I don’t know if I would dare put this under the inglorious epithet of “New Year’s Resolutions”, this decision was not taken at New Year’s Eve, but it is about the new year of 2023, and I would argue that it is a resolution. Let me elaborate.
For the next 12 months, from 24 Jan 2023 to 24 Jan 2024, I am withdrawing from social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) to focus on my blog, give rest and respite to my mental faculties, and put my energy into better things.
I am doing this because it is something that I should have done far sooner and now seemed like as good a time as any to start. Now I am not making some knee-jerk reaction to a certain individual’s (who shall pass un-named) goal of correcting the twittering behemoth from being a one-sided, emotionally fuelled mob to an open square for free and frank discussion for all. May what this person has begun not fall at the next post.
As for myself, I haven’t chirped since mid-August, 2022, and I feel no grief over the prospect of spending even less time doing something that I haven’t been doing at all.
Which leaves the Book of False Faces and the ‘Tube that sucks the you out of you.
The former is the main cause for my 12-month exodus. There are compelling reasons to stay off False Face. I don’t interact with people as much as others do; although I wouldn’t personally classify much of that as true inter-action, more inter-reaction. My notifications list and the algorithmically approved samples of others’ promulgated lives cause me varying degrees of anxiety, raging doubts, and FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out] in short succession of having been on False Face for near or about 5 minutes. As well as the general feeling of being a non-entity in comparison to others’ (perceived) lives. My only lingering shackle to all of this is the unfortunate, unspoken agreement (or acquiescence) that you have to be on False Face to tell people about local, international, parish, or diocesan events.
One may argue that this is a Catch-22, especially in the religious sphere of life: people only put up notices about events on social media because you can’t trust parishes to effectively disseminate that same information, which in turn is caused by people devaluing and stripping of help, and resources, to those same parishes because it’s “easier” to put it all up on social media yourself. You can decide yourself, dear reader, whether to make the discussion more complicated by adding in the old (in internet years) chestnut of “all the young people are on social media, how else are we supposed to find them.” To which I make the rejoinder, they are only on social media because we let them be on social media. But I will move on lest I continue further down this rabbit hole.
As for the ‘Tube it is a far more intricately designed, effective, and ever evolving blackhole of wasted time, energy, and mental power than the old Cathode Ray or LED televisions ever were. The slot machine-esque desire for something new, another distraction from life, the hunter-gatherer focus for the shiny red fruit. I do admit that there are good videos on the ‘Tube, but when you can’t adequately recall the good video after the fourth or fifth bad video (and I know how much I struggle myself), it’s time to call it quits.
Recently I have been become more and more aware of (and disillusioned by) how on the ‘Tube, and on all other social media, you the viewer are the company’s end product. All of the content creators, by their own admission often, are just a resource that the company uses to drive more eyeballs toward incessant advertising intermissions—pardon, interruptions. What point is there in being on a platform or service that views you as nothing more than a resource that can be mined, and used to entrap and mine others as well.
So, my plans for this 12-month exodus are as follows:
And there, dear reader, is my plan in as much of a nutshell as I can fit it. Expect to see more activity on the blog and website, though I don’t make any promises as to how often or how much more you will see compared to previous years. Only time will tell.
Until next time.
~ Vincent Cavanagh, 24 January 2023.
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