Once upon a time, media was about sharing items.
At some point, it was possible to have discussions about points of disagreement. To engage in two-way interaction – to exchange information and learning.
Now, social media is mostly about strong assertions followed by shouting. Dissent is forbidden – and will get you canceled.
If you do not 100% agree with my assertions then you are a Nazi and must be canceled!
That in a nutshell, is today’s social media.
Not only must you not dissent, if you do not actively comment or “Like” the item, you have dissented. It’s the online version of the ridiculous and illogical “Silence is violence”.
Social media becomes a daily onslaught of people effectively attacking us – we must adopt their agenda or be canceled. This is a world of extreme hostility, anger and “in your face” confrontation.
Not everyone is suited to this loud and angry discourse. I sure am not.
I have not previously mentioned here that I have suffered several traumatic brain injuries in my life including a moderate TBI/skull fracture, and multiple knock out concussions (which broke bike helmets and other bones). Sadly over a period of many decades, not a single health care provider ever asked about my head injury history nor mentioned traumatic brain injuries – I literally knew nothing about TBI until 2018 when I stumbled onto a book about TBI. As I had an awakening to the TBI issues I had silently endured (and still endure some of them), I finally sought help. Upon getting my full history, my doctor diagnosed post TBI ongoing issues. With the help of medication and 5 months with a neuropsychologist learning coping strategies, I made great progress (except that 2020’s disaster after disaster has caused regression).
I mention this because I can’t tolerate this “in your face confrontation”. I literally can have a panic attack and my brain can become “stuck in a loop” in rumination or perseveration. I can lose my ability to sleep – and all of these effects, in the past, could last for days to weeks.
My point here is that not everyone can exist in this newly hostile world of social media. Our only solution is to walk away.
That is what I am now doing. I deleted all of my FB content after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, went to a 90 day deletion period on Twitter – and have since deleted essentially all Twitter activity, seldom using it anymore. I recently deleted virtually all of the few posts I made on Reddit. I’ve but way back on any use of any of those.
I still use Instagram, but as with all other platforms I have unfollowed, hidden or hidden “for 30 days”, unfriended more than a dozen people – because they primarily view social media as platform to confront people with their anger and their politics. These are not happy people to hang out with.
Their anger and hostility was being transferred to me – and with my brain injuries, this is not something I could tolerate. So I went ahead and eliminated them – or the platform – from my view.
Corrollary? I heard from one person that if I was not actively protesting last spring and summer, then I was a Nazi. Interesting huh? I mentioned that due to brain injuries I have behavioral health problems I can not engage in confrontations like that. This was called “an excuse” followed being called a coward. I then noted that (truthfully) I had a broken foot and could not be out and about. Having a broken foot was seen as a legitimate excuse – but an invisible brain injury was not legitimate. Great. Says a lot about those folks.