I quit social media recently.
I joined Facebook almost a decade ago, was on a few websites prior to that, joined Twitter a little later and LinkedIn more recently.
In many ways I stopped using Facebook ca. 2012 because of how much noise there was and slowly got addicted instead to other sites like Reddit and Twitter. For a while there, I felt like I was getting value out of them.
Around the same time I quit TV Shows and Movies as well and decided to get back to my first love, reading.
Right before that, I did a back of the handkerchief calculation of how much time I’d spent doing the 3 activities, i.e : Browsing Social Media, watching TV Shows and watching movies.
At the start of last month, I spent some time thinking about what value I actually was getting out of them. My findings didn’t surprise me, I was constantly optimising for a local maxima through these sites.
Back then, my answers did surprise me and I took immediate action, the first month was hard, that was my first taste of de-addiction and leaving it behind I think.
Coming back to a month ago, I realised that I was merely addicted to a different type of content all over again. The hard part about this was that the type of content I was addicted to wasn’t entertainment, it was news. The problem with the content I was consuming was that it was always short form and always flowing.
It was noise. All consuming, unstoppable noise.
Due to the recent spike in my consumption of this type of content, my ability to focus, read, write, work and listen was beginning to deteriorate. It was time for a course correction and course correct I did.
It’s been a month now and I can feel the difference. I feel clearer and can hear myself think again.
There’s too much news out there that I don’t really need to know.
As an extension, there’s too much content out there that I don’t really need to consume.
There is value to these mediums, but, maybe it’s not for me, not right now.