At some point in my life, I realized that social media was not serving the purpose I wanted. It was more likely to be me serving the purpose of those social media platforms.
Over time I changed a few of my habits, getting back in control of my online presence. Here a few of the things I tried and actually worked for me. I encourage you to try!
Since a few months ago I stopped commenting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Those systems are designed to leverage our instinct for immediate reaction. However, as humans, we need time to read, digest, understand, and remember things.
When big things happen in the world, like natural disasters, or wars, in order to form an informed decision around them, we need time.
For this reason, I don’t comment on the news on social media. I prefer to read all that’s available and take the time to understand. Sometimes it takes hours, sometimes days, sometimes months. And that’s ok. The world does not need my immediate reaction, I don’t need to join the noise of nonsense that always shouts loud around every day’s events.
When I have made my opinion, I keep working on it, accepting the possibility that I might be wrong.
If I feel the urge to express it online, I publish a post on my blog.
My phone does not ring ever. Not a blip, not a ding, not a flashy banner ever. Notifications are meant to interrupt and get the immediate attention. I don’t want that anymore.
For this reason, I disabled all notifications, and I only allow the visual badges on the icons of my phone. If I get a message on Telegram, for instance, a little number next to the icon tells me that something is waiting for me. When I feel about it, I’ll read it and answer.
Contribute actively and in person
I realized that my political activity needed an outlet to be expressed. For a long time it happened online, but at some point, it was not enough anymore.
I started attending, contributing, and sometimes founding, WordPress meetups. I also volunteer as a WordCamp organizer. I don’t consider it work, I consider this as “political activism”.
The WordPress community has a political stance for me. It’s based on principles I believe in, and it promotes inclusion and diversity. There are elements of democracy and representation that still require to be refined, but overall I feel my political position to be correctly represented in it.
This level of contribution requires more than online interactions. It requires to put work into organising activities, hosting meetups, traveling to places, and dedicating effort. It’s hard sometimes, but it has an impact.
How about you?
Do you have any experience in the matter? Have you found yourself viciously trapped on the social media circle? Have you tried to do something about it?
Drop a comment, I’d love to hear from you!