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Thoughts on my social media usage

Jason Kratz
Jason Kratz
3 min read

I'll forgive you if you roll your eyes reading the title of this post. "God another person writing about how they're going to/not going to use social media". I totally understand. If you're going to read this please read it in the sense in which it is being written, my "thinking out loud" on the subject and my thoughts on where I want to go as I'm on a short break and only writing here on this blog and my Scribbles blog where I'm putting more "social media" type stuff. I could just as easily journal this and keep it off the web but I know that I find these types of posts helpful because it lets me know that I'm not the only person thinking on this subject and by way of that not alone wondering how to solve a problem.

Is it really a problem? Yeah it is. It's a problem because like many I find conflict a bit too interesting. I wasn't like that until the Internet came along and I cut my teeth on this stuff in USENET groups in the late 80s so it's been a long time. And if you think USENET was any better than what we have now you're mistaken. Was it as easy to get to? Nope. The Internet was not open to the public and there was no web, but it was no better than Reddit is today. You could find good stuff and also a bunch of crap. And of course a bunch of arguing over dumb shit.

The problem is that conflict of this type isn't healthy. It's not good arguing, which I love. It's bickering with lack of good faith at best. Usually it's a lot worse. Like most news it simply is bad for good mental health. But like foods that aren't good for me I'm attracted to the conflict which leaves me in a bit of a quandary. I'm rational and know, like fast food, that that type of social media is bad for me. But like with fast food that part of the "lizard brain" takes over and I end up in a bad place. What to do?

To be clear, I have met many good people on social media. Within the last couple of years I have connected with people either via Mastodon or micro.blog who I consider friends who I'd love to meet in real life some day (weird that three of them are all from North Carolina. 🤔). One of them is very close to my personality and temperament. One is probably even more liberal than I am. One is most definitely very different from me when it comes to politics and religion but he's got a very open mind so we've had good conversations even with those differences. The world would be boring if we'd all be the same so I value the differences I have with these people. The key thing is none of us is the type of person who is of the my-way-or-the-highway breed.

So I guess my point is I'd miss the "water cooler bullshitting" that social media can be but I'm not interested in social media as a social justice vehicle. That is where a lot of conflict arises in a manner in which nobody is going to change anyone else's point of view. To be blunt, as an older cishet white guy nobody cares about my opinion on those matters anyhow. That has been made abundantly clear to me many times over. I am viewed as part of the problem regardless of my history or situation. I've been labeled as a racist (in the past) and a transphobe (very recently). I am not, and never have been, either of those things, and both drove me to quit two different IndieWeb services as a result. Needless to say that leaves a bad taste in my mouth so those are areas I've learned I'm better off just avoiding completely at this point. It's exhausting and part of why I'm even sitting here musing over this stuff.

So long story short I'm still thinking. There are at least two options, drop it completely which some have done, and do absolutely nothing with how I'm using it. Then of course there is some in-between option which is likely what I'll try first. I'm just not sure what that in-between is. I expect it is setting up some rules around how and how often I"m using it.

Anyhow, if anyone has ideas/comments please feel free to contact me. I'd love to hear any thoughts anyone has. I know I'm not the only one out there thinking about this stuff.

Update 6/24/2024: I'm done. I've learned a couple of things in the years I've been using social media and the most important thing is it has no place in my life.

social medialife stuff

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