Social Media Exit – Part 1: The Reason
by Todd Keffer II
Dear friends and family,
I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t like your witty post. I’m sorry I didn’t like your third selfie this week or your pic of your food. I’m sorry I don’t tag you in any cool social media posts or memes that are 99% of the time just stolen content from a hard working Youtube content creator who will never see a dime from that. The thing is, in January I had an epiphany.
“Fuck social media” was that epiphany.
Since January of 2017, I decided to drop all social media from my life the best I can and just go on without having an online presence. I’ll be the first to say I’m not perfect, and it’s pretty clear to some reading this I have a Facebook. I can’t deny or stress the power Facebook has. Whether you’re in a band trying to get ahold of others to play a show in their town or telling people you unfollowed to read an article on why you unfollowed them, it’s a pretty damn powerful tool. It doesn’t mean I have to like the default Facebook experience, though.
This idea of getting rid of everything came to me in 2015, during the build up to the USA’s election season. I was still posting my liberal thoughts and agendas here and there and getting into Facebook arguments. Lines were drawn, pictures were posted, and people I haven’t seen since high school were deleted. It was due to the result of these actions that I realized I had put myself in an echo chamber in the spring of 2016. For those unfamiliar with the term, an echo chamber is when you only surround yourself with people of the same ideals and opinions as yourself, essentially echoing the same thoughts and opinions as one and another and constantly giving positive reinforcement.
I had to look at myself and realize that the bigger problem wasn’t random people posting their thoughts and totally false information, but my relationship with all these sites. At some point, I became dependent for peer approval. I was getting it, but at what cost? My free time was spent on these sites all the damn time. If I wasn’t on them, I was thinking about them or the next clever thing to say or post. Did it get retweeted? How many likes have I gotten? What if I start an argument on there? Is this girl gonna slide into my DMs? Finally I had enough and just asked myself, “Who fucking cares?”
What followed were random moments of mass un-followings on Facebook and deleting my Twitter account. I didn’t care what you were posting. If I saw a name pop up with “shared” next to it, I unfollowed. There was a few cases where I didn’t do that because I love people watching, especially people that aren’t from West Virginia. I would regret that decision as time went on as well.
I’m pretty sure I witness one member of one of my favorite bands go on a rant about jamming with others and how “It was a pathetic waste of time.” It really irked me how aggressive and dismissive he was to that idea. Maybe he was truly an asshole musician. Maybe I was reading too much into it. Maybe he was right, since I hated every single jam band that the last woman I dated played for me. There are a lot of “maybes” in all of this, but there was one definite: I was spending way too much time on all of this.