectives.
I feel as if social media platforms are, by design, keeping people in the loop of socialized and self authoring mindsets. Always trying to assert a point of view and perspective, but also endlessly looking for social validation.
Why do I care if people think this photo or graphic is good. I think its good.
I can see an argument that exposure to a wider range of perspectives supports some self transitioning, but the way reaction and outrage, alongside the filter bubble.