Few phrases irritate me more than “social media.” Well, let’s be honest: few things, period, irritate me more than social media. I spent years swallowing that grape-flavored Koolaid before finally bailing out of it two years ago. The freedom of no longer bearing the weight of that burden was tremendous, and since then, I have never looked back.
Of course, traditional definitions of social media include blogs, and I am writing a blog post, so did I really leave social media behind, after all? Yes and no, but mostly, yes.
To me, blogs are anti-social media. They give space for longer form writing, opinion, story-telling, and exploration of mutual interests. Blog authors are lying if they tell you they don’t care about “likes” or comments or followers, just like regular social media. But it’s a different kind of thing, much less instantaneous, more muted, and less inherently intoxicating than “likes” you might get elsewhere. Frankly, it’s because there is a lot less traffic — fewer eyeballs finding your stuff. And I’m genuinely ok with that. I never aimed to be widely read in the first place, and I never intend to sell you something through what I write, least of all some unrealistic, fairytale lifestyle.
I do not write here to be “liked.” If someone likes what I write, that’s a bonus. In contrast, most social media is all about “likes” and creates such a self-centered swirl of expectations and hope for attention that it can be quite addictive and destructive. And so, so shallow. Other social media platforms are the proverbial mile wide and an inch thick. They perpetuate unrealistic expectations and by the way, vacuum up every bit of personal data they possibly can in order to sell you to someone else. That is the grim reality.
Part of my approach to anti-social media, like this blog, is to deliberately not over share, or to reveal a lot of specifics about myself or my family. That is a protective measure, a defensive posture, yes, but what I do share here is genuine and honest. Also, it is not monetized by ads because I choose to pay for the service so that the content I create is fully under my control. I think privacy and user control are hugely important.
So, if I seem to keep readers at arm’s length, that is because that is precisely what I am doing. Don’t be offended because I choose to abide by certain important principles in writing this blog. If that’s not your cup of tea, move on to somewhere or someone else. I don’t mind.