Latest Essay

Top 10 Benefits of Avoiding All Social Media for the Last 30 Days

By Duff McDuffee on June 24th, 2016

1. I have no idea what horrible thing Donald Trump has recently said.

2. In fact, I haven’t really thought about the 2016 presidential election at all, which is nice because none of the remaining candidates are people I want to win anyway.

3. I haven’t gotten in a single argument with a stranger about anything.

4. When I have a thought, I don’t immediately hear the opinions of others disagreeing with it and misunderstanding it.

5. I haven’t seen a single meme.

6. When I’m at home, I’m never so distracted I can’t respond to or be present with my wife.

7. I’ve been playing a lot more table tennis. I freaking love table tennis.

8. I’ve been reading more and doing more Deep Work.

9. I’ve been exercising twice a day.

10. The first few days it felt like I couldn’t, now it feels like why would I?

So how do you quit? You can either rage-quit like I did, after getting fed up with the low quality of conversation and the fact that you are wasting your life. Or you can install a plugin like StayFocusd and block the sites, and delete the apps from your mobile device too. I find that the latter only works if you also set a strong intention to quit, otherwise you’ll find a way around your own barriers. These things are addictive by design, like gambling machines and World of Warcraft, designed to suck out your very life force for someone else’s profit.

Honestly I feel like social media is the tech drug of our age. When I grew up in the 90s there was no social media, there was television. At some point many young people realized that TV was a drug designed to make us fat dumb consumers, so we got “Kill Your Television” bumper stickers and placed them on our old Toyota Camry’s to show our alliance with the anti-corporate revolution.

Now we post anti-corporate memes on Facebook and Twitter, which is quite ironic given that Facebook is the literal embodiment of a dystopian cyberpunk megacorp. Facebook even bought the first viable VR company, Oculus Rift. Facebook and Twitter are literally advertising companies, just like television networks, except now you work for free to create the content. Reddit is in some ways better, but in many ways worse, as it acts like it is anti-corporate, but is in fact a megacorp as well. And the Reddit community in general is misogynist as all hell.

I miss the early days of blogs, where people posted pieces longer than 140 characters and if someone wanted to respond they would write their own lengthy, thoughtful piece and post it on their own blog with a “trackback” alerting you to their thoughts, should you choose to read them.

I suppose this qualifies me officially as a grumpy old man.

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