In the early days of Facebook, I created an account out of curiosity, and within a week people were tagging me in photos. What was worse is people lost any and all filters in terms of what they posted. I found myself scrolling through photographs of coffee, asinine memes and aphorisms, and then, to my horror, I learned not only what people's politics were (I didn't want to know), but how foolish and shallow the reasoning behind those beliefs was - almost as foolish and shallow as my own.
Twitter constrained the exchange of ideas to 140 characters for quite awhile, such that it became like a vast stadium of insecure and poorly-informed people holding bumper stickers up at one another and treating this as if it were discourse. This activity was not limited to any one part of the political spectrum. The smarter ones were so obnoxious and unpleasant as to be metaphysically equivalent - as far as I am concerned - to their witless opposition.
Most horrifying of all was this: I developed a disturbing complex right out of the worst nightmares of my youth: a new-found appreciation for the status quo. What became clear was I didn't want any faction of people I encountered online in a position of power over others.
Ultimately, I started really disliking everyone. The performative aspect of "I am more principled than you" is disgusting to me, and, so, for all of this, I had to take my leave of social media entirely, lest I wind up disliking everyone.
So you are outraged at this thing or that thing in this cavalcade of vacancy, cruelty, consumerism, and grim spectacle we laughably call "culture." So what.
If you made social media perfectly anonymous somehow, in which companies like Facebook/Meta weren't vacuuming up every last piece of information about you and selling it to someone, it would be no less disgusting, either in form or substance.
The most illuminating thing I have encountered so far is not the common experience of having a light shone on the moral decrepitude and ignorance of people I disagree with, but coming to grips with the fact that, most of all, I really don't like the people on my own side. I can only cringe so much before I am compelled to withdraw entirely. I have political views of my own but I don't like having them, and even more to the point I don't like expressing them, lest some complete chucklehead express emphatic agreement with them.
For these reasons, I cannot be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any service like it. I am not making a moral stand against these things, although I might if I was motivated to use them and I wanted to call your attention to how super-duper principled I am by abstaining. I am simply incapable of using them without experiencing profound and visceral disgust. Don't send me links to anything I can't get to without creating an account.
Don't send me memes, either. I hate memes.
I assure you I am a smiley happy people in real life, me. So smiley. So happy.
I have a music playlist on YouTube.