Saturday, January 29, 2022

Why I Left Social Media

 Why I'm Leaving (Already Left) Social Media

Social Media has been a sinking ship for the past few years, It was high time I jumped off it.

    Let me start off by saying that I did not take this decision lightly. I have been on social media in one way or another since 2005, going as far back as some of the very first content sharing sites like MySpace. Posting my status is an action that has been hardwired to my brain for the last 17 years of my life. The endorphin rush that I received through views, likes and comments was a stimulus on a chemical and neurological level. Not having that constant reward of others feedback has left a chasm in the place of the importance it once had. The void reminds me of the many hours wasted in front of my phone or computer making Mark Zuckerberg richer instead of coming up with more original thoughts and creative ideas. 

    While social media did help me promote my small business that I had for a few years, in the end I was giving to it more than what I received in return. Like most vices that are addictive and take years to overcome, they only serve to cover for our own deficiencies and lack of discipline in our lives. Truth be told, I have suffered from an immense artist's block for almost two decades. It is so bad that many people who know me do not know me for my artistic ability, that includes most friends and acquaintances in my adult life. With all of my grown up responsibilities, I need all the time possible to get back a semblance of a creative routine. In contrast to years past when I would create things for the enjoyment of others, I now have to create art because I need it in my life, because I need to prove to myself that I can still do it. 

Middle age is a turning point for everyone who reaches that milestone in their life. The question is, "which direction will you turn?". There's the stereotypical midlife crisis where people make foolish decisions that wreck all of the things that they worked towards up to this point in their lives. The expensive sports car, the Rogaine, the Just For Men hair dye, the "I still got it" and other narcissistic and egotistical attitudes are a fast recipe for disaster. Thankfully, those things and attitudes have never really appealed to me. I've never been about being fake and putting out a version of myself that doesn't exist in real life. In the real world, I'm a dad complete with dad bod and a young family (thankfully I'm also not balding, fingers crossed). I've done some really cool things in my life up to this point but that doesn't mean that I will or can continue doing those things at the same level I did them before. As a matter of fact, I don't want to continue to be known for the things that I did, because trying to relive those feats is a tall order to ask for these days. I'm physically and emotionally just not up to the task. I do, however want to try new things. I no longer feel the need to announce the new direction I'm taking my life on social media sites, I'm happy with the self-fulfillment I get just by knowing that I have reached a point of maturity where I am learning new hobbies and going new places without others knowledge or tacit approval. I'm happy with the group of people that I interact with face to face, or at least through WhatsApp or Zoom. I don't need to let anyone else in on my life. The way I see it, I can't complain about privacy violations and getting my information stolen if I'm constantly putting the information out there. I'm sure I have my own city in the Metaverse with all of the information I have volunteered during the time I've been on social media. Guess I'll never know. Unless you read this blog, I guess you'll never know I got off social media either.

Recently, I have found a new hobby I'm in love with : Paddleboarding