Austin Kleon wrote a piece today worth reading entitled The World's More Interesting With You In It. The gist is that we are too eager to delete/unfollow people and all too willing to take ourselves out of the world. It got me thinking about having left social media.
I left Facebook and Twitter in August and have not gone back. Kleon writes, "Don’t disappear on us. Don’t cancel your own subscription. Stick around. Keep going. The world is more interesting with you in it." He's not necessarily encouraging me to return to social media, but I've been told that there are people who miss me some on those platforms. Should I try to make Facebook and Twitter better places? Is there value in me doing that?
The problems with Facebook and Twitter are that I don't respect their corporate values and they don't provide me sufficient value for my investment. I don't "connect" with "friends" and "followers" as much having left those networks but I'm working on that finding ways to connect with friends and make new friends. I've only made the slightest headway but it's a work in progress.
Withdrawing from the world might be a mistake though I've read a couple good books that say otherwise. Thoreau, who famously moved away from the world but also stayed in contact with it is a model of how to move in a direction that goes against or perpendicular to that which most everyone is following seems to me a very good idea. We have to choose our worlds carefully.
I'm happy to have deleted myself from Twitter and Facebook. I'm happy to no longer be in that world because it was a source of more unhappiness than contentment. Here in the real world I withdraw often in order to create something that I then bring back to the world, to others and, I hope, make this world a little bit more interesting.