Sunday, 23 April 2023

So, social media

 I'm an introvert.

Much happier to curl up with a book and a cup of tea than go and interact with people. I've never been good at small talk and am absolutely crap at maintaining friendships, even though I want to.

That's not to say I don't like talking to people, I do. I like a good conversation about history, nineteenth century communications, roman plumbing or whatever, I just don't do the social thing very well.

Probably these days they'd put me as being on the spectrum, but when I was young I was simply considered as a slightly odd loner, and I'll admit I quietly revelled in being a bit of an oddity.

And there were enough weirdos out there for me to find what human contact I needed.

During the pandemic, when we were all locked down I found social media invaluable in maintaining a sense that there were still kindred spirits out there.

Living in a rural area lockdowns were not as onerous as in the cities, but still with the pharmacy documentation project suspended I was isolated from the things I enjoyed.

Now, we've all moved on, and I've taken a long hard look at my social media use, in part because of the Twitter clusterfuck.

First to go was Pinterest,  which I'd been using to build a portfolio of images of the end of the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires.

Pinterest had other ideas, and stopped being suitable as a visual diary type tool and turned into something to market cupcakes. Instagram started drowning in adverts and well Facebook - it was useful as a forum for community news, but after several years of stupid adverts and stupider friend suggestions - like do I really want to be friends with some sociopath in Texas? - that got the flick as well.

Which left twitter. Since the change of ownership, the content has changed. More people just posting images of  Alma Tadema's historical tableaus and less real Roman history and archaeology, not to mention the intrusion of stupid and irrelevant ads.

So, despite it having been my go to platform for fifteen years, I ditched it.

This leaves me with Mastodon as my only social media.

And there's benefits to doing this. 

I reckon I'm getting an extra hour in my day - more or less. And what I am reading in the way of blogs and online news I'm reading in greater detail.

So, let's agree there are benefits to ditching a lot of it. But only if you want to ditch it.

I'm reminded of the various stories about people who did a digital detox out in the bush somewhere and spent a month doing yoga and meditating and were straight back onto social media to tell their friends just how great the experience was.

No, it's about changing your life and how you feel about things. And, as an introvert, I guess I find it easier to say no once I've decided to move on ...

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