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Leaving social media but not really

I finally did it and, man alive, do I feel better.

I erased all my social media accounts except for Facebook and Instagram and I took those apps off my phone. A week later, my iPhone told me my screen time was down 87 percent. That’s a whole lot more time to enjoy the real world and not be worrying what I’m missing out on — which, in reality, isn’t much.

Do I have friends I care about on social media? Sure I do. But the posts I actually see from them are dwarfed by the massive amounts of crapola I get force fed whenever I log onto either one of those two, remaining sites.

I don’t care about memes. I don’t give a rat’s ass about suggested content. I don’t care to see any more off-brand Viagra adds aimed at me because of my age — and I sure as shit don’t want to know anything about the constant barrage of spambots I get friending me every, single, damn day. I’m not an idiot. There are no real, busty, 20-something ladies out there in tight tank tops who, “want friend you looking for sex no strings just good time baby honey will send you sexy pics.”

Getting that 87 percent of my life back in the real world has been wonderful. I’m drawing more. I’m reading newspapers and novels. I’m writing new songs. Sometimes, I even just sit and stare. Try it, you’ll like it. Daydreaming is good for your soul, or at least it’s better than doom-scrolling for hours a day.

This past weekend, I went camping. Nothing special, just an overnighter. I fed the fire, looked at the flames, listened to a coyote in the distance. I played some music. I paddled my canoe. I breathed fresh air and didn’t worry about anything except whether I brought enough Triscuits and cheese.

I did. No crisis there.

Listen, I’m not telling anyone what they should be doing with their own lives. I’m a committed anarchist. I only makes rules for myself, not other people. But I do think getting mostly out of social media is the right thing for my soul.

I’m still checking Facebook and Instagram on my computer, of course. You can still message me there. But I’m slowly weaning my brain off that addictive endorphin rush Facebook and the rest are designed to hook me with and I’ll hopefully eventually lose the nagging feeling that I’m missing something — because I’m not.

The next time we meet, let’s do it in real life. Come to a show, or I’ll come to yours. Let’s have each other over for dinner. Let’s go to a hockey game this winter. I’ll be glad to see you.

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