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Snippet: I Need a Break ☇

Shared on September 1, 2020

Marius Masalar:

I’m ruthless about curating my feeds to prune out toxic negativity, but there’s a subtle detail here that I’ve started to think more about: social media’s potential for negative effects on your life aren’t only present when you encounter toxic content.

Even if all you see is pleasant, social media participation costs you time.

For many of us, it costs a huge amount of time if left unchecked. I don’t know if it’s the pandemic that’s changed my outlook on this, but I’ve become aware of how precious our time is and how dangerous it can be to spend it thoughtlessly. Since we have a limited number of hours in the day, sacrificing several on the altar of social media seems almost irresponsible. Particularly without a clear sense of what we’re getting in return.

Complaining about social networks has been an evergreen topic, but I think this is an interesting take on the matter. Thinking about my usage and what parts I enjoy, there has been a growing shift. I avoid the official Twitter client as any search will show trending topics and almost prevents me from taking a break from the news. Using third-party Twitter clients keeps things to my timeline that I’ve curated. Plus, it gives me a way to pick it up when I want to waste time, and then also save my place for when I have something else to do.

On the other hand, Instagram has gotten worse as the Facebook-ization really kicks in. The timeline is basically gone, replaced with the newest things you haven’t seen, followed by the infinite amounts of suggested content. Following a handful of people that are in the same circles leads to lots and lots of reposted stories so I’ll see the same thing numerous times. It then becomes a mad dash to get through everything in hopes of a little gem while I’m trying to mark everything as “read”—it’s almost starting to feel like a never-ending email thread that you’ve been cc’d on.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.