Why I’m off Twitter right now:
In strict terms of self-motivation, posting something and getting a good reception feels good. But most of Facebook use is watching other people post about their own accomplishments and good times. For a social network of 300 friends with an even distribution of auspicious life events, you are seeing 300 times as many good things happen to others as happen to you (of course, everyone has the same amount of good luck, but in bulk for the consumer, it doesn’t feel that way). If you were happy before looking at Facebook, or even after posting your own good news, you’re not now.
How we ruin social networks, Facebook specifically, by Casey Johnston on Ars Technica.
Why I’m blogging more right now:
The antidote I’ve found for this is to write for only two people. First, write for yourself, both your present self whose thinking will be clarified by distilling an idea through writing and editing, and your future self who will be able to look back on these words and be reminded of the context in which they were written.
2 Replies to “Why”
I kind of see the point of the first one, but it’s a pretty depressing approach to friendship.
I’m still on Facebook precisely because I enjoy seeing my friends enjoy themselves, it’s nice to know they’re having a good time with their families, and frequently just looking at some fo the great photo moments gives me a lift. Of course I get twinges of jealousy when someone’s out in the mountains on a perfect day and I’m in work or grocery shopping, but I’ve also been spurred to plan a trip or try somewhere new from this.
Some friends do post stuff which is clearly just there to boast – but it’s not hard to ignore or hide, no different than avoiding a bore at a face-to-face gathering.
The other reason for me not being on twitter, one that the referenced article doesn’t talk about, is the continuous background noise of indignation and injustice, that is all to easy to echo and amplify through retweeting and reposting. “Look at this awful thing that person or group X said or did!”
Perhaps it’s the mixture of the two that’s the problem: when happy tweets about someone’s wedding anniversary are interleaved with stories about women being harassed at tech conferences. It’s a volatile bag of mood swings, and trying to stay emotionally engaged was making me miserable at a time when I was already depressed. I might be able to cope if I could only see people’s positive and inspiring messages, but that’s not how it works. Taking a complete break was the best coping strategy for me at the time.
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