I don’t mean to belittle anyone’s struggle with an acute addiction. My point is, social media can, and most of the time do turn into one. That said, I can’t help but call my experience very ‘triggering.’ At the very least, if I frame it this way, I may do a better job fighting it.
What happened was Evojam published a post about my promotion on LinkedIn. We are a software company of less than 30 people. Most of our posts get under 20 reactions, while that particular one went beyond 70.
All it meant was a lot of people from my network were happy for me. That included my close friends, family, current and past Evojam employees and contractors, a lot of people I worked with in GS and two other companies, friends from high school, people I met playing football and at parties, a few I went to uni with, the author of the photograph in the post, a former tenant… Notifications kept coming for two days. Every time I checked there were more, so I kept checking.
I have not been on social media for many years. Not since all you could leave under a post was a ‘like’ or a comment. I also don’t follow the news. For some time now, my habits have been similar to what Cal Newport describes while talking to Lex Fridman. All I am left with is occasional use of LinkedIn. I go there every few days, making sure I only ever do it late in the afternoon.
As a young adult, I spent a lot of time on Facebook. At some point, I decided never to use it again. I also quit Instagram and anything with an endless scroll. I was and still am very much prone to all that stuff though. If you haven’t had a chance, I highly recommend the conversation between Dr. Anna Lembke and Andrew Huberman. It gave me some understanding of the science behind addictions. With this knowledge, I am better aware of my ‘triggers.’
The reason Dr. Lembke gives for not being on social media herself is that ‘people are her drug.’ I guess I know what she means. It is going to be hard for me to ever do as much good as an accomplished psychiatrist like her. Still, I’d rather take my chances than spend time crafting an image of myself on any social media platform.