This post has been hard to write. The initial version of this post was put together last year, within the course of three months until I stopped working on it. I have never been able to pour all of these mundane thoughts and experiences into paper. However, a few weeks ago I removed almost everything and basically started from scratch. I feel like recent events made me find the courage to finish this post once and for all.
You can pretty much call me a “voyager” on the Internet. I’ve been on so many sites, met a lot of interesting people, yet after quite a while I somehow got driven away from it and then ended up somewhere else. Though there are some places, people, or groups of people that I enjoyed being around, and a few of them I stuck around with until today.
To me, there has ever been so few social networks that I could feel at home in, the the most prominent one being Twitter. Being on Twitter since 2009, I’ve went through a lot of events, a lot of friendships were made (and broken), and I still regard it as the best form of social networking that has ever hit the market. I’ve tried countless of other social networks too. Tumblr was another one that I’ve used for a long time, but somehow my love for that platform died down. There are also a handful of social networking sites which I’ve tried, but have never caught on to me, like Facebook, Path, Ello, Google+, and a few others.
In my heart, social media has always been this place where you would walk in with and find people talking about stuff. Then, once you started to adapt to your surroundings, you would start getting into your own tiny friendship circle, hanging out with a bunch of pretty nice people, some of which you shared the same interests with. Some would become your close friends, and some would become acquaintances who drift in and out of contact over time.
However, as time goes I was starting to feel that social media in general has since long diverted from this “positive vibes” atmosphere. What used to be a place where I could relax in while talking with a bunch of nice people, has sort of become a melting pot of negativity. The recent events has also ramped up this stream of negativity to sixth gear. Political tweets litter the timeline. And if you post something even remotely political, random folks will go after you, posting things you might not want to hear.
This all culminates to me becoming salty whenever I see these things happen in my timeline. Most of the time, I could hold back, but sometimes I’d just snap and try to “correct” things whenever they go wrong. Then it started developing into something that I call “social media fatigue”. Social media has overwhelmed me to the point where it had almost caused me to burn out. I wasn’t interested in Twitter as much as I used to. The recent changes to the Twitter platform didn’t help, either.
Now I know you may be thinking, “well there’s always the mute/block/report/etc. option!” I know that. Thing is, I never block people unless they’re actual spambots. Aside from a few problematic people (all of them former friends), I’ve never filled my block/mute list with people that I’ve interacted with, because I’ve never liked being trigger-happy with blocking and muting people.
Rather than wallowing in the endless stream of negativity and trying to “shield” myself from it by pointlessly blocking and muting other people, I’d rather just take a break from mainstream social media altogether, and move towards the calmer spots of the Internet.
This doesn’t mean I’m not going to post on Twitter anymore, though. I will still come around every other day to retweet quality posts, but it’s going to take much effort for me to post original content. Except for a few niche social networks (like tilde.town and mastodon.social), I’m going to stick to something like one-on-one instant messaging, or group chats, like Discord, Telegram, or even IRC.
It’s time for my brief respite.
If you liked this post, you should also read this wonderful post by Kati Krause on Medium, which inspired me into writing this post. Sure, the title says Facebook, but I think it applies well to any other social networks.