My Break Up With Social Media

My Break Up With Social Media

What you are seeing above is the very first tweet I ever made. Back then, my cynical teenage brain didn’t see the appeal of Twitter. I thought that it would be yet another social media site trying to compete with the almighty Facebook that all of my friends were using. I assumed that it would vanish away and be long forgotten, adding to the pile of trends and fads that come and go like Vine, Ello and feeling a sense of superiority by getting a private invite to Google+ (yes, that was a thing for a little while.)

But now the year is 2020. It’s been 11 years since then, and I’m still tweeting from that same account. Facebook is no longer used by most young people and it’s better known now as “social media for boomers.” Twitter has become the #1 source for literally any and all information you could think of aside from Youtube and Google. There’s an enormous amount of people that simply can’t live without mindlessly scrolling through their Twitter feed for hours on end, myself included. Despite this necessity to always use it, it’s not like people actually like it there. It’s this abusive relationship where people use Twitter but absolutely hate everything that comes with it. A few of the examples I can give is drama of all kinds, cancel culture and hot takes purposefully crafted to anger and divide people.

Every single day, Twitter users are at each other’s throats in a never-ending race for validation, moral policing or trying to be the most condescending prick in the room. The couple of funny memes and videos that I bump into are not worth the trouble of wasting your whole day “staying up to date” on all of the awful things that depress me and rob me of my motivation to do anything. Even when I follow nothing but Japanese artists that post hentai, it’s still a massive time sink. Most things on Twitter ruin my mood, and so I end up feeling unfulfilled, empty and thinking of the many other things I could be doing with my time. I want to change that by taking those thoughts into action. With that said, let me lay out some reasons for why I want to pretty much abandon social media, and to a certain extent, general Internet activity as well.

For My Productivity and Health

I am 25 years old, and soon, I’ll be 26. I’m at a point where people could call it the prime of my youth, but I mostly just wake up, go to work, come back home to sleep, wake up to go to work again, then sleep again, rinse and repeat. I have a job that I enjoy, but I still have a long list of goals and things I want to achieve. Any free time I do have I spent it at home, staring at my many devices, waiting for the weekend so I can have ample time to waste it away in live streams that no one cares to watch. That sucks, and I hate living like that. If I’m going to spend most of my time in front of a computer or a phone, I would at least want it to involve doing something productive that I can be proud of, or at least something that I enjoy doing.

Which is why I think the time has come for me to actually live what I preach and start making significant changes in my life.

Starting on July the 4th, my birthday, I will be deleting my Twitter account and creating a new one for Good Game Have Fun. That account will ONLY post links to my website articles, Youtube videos, streams and any other updates surrounding my work. Nothing else. No follows, replies, retweets or anything. I’m thinking of taking an older, private account that I never used and re-purpose that to follow some very select accounts like gaming-related news and some artists I want to support, but even that might not happen.

I’ve tried to take Twitter breaks before by giving myself time limits, hiding it from my phone screen or uninstalling the app, but I always end up coming right back before I realize it. It doesn’t help that my job is heavily linked to social media activity either. Flat-out deleting my profile is the only option I can think of to stop this horrible addiction, a word that I’ve tried really hard to avoid so far.

I always mention my goals to one day record a music album, make my own video game and truly make great videos that I can look back on and be proud of. Make a living doing the things that I love is what makes me get up in the morning. However, I have made very little progress on all of it, and it’s mostly due to wasting my time away comparing myself to others, feeling insecure about what strangers will think, and making a big deal out of follower counts, likes and subscriber numbers. None of that stuff should matter to me or anyone. I should do it because I love it. And if I do it well, all of those numbers will rise naturally.

So there. When it comes to personal use and not job-related things, I’m done with Twitter, and social media as a whole forever. There might be the occasional Instagram post here and there, but I don’t use any other app nearly as much as I use Twitter, so that’s the one that definitely has to go. If there’s anything that I need to know, I have great friends at my Discord that will inform me on it. Too much of my time has been wasted on these things, and time waits for no one. I want my life back, and Twitter is not part of it.

To Protect Myself and Others

One massive reason for why I’m leaving Twitter is that the Internet is not what it used to be. Before, it was this weird little space for nerds to talk about what they liked without being judged constantly. Many different sites and forums that fit different tastes and interests existed. All of them were viable and encouraged you to explore many different sites. It was fun knowing that you could be both anonymous and free to say pretty much anything and have it be entirely separate from your real life. In fact, all of those places STILL exist, but that is no longer what people’s perception of “The Internet” is. For most, the entirety of the World Wide Web can be defined as Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and occasional Google searches. That’s it. You could even add Facebook and Twitch for some of you.

It’s only a handful of sites that control everything, who also want to make everyone happy and not get in trouble. So, they employ this Disney-like approach where they want to be perceived as safe, all-inclusive, happy, and perfect all the time. These are nice intentions, but this has unfortunately translated to censorship, canceling anyone that does anything wrong, infinite political arguments, and bending the knee to a minority of very loud and ignorant people that prioritize their emotional gut reactions over any kind of critical thinking or reasonable thought. In trying to become perfect, they have become flawed, and I have absolutely no obligation to abide by the arbitrary rules of Twitter and their infinitely self-absorbed and angry users.

In other words: The Internet has become so mainstream that you can’t escape the idiots that ruin everything when things go mainstream.

As I write this, I am seeing tweets scrolling by me about Jenna Marbles getting bullied to the point that she is stopping her Youtube activity. Dr. Disrespect has been banned permanently on Twitch for seemingly no reason. More celebrities and popular personalities than I can count are being harassed, bullied and fired out of their jobs, for better or for worse. It seems that we can’t go 24 hours without people being tormented by angry mobs over the smallest mistakes from 10 years ago, and I’m pretty sick of both looking at it and getting paranoia from it.

I like to think that I know myself pretty well, and I know the horrendous luck I have had in life. It’s like my mom walked past 100 black cats after leaving the hospital when she had me. On top of that, I have always tried to be provocative and edgy with some of the jokes I’ve made in the past (like literally every one else on the Internet). While I don’t apologize for any of it, I do realize that people can pull it out many years later to make you look like a Hollywood movie villain so big even Thanos would be jealous.

If I just lived in a bubble where only I existed, then I don’t care if my Youtube channel or Twitter feed is full of controversial stuff. However, reality is not like that. I have family members and other people that care about me who can be affected by this. I can definitely see a future where my channel, music, game or streams take off, I get my little 15 minutes of fame, but that will be enough for people to research literally every single little thing about me and cherry pick all the mean words I’ve said and edgy jokes I’ve made out of context. People will start the #GGHFisoverparty and get all of my stuff hacked, along with bombardments of harassment with no end. I know very well that there are some particularly evil people out there who will try to contact my family and friends and torment them on something they don’t even understand. Hopefully this never happens, but seeing the current trends right now, it could totally be a possibility that I need to be careful for.

People might interpret my words as me trying to “cover my ass” for what others may perceive as past mistakes, but that’s not quite the case. If people didn’t make such a big stink about random assholes on the Internet with dark humor, then I wouldn’t be going through my all of my old videos and putting many of them on private, or editing controversial bits out through Youtube’s terrible editor. I have more than 2,000 videos on Youtube. That’s almost 12 years of my life right there, not including live streams.

However, no one ever watched any of them, so who cares about what I say, right? I can say every single demonetizable word on the list, and it’ll still get like 10 views, 1 like, no comments and nothing happens. There’s a certain amount of freedom that you can feel from that. You feel like you can get away with anything, to the point where I actually feel pretty happy about being a small Youtuber that no one cares about, because you can say and do what you want and none of the attention is on you. However, if I really want to take my channel seriously and see it grow, I need to do these things to protect myself and the people around me from future troubles, assuming that cancel culture is here to stay and that it will only get worse from here.

In Conclusion

For anyone that doesn’t want to read my very long-winded thoughts on the whole thing, here’s a recap of all the main points to get out of it. I’m leaving social media, and most Internet activity indefinitely because:

  • It’s bad for my health because I’m addicted to it.
  • It’s a waste of time.
  • It creates openings for angry strangers to ruin your life, and your loved ones lives as well.
  • In my 11 years using Twitter, it has never helped me once in my growth as a creator.
  • It ruins my mood and takes away my motivation to work.
  • I want to create great content and live by the example that none of this petty Internet drama and constant cancelling of people actually matters or does anything to make the world better.

Life is short, and time runs out before you know it. I want to use the time I have in this world to do something fun and entertaining that allows me to express myself. Whether it’s bad or good, at least it’s mine. I’ve had enough of procrastinating, wasting my time and worrying about “what if…” scenarios that don’t let me sleep at night. I’ll be 26 soon, and that’s gonna be my year. The time where everything changes for the better. Breaking up with both my phone and social media as a whole is only the first step to a better and more fulfilling life for me.

And as always, thank you for listening.

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