Swiping Left on Social Media

TL;DR: I’m leaving social media but welcome other connections in a variety of ways.

I don’t think social media and I are a good match, so I’m ditching most of it for an unknown amount of time. Maybe for good.

I pine for the old days before social media, when using social software was constructive, and the community I had was crafted and intentional. Most people no longer work that way, and I’m not expecting any return to those heady times. The FOMO that’s already setting in due to this decision is very real, but I’m just too prone to doom scrolling, venting, social signaling, and other behaviors that are both a waste of time and contribute to my depression and anxiety.

Instead, I am going to spend my time continuing to foster individual connections using email, Zoom, texts, Facebook Messenger, commenting on blogs and sites, and good old snail mail. I’ll continue to use Inoreader to “consume content” from a variety of sites.

I can’t help but be online for my job, but I can avoid Mastodon and Reddit (I stopped using Twitter a while ago).

To avoid temptation, I am using a combination of the Block Site and Violentmonkey plugins on my desktop, and the Freedom and BlankPage apps on my phone (and, of course, uninstalling all the dedicated apps).

The only forms of social media I’m keeping around is Discord, since the topical communities I’ve chosen to participate in are, so far, neither toxic nor overly time-consuming, and Instagram, since I don’t really make much use of its social features much at all…though I have played around a bit with Pixelfed as a possible replacement. Regardless, I plan to continue to archive select photos on Flickr (I’m way behind).

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