software shenanigans

I Can't Use Social Media (But I Want To)

I was ~10 years old when social media sites became a Thing people used. I even used some of them as I grew up (mainly Tumblr in middle and high school, Snapchat and Instagram in high school) and have tried some now (like Mastodon last year).

Many of my friends are active on one or more platforms, and a lot of my family uses Facebook to communicate. I'm not active on any, but I wish I could be. There are two reasons I'm not:

  1. Conversations are too fast for me to keep up
  2. I'll get sucked into the scrolling trap

That second reason is the biggest reason I don't. I've wasted so much time mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. I don't like how I feel wasting that time. My time doesn't need to be carefully tweaked so I'm always maximally productive, but I'd rather spend downtime on something enjoyable. So, I'm usually sworn off most of those sites (except for an occasional check).

However, that costs me meaningful interactions with people I care about and the world at-large. Maybe I could be more disciplined about how I use these apps and gain the benefits without the drawbacks. I've tried, but maybe I haven't tried hard enough? Regardless, the easiest way to not get sucked into the scrolling trap is to just avoid those apps altogether.

There's probably an alternative that would work for me. We'll see.