April 5, 2021, 12:44 Apr

Why I hate social media

I'm a bit of privacy nut. I've seen the documentaries about governments and tech companies harvesting our data either for "security" or to sell me stupid shit (I'm not sure which is worse), and I'm scared to watch more. I religiously implemented all the suggestions in privacytools.io to the point that browsing the internet feels like filling out a visa application. This website is hosted on my own Hetzner server as is my Nextcloud, so if my data gets stolen at least I'll know it was my fault. To quote my friend, I would make a very good German.

Privacy wasn't the main reason I quit social media though - it was jealousy. Pure and simple. I was unable to scroll through Facebook or Instagram without the green eyed monster luring its head. It got to the point where there was a hierarchy of public displays which I hated. The worst was having fun while doing something really cool, impressive and generous, like an extreme sport event in order to raise money for charity. You absolute bastard - not only am I jealous that you're doing something cool, I also feel like a shit for not helping others.

Second was people being succesful at things that I would like to be succesful at. LinkedIn would be a prime candidate for my hatred, except that people are so nauseatingly pretentious that I can't take them seriously. No, the primary recievers of my envy were (and still are) up and coming drum and bass artists. Hell, it didn't even have to be someone raving about how well their new single is doing, it could just be them playing the piano knowing full well that they would remind me of how shit a keyboard player I have become. Why didn't you stick with it Seb you twit?

Then there was the vast majority of posts - people just having fun. How fucking dare you do so in the midst of my exams. I can just imagine you, laughing away with your close friends (of which apparently I'm not a part of, prick) and then thinking "I need to immortalize this wonderful moment so that the rest of the world may look upon me and weep that they do no have it as good as me. Some people may run marathons to raise money for dying children, but I choose to enjoy my beer somewhere mundane in the Ardennes with my most intimate companions. That is enough for me, I am content, and the rest of the world must know." I hate you.

As I've hoped I made clear, I did not have a healthy relationship with social media, and so around 4 years ago I deleted my Facebook account and any apps that could tempt me from my phone. I led a blissful existence, unaware of what everyone else was doing, content in my mediocrity. That was until I decided that after 7 or so years of producing music, I wanted to get recognised. I was tired of not having anything to show for the hours I spent staring at an LED screen and I craved to be able to play out to a crowd. This was shortly after lockdown started, and I had seriously misjudged how long all this would take.

So now I have an Instagram, Facebook and Discord account[^1]. That's bad enough - I spent 3 hours on Instagram last week, time I could have spent alphabetising my kitchen cupboard. With my debut EP coming out soon, I've noticed something worse though. Since I want to get people to interact with my Instagram I like and comment on other people's posts in the hope that the beneveloent algorithm (praise be upon them) decides to send the odd person to my profile. I see people, and my impressive wit, simply as tools to exploit in order to obtain the recognition I crave. It's not a particularly enjoyable feeling, but it's also easy enough to convince yourself that your not doing it. I wonder how many people on these platforms are interacting on them just so that other people will see them (and vice versa). It all feels just a little bit absurd...

That won't stop me of course. Unless you're the musical equivalent of Jesus, you won't get very far without social media, so you've got to play the game, and I will. In fact, that's why I wrote this article - to absolve myself of any sins that I may commit in the desperate battle for your attention. Best get back to making some priceless #contentainment ...

[^1]: I count Discord in that group because it's one of the apps I'll open up if I'm bored and scroll through.

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