For about a month now I haven’t had Internet at home, and I’ve come to enjoy what it’s done to me. Actually, I do have Internet on my cell phone, but only limited; it is enough to check e-mails and check the weather, but not enough for regularly checking Instagram or other services.
So, in the course of a month, many of those services faded from my daily routine. Where, for some time, I had uploaded or posted several things on various social networks, it got less and less important. Thoughts that gripped me were written down in my ledger, and if important enough made it into a post on this blog. You’ll realize, many didn’t. I loosened myself from the buzz that I had been so eager to participate in and add to.
I’m now about a month behind in all videocasts that I regularly watched, and while the Earth is going to shits all around us, I at least don’t receive the negative energy of being constantly reminded that it does. To me this doesn’t mean I don’t care. I do. But also I feel sufficiently aware of the fucked-up-ness to not feel responsible to keep myself updated hourly. I steal the newspapers on the weekends and take an hour to read into them. I used to listen to the morning news on the radio, but no longer do because the time when they air is just when I have a really great and productive phase of the day that I don’t wanna waste to hear about how things are still as fucked as they were the day before.
Why am I talking about all of this? Because I already found one conclusion that I didn’t know I was looking for: that I have to quit, or at least pause using online social media like Facebook. Here’s why.
A couple of years back I deactivated my Facebook account for some reason or another, I can’t really remember. I do remember that it threw me into a hole to be so disconnected, and that eventually I reactivated it because I realized that I needed the affirmation that “likes” and the interaction provided.
But this is no longer true. The stuff I actually care about gets buried under tons of superficial gravel, since the algorithms are optimized to show you only certain kinds of stuff. The rest is filtered out, and for me it was only the stuff that either depressed me or that I didn’t actually care about that remained for my consumption. Fuck this.
The other lie I told myself was that I needed Facebook professionally. But it doesn’t work for me. Not at all. Because, for several reasons, I do not want to create a “page” for my business. I am a “self-employed” writer, my opinions and my fantasies are my trade, as cringey as it sounds, me being personal, at points even intimate to a degree of crossing the line of my and your comfort is what I do. It makes no sense at all to blur this line by acting like a company or proclaimed celebrity. But that means that Facebook doesn’t allow me to reach all the people that follow me. Now, they aren’t actual followers. But in my perception, people that are Facebookfriends with me have, I hope, at least some passing interest in me or in what I do. Right? Now, Facebook is designed to not let me reach all those people (that I will, for the rest of this post, call followers). I can reach, at most, 20% or so of them. To reach more, I would need to pay Facebook to not bar me from reaching them. That’s what “promoted posts” are. Posts that Facebook forces you to see because someone paid them to.
Now, if you follow what I believe in even slightly, you will understand why this is not an option for me. In short, my position towards Facebook can be summed up with the following image:
So if Facebook doesn’t give me anything but wasted time, plus doesn’t really help me professionally, plus I disagree with it’s practices, plus I don’t like the company: why am I using it again? The answer is, I won’t be using it. Maybe I will need the fix again some day, but right now, I’m glad I don’t.
But, and this is the important part: How to reach people that care then?
Well, one thing that exists and works great for me, is my newsletter. Maybe I will rely on that more heavily, but I’d make sure I wouldn’t send out mails more often than quarterly. After all I really don’t wanna spam anyone. Another option might be those new Telegram channels. I created one called deus ex macchiato, you can find it here. But I don’t really know what to do with it yet. Also, still not too many people use Telegram.
All of that said, I hope you don’t mind not being able to read my burblings on day-to-day superficial politics anymore. If you want, message me and I’ll let you know what I think of the Austrian governments idea to build a wall or fence at the border. Little hint: I don’t think too highly of it.
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