At this point, we all know that social media is making us unwell. We know it is jeopardizing mental health, democracy, social progress, and our collective ability to focus. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time discussing these trends, but not as much time discussing solutions. So, what can we do about it?Continue reading “Five Rules to Keep Social Media From Ruining Your Life”
There is one particular section in Jaron Lanier’s book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now that keeps me up at night. He describes the trajectory of online social justice movements. First, they experience a honeymoon phase of progress, but because of the invisible business model of social media, these social movements are algorithmically catalogued, manipulated, and studied for profit in a way that leads to greater social unrest, bigotry, and inequality. Lanier calls this process “Arc Burn,” in reference to MLK Jr’s moral ark quote.Continue reading “Arc Burn: How Social Media is Breaking Us”
In this episode of Sacred Tension I sit down with Eleventyseven frontman Matt Langston and the Rock Candy office manager Rebecca Shaw to discuss the film The Social Dilemma. Along the way, we discuss how social media is ruining everything and how Matt has a unicorn fetish.Continue reading “Sacred Tension: The Social Dilemma”
I struggle mightily with social media. It is the most fraught and challenging part of my job as a content creator. On the one hand, I truly enjoy connecting with readers and like-minded individuals. On the other hand, that one upside feels like a tiny oasis in a desert of desolation and destruction. I recently had yet another realization about why social media is hard for me, and why it makes me worried for the future of humanity.Continue reading “Social Media: Where Cruelty Is Easy and Kindness Is Hard”
This week in Curiosities: The darker impulses of the Dirt-bag Left, Sarah Z on the infiltration of Doomer ideology into leftist and activist spaces, and Ezra Klein interviews Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows.Continue reading “Sunday Curiosities: Red Scare, OK Doomer, and The Shallows”
I am the person I am today, in no small part, because of social media. When I was a newly-out gay man and needed the queer community, I found them on social media. That alone probably saved my life. Ever since those first days of finding my queer community online, I’ve made innumerable friends, connection, and community on social media. I also truly adore my Satanic family on twitter. I start with all this, because I’m going to spend the rest of this post articulating the dark side of social media, how it has reduced my quality of life, and what I intend to do about it.Continue reading “On Being Better On Social Media”
I hit a breaking point today. I woke up and discovered that I just couldn’t do social media anymore. My gears had ground to a halt. Burnout sneaks up on me, and when it’s time for me to burn a bridge, I douse it in gasoline and incinerate it.Continue reading “An Update Regarding Leaving Social Media”
Several weeks ago I made a decision: that I would drastically reduce my time on social media. It was an attempt to drain the shallows from my life – reducing the meaningless, easy-to-replicate tasks to give more time and space to the activities that create meaning and fulfillment in my life.
Our world is suffocated by addicting, irrelevant, glittering images: a perpetual cascade of memes, buzzfeed articles, emails, tweets, and status updates from friends. This is, as Cal Newport describes it in his book Deep Work, The Shallows.
Years ago, a therapist once said to me, “Stephen, you are so open, and honest. You expose so much of yourself to the world, and that is wonderful. But I want to challenge you to do something: keep secrets. Keep something away from the world, just for yourself. I don’t care what it is – it could be your favorite drink at Starbucks – but just keep something secret.”