Reducing my digital footprint has become a ‘bit of thing’ for me lately. It’s a goal I’ve been working towards since well before Lockdown, and has moved even closer to the forefront of my mind over the last few months.
I suspect this way of thinking is directly related to my current state-of-mind which in itself, is a driver of my desire to distance myself from people, become generally isolated socially (even before Lockdown), and ‘cancel’ those relationships that I believe to be a tad toxic.
What better place to start than with Facebook? I’ve been ‘off’ Facebook for nearly three years, following a nine-year, love-hate relationship with the platform.
When I say, ‘off’ I mean just that. Once the decision had been made, I downloaded my posts, images and data and clicked the permanently delete button. Gone!
Despite being active on Facebook, over several years, the decision to close my account and remove the app off my phone, wasn’t a hard one to make. I was increasingly finding that Farcebook, as it shall hitherto be known, was a highly addictive service and if I’m honest – a strong driver of my social media anxiety (now a recognised condition).
Added to that and quite frankly, I was sick of scrolling through the crap, fake-news, showing off and virtue signalling from people that I ultimately didn’t care about.
After that, the next to go was my Instagram account, which I used mainly for my photography. That went the same way, for exactly the same reasons.
Twitter and LinkedIn
I’ve only ever dabbled with Twitter, and it’s never appealed – being the cesspit of noise that it is. So that account went a few years ago. People often describe it as the ‘Twatosphere’ or ‘Twatter’ for good reason, I concur.
For work reasons, I have a LinkedIn account, which I tap into a few times a day to read what my ‘professional network’ are saying and what’s happening in my industry. Most of this network, to use that phrase again, are virtue signalling or patting each other on the back for any small endeavour. It’s all bollocks really – but the platform serves a purpose for now. So that one is staying and I have all the privacy settings locked down.
Today, I’m at the stage where the only active social media accounts I have are this WordPress one (under the pseudonym of Speckled Jim), my aforementioned LinkedIn account and a YouTube (Google) account which is used for watching, rather than socialising in any form and even that doesn’t display my full name to safeguard against being ‘googled’.
Since the demise of my Insta and Farcebook accounts, I found that ‘going dark’ is an important factor for me. So perhaps this is a level of paranoia that is a symptom of my current condition.
If I were to list out my thinking behind this attitude at the moment, would this list suffice? It helps me frame things perhaps.
- Do I want former associates and friends to find me online?
- Do I want to wear my heart on my sleeve for anyone to see?
- Do I want to let people have an uncontrolled port-hole into my life?
- Do I want to compare myself to others online?
- Do I want to be judged by others who may find me online?
- Do I want to make new friends?
- Do I want to lower my drawbridge and let people in?
Needless to say the answer to all these questions is a resounding No!
Until my next post.