Taking Back My Brain 05/19/21

Quitting Facebook took a long time. I kept coming back to it. After years of posting every dumb thought that came to my mind, it had developed into a routine and habit, especially when I was drunk. I knew that it was toxic, but I had a hard time tanking the whole thing.

But I did get rid of it, eventually, after the twentieth or so time I posted very rational and correct thoughts about the virus and received dozens of comments and DMs telling me to go fuck myself. Eventually, it just gets tiresome.

So too will go Twitter. I don’t get anywhere near the amount of hate there that I got on Facebook, but it’s starting up again. I recognize the stages of social media destruction. There was a point with FB where I logged on and felt nothing. Not excitement or happiness or even frustration or anger, just nothing. Then I realized I was truly done.

There’s no particular straw that broke the camel’s back, I guess. More than intellectually realizing that I’m not getting anything out of the platform, I can feel it in my bones.

I originally became really addicted to social media because most of my friends were on it. First it was friends in real life, and then it was people who I met in the writing world. I became buds with a lot of those people off social media, and I keep in contact with them over the phone. I’ve hit that ceiling though…I’m not sure I’m going to make many new friends this way. Not sure that I want them, even.

I won’t delete my Twitter altogether, because it’s still an internet hub. So I’ll log on to check my DMs and maybe post from time to time. But my life is about to drastically change, even more than it did a month ago when my son was born. My wife is going back to work, meaning that I’ll be at home full-time with the kid. From the morning to the afternoon, I’ll be feeding him and playing with him. In the few spare moments I have when he’s napping, I need to be focused on my editing work and my writing. There’s no space in there to doomscroll, or to post.

Posting is so weird. I was in the shower yesterday, and I realized that I was thinking of funny tweets to myself. The shower is supposed to be the place where you come up with good ideas, and those ideas should be related to plot, character, or dialogue. Really good sentences should come to me while I’m staring at the water going down the drain, not some hot take on the latest mimetic bullshit.

On top of all that, I become deeply depressed whenever I look at social media. Something very creepy has happened to our culture over the past four years, and I find most of it completely unrecognizable. I just don’t get it anymore. It’s a wave you have to surf, and if you step off the board for a second, you get swallowed up in the ocean.

I have different priorities, now. I have projects that I’m working on that I’m excited about. But I don’t see the utility in using these platforms as they are anymore. Hopefully this will go as smoothly as quitting booze or Facebook.

I’d like to have my brain back. There’s a lot of life out there to live.

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