Social media really is that bad

By dkl9, written 2023-361, revised 2023-361 (0 revisions)

For years, I never much used any unambiguous social media. There was little incentive to use it, and what I tended to read, when it commented on the matter, condemned social media.

At a friend's encouragement, circa 2023-268, I joined Tumblr. Clearly I didn't really believe what I had read before. But two months of usage vindicated those claims by experience.

What did I get from two months of Tumblr?

But at what cost?

Happily, past me was wise enough to limit the damage to when I used a full computer, so most moments thruout the day when I might bask in boredom remained intact.

It would probably be around this bad for you, too. Maybe you can use it more effectively than me and get much more of the positives. Maybe I'm more vulnerable than average to behavioural addiction. But you probably have a smartphone, such that getting onto social media would affect you much more pervasively.

I doubt it matters much whether the medium in question is Tumblr (the one I experienced) or something else. (Instagram? I don't know what the kids use these days.) The active ingredient in any case is intermittent reinforcement. Even when you don't want it to, it suffices to overload you with low-value information, unless you take drastic action against it.

Living on both sides of whether to use social media shows me the difference. If you've used it for years, you may have forgotten, and I exhort you to quit today, all of it, at least for long enough to see if it helps.