For the four billionth time, I’m seriously contemplating deleting my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I won’t do it and I hate myself because I know I won’t do it, but I’m once again imagining it.
When people say “Delete your account,” I gotta say, it sounds so relieving. I have a friend – an ex-girlfriend, actually – that isn’t on any social media and barely uses the internet and, guess what, she manages to survive. In fact, she seems content because she doesn’t get caught up in all the bullshit that is constantly swirling online.
Facebook’s largest growing demographic – by far – is seniors, so that site is becoming increasingly reliant on hateful memes and narrow-minded sociopolitical dissertations, usually from family members that I wouldn’t recognize on the street. Although, to be fair, the same could be said of my high school classmates I thought I’d never see again. When you grow up in a small town, you quickly learn that the people that don’t leave go from 18 to 58 in their worldviews rapidly.
I still like Twitter, but it’s far from what it is in 2009. It’s so crowded now that it’s just a giant echo chamber, all of it accelerating the overall disintegration of actual communication. I have friends that our only conversations occur over public social media platforms. That’s not a real dialogue.
Also, it takes away from actually living. I don’t understand how people can tweet several hundred times per day. Who has the time or energy for that? Who needs to be heard that often? Those people should go outside. But instead of walking out the door and staring down into their phones like mindless dolts, they should look up and around. They’ll probably notice something new or see something with fresh eyes. At the very least, they won’t bump into someone because they aren’t watching where they’re walking.
I want to delete my accounts but I still use them, although I’ve recently made conscious decisions to use them far less than I once did.
Still, I use them to promote my shit – even this piece, ironically – and each does have its own benefits, even if they are being crowded out by the negative elements. Facebook is good for family photos and, well, I guess that’s it. Twitter is great for news and information, but it’s important to follow the right accounts.
In both cases, I have culled the herd significantly. If my hide/mute button were an actual button, it’d be worn down from overuse.
Finally, there’s the existential part of it all. Is there an end? Are we all just going to keep doing this – throwing half-baked thoughts and entrenched opinions into the ever-widening, insatiable void until it becomes so large that it consumes us all?
Is that really the final act for humankind?
Christopher Pierznik’s eight books are available in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Medium, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter before he deletes them.