Where Have All the Masters Gone? Why I Quit Social Media.
Here’s the thing: I get why it’s such a big deal.
There are many accounts on Instagram that I miss following, for reasons ranging from being informed, entertained and inspired. And yet…
… life, to me, makes far more sense without it.
I found that while using it (simply because the online culture wants you to believe that you don’t exist without it), I resented its presence. And I resented that it demanded my own.
The distraction is profound.
How I felt while going about my daily tasks, and the quality of my output, was diminished. I don’t believe in that fairy tale of multitasking; the performance of the human brain does indeed worsen with every additional spinning plate.
I also felt that I needed to put my foot down in opposition of the any-benefit mindset.
Simply because something proves to have even just one benefit to you, regardless of the number of disadvantages, you stick with it, use it, keep it.
Even the basic math of it is wrong. Just because it provides a single benefit does not mean it warrants a presence in your toolbox, or in your life.
I have questions about social media, ranging from the personal all the way through to the scope of human development. But I won’t be spending time outlining all of my grievances, however I will say only this:
Social media and I don’t marry well.
I find it terribly alarming to be creating a virtual presence, whilst missing out on even a few minutes of my flesh-and-blood one.
Turns out, that wasn’t a hard choice for me to make.
Social media is only about 10 years old, so I do not feel obliged to regard it as a compulsory element to creating meaning or being seen in the world.
And if, heaven forbid, it does come to that, I’ll just have to be okay with not participating in a world which values something so insane. Perhaps I should have been born in the era where letter writing was an art along with the need to craft thoughts rather than vomit rudimentary ones.
However, I will say that a technological movement that has been the birthplace of the selfie renders the entire thing foolish.
In my heart of hearts, I believe that this online mania of narcissism and celebrity and over-sharing and highlight reels has taken from our age the opportunity of mastery, privacy and mystery.
Every moment you spend on social media is a moment you could be spending crafting a skill, an art.
Where have all the great masters gone?
I’m pretty sure we left them in the dust along with our focus and our ability to stop checking our phones.
And it’s entirely possible that in this world of relentless screaming distraction, the likelihood of producing truly awe-inspiring art, literature, invention or masters of such, is slipping through our fingers faster than someone can click a Like button.
And when the world does make a master, you can be certain that they haven’t spent their time on social media.
When I closed everything, the spaciousness that I felt instantly galvanized my belief that having any social media account is inimical to my doing my best work. Whatever that may become.
I don’t care to be updating anyone on my life, only what I hope to produce with it. And what that requires is time, focus, devotion and most significantly, myself.
Wholly here, ass in chair, no thoughts being pulled into the social ether.
And I read somewhere that when the writer becomes more important that the writing, the world has truly gone mad.
So I busted out of the asylum.
And when I scaled the fence and landed in wide open space, you know what I discovered?
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, social media’s a bit fucked.
Brooke Steff could say that she writes about the human condition. She doesn’t say that, because she thinks it makes her sound like a wanker. She does, however, write as a response to the beauty and wretchedness that our human souls face. She writes strongly about what is sacred, what it really means to be a woman, and how having a tender heart is an act of rebellion in a world that tells us that love is never the answer. She yearns for Autumn and Winter always. Books make her feel rich. And guests at her dream dinner party include Joan of Arc, Winston Churchill, Zelda Fitzgerald, William Butler Yeats, Anne Lamott, Carl Barron and a couple of bad-ass nuns. You could contact her via her website.