Nurturing a healthier media ecology
As usual, I find your words are describing what I’m going through but couldn’t put a finger or label on.
I long ago decided social media was harming me more than benefiting me, but work and social obligations kept me tied to it. I was finally able to escape Facebook last year and I haven’t missed it for one second.
But I’ve been deeply struggling with how isolated and untrusting I’ve become. I’m in literal detox from the echo chamber and it’s left me floundering in the real world. It’s CRAZY.
I totally understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and my hope is I will be able to follow you (still on Twitter, but it’s not nearly as addictive for me). Maybe if enough of us make a dent, we can create a new norm of being “unplugged.”
God bless you in this journey! We need your words and I look forward to supporting you!
I'll miss your presence once I'm back on Twitter, Judy! And you make some very poignant points that I hope I will consider when I devote any time to social media myself. I see the bent in me toward much of what you warn against, too. That said, I look forward to still learning from and interacting with you here! I hope Lent continues to be a restoring time for you as we head toward Easter. Much love, sister.
I feel grateful for Twitter because it's how I found you and your writing, but I also feel the tension with social media that you mention.
Being from whitewashed, rural central Canada, I have benefited greatly from diversifying the voices in my life through social media. However, I've also started to really notice in the last few months how the "new" and "diverse" feeds I've been trying to build are already taking on some tones of an echo chamber again. It seems that the loop is complete and the engines behind the scenes have found the connections between these diverse voices so that I can nestle back into a cocoon of safety.
Which may be why I am a largely silent participant in these platforms (i.e. I rarely post anything): I can't shake this underlying feeling of discomfort over the whole thing. The ways I see friends and family start to mimic the ways influencers interact with social media--though these friends and family are just as ordinary as I am--make me feel like we're all learning to imitate each other and blend into sameness. At the end of the day, I think that's ultimately what social media amplifies: our desires to be comfortably similar with each other while feeling like we're special and unique.
All this to say, I'm glad you're here and can't wait to receive your newsletter regularly. I appreciate your well-researched and emotionally intelligent writing style.
Do you think leaving Twitter etc will help with the larger problem? I am doing it (slowwwwly) because I can see how inexorably harmful it is for me personally but I don't have a lot of hope for larger change.