I’ve decided to take January off social media, particularly Twitter.
Over the last year I’ve found myself getting increasingly caught up in politics on social media and getting more and more frustrated. The people I follow almost always have the same politics as me – or at least are willing to discuss and be civil – but through retweets and other sharing it’s easy to be exposed to stuff you don’t want to see.
I appreciate Twitter is an echo chamber – and so is Facebook – and the things you don’t want to see (far right politics, for the main part) don’t represent the general population. But they’re still frustrating and depressing to see, and it’s all too tempting to engage. I also know that it’s wrong to bury your head in the sand and not fight for what you believe in, but frankly I’m tired of it and it won’t do any good shouting in to the void on social media. The people who have those ideas won’t be changed by any kind of discussion on social media – whether it’s considered discussion or outright argument – and similarly neither will I. It’s just not how people work. We cling on to our biases and don’t want strangers changing our minds.
I’m going to have a month of not engaging, thinking about ways to protect the ideas and causes I believe in, and generally trying to be a bit happier and optimistic about the world without having to see people I know (or at least follow) engage in arguments with idiots who just want to argue. I’m going to have a good hard think about how I use Twitter for my business – and I still feel that my personal, hopefully funny, tweets have a role in that – and I’ll be back before long with a little more freshness and less cynicism.
Also Facebook is mostly just pictures of other people’s babies so I’m going to stop using that for a while.