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Pop Loser #98

by Tyler Hellard


Is 2018 the Year We Step Away from Social Media?

Cutting yourself off from social media in at least a limited capacity has become trendy among people who like minimalist plants and TED Talks about feeling. I'm not as doom and gloom as a lot of people about this stuff, but lately I don't feel so good about it. Like, I close Twitter and I know I feel worse than when I opened it. And then, probably, I open it again within a few seconds. It's some bad shit. I'm not cutting myself off anytime soon, but I have taken that half-step of limiting the notifications I get from my phone. 

You don’t need me to tell you how it feels to check Twitter and suddenly feel anxious because our president has tweeted something incendiary or untrue; to have the next hour of your day derailed because somebody is angry with someone else and you decide to follow the thread. As fun as it is to read other people’s thoughts, it’s much less fun to absorb hundreds of people’s emotions — especially on sites designed to compel us to absorb as much as possible.

Lindy West quit Twitter a year ago and has no regrets. 

The social contract of the internet seems to insist that there’s a nobility in weathering degradation. You can call me oversensitive, but the truth is I got far better than any human being should be at absorbing astonishing cruelty and feeling nothing. Undersensitivity was just another piece of workplace safety gear. The fact that we’ve learned to cope doesn’t mean we shouldn’t demand better. Being on Twitter felt like being in a nonconsensual BDSM relationship with the apocalypse. So, I left.

Also: What my 35 minute hiatus from social media taught me about myself. 

I categorically do not enjoy my own thoughts. 


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