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Anti-social media

People don't look at websites much any more, so I am led to believe. Everything you could ever want is on social media. The algorithms are constantly curating the content of your social media feed to provide you with content that you will like, and not to give you anything you might not enjoy or find challenging. One of the ever increasing numbers of social media 'whistle-blowers' recently dropped the bombshell that the owners of the big internet companies who curate your feed had done research that showed that our craving for social media is more powerful than smokers craving for nicotine. Instagram is more addictive than cigarettes?!

A few years back I had a moment of clarity whilst sitting on a tree stump in the meadow behind my house on a glorious summer morning. I was scrolling absent-mindedly through Facebook on my mobile phone, when I suddenly looked up and realised where I was, and what I was doing. Here is a wonderful place, surrounded by nature, but staring at a small screen at a load of mindless rubbish and targeted adverts. Later that day I reluctantly deleted my Facebook account in the knowledge that I could always reinstate my account if my work dried up, or my friends never contacted me ever again.

My trepidation of a life without a network of 'friends' on Facebook was unfounded - my work has grown, not disappeared. I have all the friends I had before. I have never once missed it. I think that social media is a rather insidious poison within modern society, and I want no more of it.

After this moment of clarity I carried on life as normal, with rather more time to dedicate to things I really enjoy, but I did keep an Instagram account as I thought this was a good place to show my woodwork, and maybe it might create some more business. After a couple of years of faffing with it, I can report that Instagram has done absolutely nothing to create any work for me, but I have been conscious of spending more and more time looking at other peoples pictures of stuff. Again, social media has crept it's way back into my life, but common sense has prevailed once more, and the insta account is now defunct too. Apologies to the thousands of followers I collected along the way, but most of them I didn't know, and all of them won't miss my sporadic postings.

So that's it. No more social media for me. Maybe I will have some more time to update my website! For sure, if you found my site it's almost certainly because you wanted to, rather than just because a random picture from it appeared in a social feed.

Oh, and all the little icons down here for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc don't work as I don't have any accounts. Isn't it funny how I can't remove them - perhaps they have become part and parcel of our culture and I'm a miserable Luddite with my head in the sand?! Who knows, but I know I'm happier without this stuff in my life.


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