The original title for this post was why I left Twitter, but I ended up not leaving it for good. So what have I done? I’ve muted all slurs, all dramatic accounts, all political buzz words, all political accounts, all accounts that spew hate. I deleted them all from my Twitter feed. I downloaded a news app called Smart News to get actual articles instead of hot and angry takes. I had already blocked this all from my Facebook and Tumblr accounts.
And it’s made them completely bare of content. The amount of posts on my feed is alarming. I didn’t realize the amount of negative and toxic hot takes I was taking in a day. It was most of my media intake. I was feeding on toxins. Posts from publications I like have been removed because of muted words. I’ve lost entire accounts. My twitter feed is so dead that I don’t feel the need to check it that often.
So, I did the same thing with my youtube account. I cleared out my watched history and liked videos. I just removed all of the angry and toxic media I was consuming.
And with it gone I find myself wanting to read and create more, because I had to find new things to consume. Trying to find accounts without toxins seems to be impossible on Twitter and Facebook. Instagram and Tumblr I’ve managed fairly well. But it’s had me thinking about what kind of content needs to be put out and along with that what kind of content should we be reading. I’ve talked about this before but the serious lack of that content is becoming disturbing.
We live in a world that thrives on differences, divides, and drama. How do we go about correcting that? How do we counter it in what we’re creating?
I’ve talked about wanting to create more content than I consume, which is almost an impossible task in this modern world, but I haven’t talked a lot about what to create. There are a lot of blogs and accounts that are missing the toxins, but it seems clear that the accounts that embrace them thrive. Look no farther than your teen Youtube star intertwined in constant drama- and getting swamped with views for being so. Cringe video channels make money off of bullying people. All my favorite authors are tweeting unsourced political facts in anger fueled Twitter fights with anonymous accounts.
How do we correct this? I don’t think the answer is to unplug from social media completely. I love social media. It’s actually my job to love it. I think the answer is in making conscious decisions about what we consume. People get paid based on who is viewing their content. People post more when we interact with them more. So, I’m going to stop feeding the toxic fires that I’ve been feeding. They probably won’t notice I’m gone, but let me tell you, I’ve noticed that the scolding heat on my face is gone.