Social Networks of Mass Disinformation
In the past months I've slowly deleted all my social networks. The apps, the profiles, the information. Everything.
A few days ago I finally deleted Twitter, the last one standing.
I'm still "recovering", I'm still feeling the withdrawal. Still, I wanted to share with you why I did it, and how I did it.
- I wasn't learning or growing from it. I didn't feel like I was actually connecting with the people there.
- The "useful" info, what I felt could be useful for me at least, was constrained to the templates of the platforms, and always mixed with a lot of noise (from ads to uninteresting comments). Filtering it was a huge effort.
- When I wanted to launch info, it felt like shouting into a void. If it was not marketable, not viral, not funny, it sank instantaneously.
- Form was vastly more important than the content.
- The stream of information was overwhelming. The scroll never ends.
- With every change, the networks became frenzier. The last one I tried was Tiktok, it felt epileptic.
- I forgot how to get bored. So much information from the exterior meant that I couldn't stop to digest and produce my own.
- Everything I thought, I connected to something I had seen previously. This can be interesting, but sometimes means that I couldn't escape what already existed, I felt like I couldn't create anything new.
- I was spending 6-8 hours daily on my "smart"phone. I still grab it every time I get "bored", fortunately I don't have much to check anymore.
- It had became a way to escape, to avoid the real world. This is still scary, but until I turned off notifications I honestly didn't realize how much I was missing from the real world.
- Turn off notifications for a set amount of time (X hours everyday).
- Turn off you phone for a set amount of time (X hours everyday).
- Uninstall the apps, only use the webs.
- Remove the networks one by one:
- Unfriend / unfollow everyone that doesn't "spark joy".
- Download the data
- Set a message with you new contact system. I recommend a non-google email address.
- Give some time to assess that you are not "losing" anyone important, and delete the network. JustDeleteMe is pretty useful for that.
- If you had interesting data on the downloaded archives, you can set up a website to host it. For example, my Gallery was originally a dump of the photos from Instagram.
- Enjoy your newly-found free time. Pick a book (6 hours everyday would mean a book every couple days), watch a movie or documentary (6 hours a day are more than 3 full movies), learn to unicycle (6 hours a day means learning to unicycle in two or three days)...