So the news that Elon Musk is trying to purchase Twitter has many people saying they’ll leave Twitter for other pastures. Today that mostly means a Mastodon instance if you’re looking for a Twitter-like experience.
How about a bigger question, why do you even need social media anyway?
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I Don’t have Facebook
If you look around Facebook you may find an account with my name on it, but I don’t actually have Facebook. I’ve had to create an account for work under my employer’s email system in the last 18 months but I don’t work with them anymore and I never used the account for anything but API keys anyway.
It’s been years since I’ve had a Facebook account and I don’t miss it at all. The only time I see any missed opportunities coming from the lack of a Facebook account is when some local organization only has a presence on Facebook. Maybe it’s something for my children’s school or some other local business that doesn’t have a site.
But, when I was on the parent council for my kid’s school in Chilliwack this also meant that I didn’t have to deal with any of the text-based arguing about things on Messenger. I didn’t get the random accusations from parents at the school about what the PAC was doing.
I got to skip all the drama and my life was calmer for it.
The only way I got to interact with the drama was face-to-face in the schoolyard. In that environment, the people making accusations were much more civil and understanding of the decisions that were made. The drama went away and agreement was found in short order.
What Benefit Do I Get from Twitter?
So my question is now, what is the benefit I can only get from Twitter that I can’t get anywhere else?
Originally Twitter was a great spot to get to know people from around the world. In many ways, it gave me the career I have today as I met people in the WordPress industry. But can that type of interaction be replicated in less toxic environments? Can it be found in applications and communities that aren’t as addictive, causing me to waste time?
Slack and Discord communities exist for WordPress and any other topic I’m interested in. In my current experience, they are far less toxic than what Twitter is today. I even have my own Discord community that’s fairly quiet. We talk about books there, among a few other things.
Meeting new people that can find my work is accomplished when I share my work on YouTube or get mentioned in the Obsidian Roundup Newsletter. It happens when people find my site via search.
Maybe it’s just time to say goodbye to social media in general and stop the scroll that I inevitably fall into at times. I’ll never get that wasted time back, and I hate having spent it.
Maybe, just like removing junk food from your house so you don’t eat it, I need to remove the apps that promote junk interactions? With no applications around that allow junk interactions, I can’t waste time scrolling.