Today marks a year of me staying away from social media of any sorts. It’s been great and I don’t intend on going back. A lot of people are appalled and amused at me being Anti-social media. I’m pretty confident that that from their perspective, I look like a Grinch. I don’t blame them though It’s a fair assumption for people to make. But, There are several layers of reasoning for it.
The most ethical dilemma I’ve ever had in my life, is whether to conform with my peers or not. A lot of things that people do are stupid, yet it has become the cultural norm to do those things and a lot of people seem cool with it and just go with the flow. It’s just the absurd conformity of people trying to keep up with their peers. But, Conformity is something we can’t help but, do. Most people don’t realize the iron grip that our visceral part is hardcoded in us making us conform.
One example of our hardcore urge to conform is when you see someone laugh uncontrollably. It’s almost impossible to not laugh, even when you don’t know why they’re laughing. Your laugh, how much ever without reason, is very much real and they are very similar to your authentic laugh. Yawning has a similar impact too. Your mood improves just being near jolly good people, even if you aren’t laughing on the outside, your brain is having something of a communal orgasm. And this is exactly the reason why sitcoms play a laugh track in the background. Your brain goes to laugh mode, just by hearing the laughter over and over again. Even if a lame joke comes on screen. You can’t help but laugh.
Those are all beside the point.
Now that it’s established that we are very much running on conformity as fuel. What does it imply?
If it was hard enough to stay sane in a constantly impulsive conformity. Facebook just preys on the very emotions that make up a society and feeds on that. And that could never be good. No matter how much misleading speeches Zuck may give.
While conformity is ingrained in us and was a necessary survival strategy in our forest living days. It’s not a necessity these days.
I see that a lot of people seem to say that, They really don’t “care” about what people think about them. But, run around taking selfies and try super hard to look re good. Just downright pathetic.
Plus the stupidity that comes with the “Social Media Life” is really annoying. I’m sure most people agree that Facebook is irritating. But, it’s just my assumption that the high that they get from scrolling and talking about how irritating everyone is, far more gratifying.
Some people come around saying that, how do you keep in touch with your friends? and stuff like. I basically don’t believe friends will be forever. Friends come and they go. If a friend is really worthy of engaging he’ll probably just call me. No bullshit in between.
And there is this trend in the Instagram circle for people to make their life look awesome. And describe to everyone who listens, how much of a unique-fucking-snowflake they are, how cool they’re “enjoying” their super-frikkin’ life. It’s just a version of people trying to Super-conform. Which means they’re trying to outdo their rivals by doing what they’re doing. It sounds stupid because it is.
Also by random factors, I stumbled upon this idea of dark patterns that exist in the tech world. Simply put, it’s those things that makes it super easy to subscribe to a thing and very hard to unsubscribe. The twisted ways in which the tech communities tie people to their products is very aggressive and more often than not pro insidious.
Once you start seeing yourself as someone analogous to a heroin addict. It is hard not to be irked about every notification you get and be in “constant vigilance” of not doing those. After I was aware of the potholes and how my brain is being used. It just didn’t feel like it was worth it. So one fine day, I just left all kind of “Social media” and disabled all notifications from any intrusive apps. Not even Amazon or YouTube were allowed to send me notifs.
My phone felt more like a tool than a reality hideaway.
Just like any good decision it comes with its own caveats, though. I wasn’t able to keep myself updated with all the information sources I had. I filled the gap with RSS feeds and readers. They’re super useful and awesome. I depend on my whole information database on them. They’re practically better and efficient than conventional sources.
Nowadays, I have a sly smirk every time I see someone watching WhatsApp stories or taking selfies, even though I try a lot not to. But, hey it’s not my fault that people are pathetic.