Chet Collins

Chet Collins

Checking Out

I left Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram a few months ago. My retreat from the digital world to exclusively using my own domain was the result of many things. The availability, ease of use, development, and robustness of Micro.blog made this transition easier than I thought.

The corporate internet isn’t fun anymore. By “corporate,” I mean the mega-websites and mega-social networks. Remember when you used to rush home after class and log on and see what your friends were up to? You’d see an ad here or there, but mostly it was just content that you wanted to see. Friends updating on their activities, a few pictures, it was great. There was a sense of wonder and discovery. The timeline of today has little relation to the timeline of seven years ago. It’s all ads, many of which are being pushed by your “friends,” and reposted content that offers little substance. It’s not an exchange of ideas, its an onslaught of time-wasters. The networks have piled on “features” that weigh heavily on the user experience.

The negativity was getting to me. Twitter is by far the worst offender, but any website that has a comment section is equally guilty. I don’t know who these people are (many are not even people at all) who seem to have endless blocks of time to spew the most inane and random commentary into the internet. Even some of the original content is filled with depressing themes, and hopelessness. Regardless of how bad things get, I’m still filled with American optimism that things will get better. The future is bright because we all still have within us innate goodness, and our brains crave community.

You are what you read. As I return more deeply to my love of reading, I’ve noticed a change in me. I have more headspace, fewer things bother me throughout the day, and I feel a greater sense of fulfillment. That’s because when I read a book instead of reading a timeline, I’m expanding my horizons and exercising my mind. I can learn about literally anything in the known universe that interests me. I’ve even found myself watching a lot less Netflix, and I’m better for it.

I’ll do my best to get people to join me in leaving social media. It was great at the beginning, but today is only a shell of its former self. There are better ways to spend your life. And if you still want to have a place to share your thoughts, adventures, and pictures, pick up a domain name and join me on Micro.blog.

© 2019 Chet J. Collins