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(Mostly) Avoiding social media (#1116)

Topics/tags: Miscellaneous, short

As I’ve written [1] recently, I lacked time, mental energy, and the appropriate state of mind to muse this fall. I found one positive side effect of my failure to muse: I spent much less time on social media. When I muse, I usually post my musings to Facebook and Twitter [2]. And when I go on Facebook or Twitter, I often find things to look at and read.

It’s not like Facebook and Twitter don’t try to entice me to visit at other times. Your friend just posted something new. Five of your friends recommend this page. Your colleague has retweeted something.

But around the time I stopped musing, I also decided to stop reading social media. Why? While I appreciated the connection that that social media gave me [3], at times time on social media felt like too much of a time sink. In addition, enough modern politics and pandemic politics dominated discussions that most of my time online felt like it affected me negatively.

In some ways, it’s been hard. Those Your friend updated their status messages make me want to check in. And I know I missed at least one live performance by my oldest friend. Michelle has spent too much time asking me Did you see this on Facebook? and, when she remembers that I wouldn’t, filling me in on things.

I’ll also admit that I haven’t been pure; I have checked both Facebook and Twitter once in a while. I connect to Facebook because there are some friends I only communicate with on Messenger. And when I’m setting up Messenger, I often see interesting posts. Still, I’ve limited my time.

I know that I’m not alone in avoiding Facebook and Twitter. And I know that many people have better reasons than I. So I’m not trying to claim any great epiphany or even recommend anything to you. My muse just thinks I should share. Why? Perhaps she [4] wants me to explain why I’m once again posting on Facebook but still not responding to anyone else’s posts. Perhaps she wants me to decide whether I am better off without Facebook and Twitter [5]. Perhaps she wants to raise the somewhat existential question of why I would expect anyone to read my musings if I don’t read their posts. Muses are sometimes hard to grok [6].

In any case, although I’ll be back on Twitter and Facebook to post links to musings [8], I probably won’t be commenting on or responding to other folks’ posts. I hope you’ll understand.

See you in the funny papers [9].

[1] Mused?

[2] More precisely, I post links to my musings on Facebook and Twitter.

[3] And would likely still give me.

[4] My muse identifies as female.

[5] I think I am.

[6] grok is a word coined by Robert A. Heinlein. At least I think he coined it [7]. Many in my circles use it to mean understand or understand deeply. Why not just use understand? That’s a good question. I don’t have an answer, other than that grok has fewer syllables.

[7] One might argue that he adapted it from the Martian.

[8] I got it right that time!

[9] My muse suggested I end with that. I’m not quite sure why. But if I’ve learned anything in these years of musing, it’s that I should listen to my muse.

Version 1.0 of 2020-12-29.