A few nights ago, we watched The Social Dilemma and I’ve been thinking about it frequently. Within the first 5 minutes I deleted the Instagram app off my phone, and was thinking more seriously about deleting my facebook account permanently. I was disappointed they interjected an overly dramatized fictional narrative inside of an otherwise well researched and effectively delivered documentary, but the underlying explanation of the mechanisms and risks that “social media” presents were completely on point.
It’s easy to think that in a pandemic it’s nice to have a way to keep track of people.
Creating high quality content (say, for this blog) is hard, and various social media platforms make posting convenient.
We are all addicted to dopamine.
And so when social media use is at an all time high, now is the time to think even more carefully about using it.
A few observations:
The frequency and quality of posts here have dropped steadily since joining instagram in 2014- and I’ve already posted most on Instagram than in 9 year history of this blog.
Since finding the “Set Usage Reminder” feature in Instagram and setting it to 20 minutes/day, I’ve pretty much averaged 20-25minutes per day for most of 2020. Some days are embarassingly higher. I will never get that time back. Occasionally, I’ve found genuine knowledge from folks like Connor Beaton or Dale Remsberg. Usually though, I find myself getting FOMO from people I barely know or sucked into videos of launching large ships into the ocean.
While wordpress, and “blogging” more generally, are forms of social media, I rarely browse my wordpress feed. It’s much more of a content creation platform, even though the point is to make content consumable. I’ve learned a lot from writing this blog and doing it has been a reliable way to meaningfully reflect on my life in ways that an Instagram post will never be able to. A photo might say 1,000 words, but the work you put into the words matters.
I pay for WordPress. It’s not much, but they maintain the domain, and I have good control over what the site looks like and how people can engage with it. That takes more work than maintaining a publicly accessible Insta/Tweet/whateverkidsusethesedays, but it paints a far richer picture of who I am. The “free” social media platforms make it easy to put yourself in a box, one which they in turn can sell you profitably to the highest bidder.
I took a break from Instagram in August, and am doing so again. I still have a desire to share, to create a record, and to reflect. A few images I haven’t shared that I don’t want to forget
Abigail and I spent 5 days in the Beartooth Mountains in August- a sweet return for me 17 years since my previous trips.
I stole west to Snoqualmie Pass for a very ambitious overnight with two favorite characters. Despite being thwarted by poor visibility and snow conditions, we made the most of a sweet traverse thru the range:
And Jasper finally made it to the Sawtooth Range in Idaho over Labor day weekend (with Abigail, myself, and some other friends):
Content is hard and this post is far from perfect. Instead of shelving it with 20 other imperfect drafts, I’m posting. Because I’d rather share, and remember, and know that tonight I was trying to think carefully about this important topic. Thanks for following.