Why I stopped using Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn

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Today I decided to take a break from using Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Why?

They suck. Over time my experience has become far more negative than positive.

I have great friends on each platform, so I don't think my connections are to blame. I suspect that the nameless, faceless algorithms determining what I see on each platform are the root cause. It is no longer worth wading through all the garbage on these sites just to see what my friends are occasionally doing. Maybe it's my fault that somehow these platform's algorithms are insanely efficient at showing me things that get a rise out of me. Perhaps I need to become more Zen and not react, and then the algorithms would not have had the data. I could specify what this looks like for each platform, but honestly, if you try and imagine something that annoys you when you see it on one of these sites, you probably already have an idea in mind.

I'm not in any way better than social media; I am just sick and tired of these platforms. So I still plan to be active on Reddit and Twitter.

Twitter and Reddit are no better in terms of content or sheer vitriol. In fact, I would say they are often worse. I have had far more negative reactions to things I've posted into the wilderness of these two sites from strangers than from my friends on the sites I have taken a break from today. The difference between Twitter and Reddit and the others I mention is that there are tools available to control my feed and what I see. With third-party clients like Tweetbot or Apollo I can decide the content of my feed, rather than algorithms that make money from me being enraged "engaged." That gives me a level of control over the experience so that it is still positive. I'm engaged because I see things I want to see and am interested in, not because I see content that has been calculated to make me as mad as possible.

Now I may change my mind in the future, so I didn't delete the accounts. However, I did set a banner and a profile picture telling people I was taking a break. If someone wants to reach me, they can call me, and I'll do the same. For reference, the banner looked pretty similar to this.

How the banners looked on my social media pages

I'm going to start posting and writing here occasionally instead. I don't know yet what I will write about, or how often, or really much of anything.

You can email me at this domain to get in touch or call me.