Social Distancing on Social Media
Assuredly, your lives, even if they last more than a thousand years, will shrink into the tiniest span: these vices will swallow up any space of time.
–Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
I'm coming to the close of a four-day weekend. I took Monday and Tuesday off from work to relax and reset. The time flew by fast. There are never enough hours in the day for all the things I'm trying to get done. Now I have Facebook cutting in on my moments too! I set up another Facebook account after years of freedom, did I mention that? I must have.
My opinion of the place hasn't changed much. It's still awful. A friend of a friend gave me crap over what sort of apples I like. And then another of her friends joined in, no less. Apples. What kind of place is that where snarking on someone's taste in fruit is considered witty and worthwhile? If I weren't a professional these days, I'd let them both know what's what for sport. People are the worst.
Taking into consideration the truisms, (1) time is fleeting and life short, (2) Facebook is awful, and (3) people are the worst, I have crafted a set of rules for integrating Facebook back into my own life. My hope is following these guidelines will shield me from the worst of the toxicity.
Rules for Facebooking
- I will limit my time on Facebook to 30 minutes a day.
- Before visiting Facebook, I will remind myself that I created my account specifically to
- Stay connected with friends and family and monitor their well-being,
- Let others know I am doing well,
- Provide encouragement and useful information,
- And potentially meet new people with shared interests and hobbies.
- If I am not using the platform to these ends, I am almost certainly wasting precious time.
- I will not engage in negativity or unproductive arguments on the internet.
- I will confirm the accuracy of any information I share online and only link to credible established sources.
- I will ignore memes (even funny ones). Memes are a potent method for propaganda and psychological manipulation. I will not share them, and I will not validate others when they do.
- I will be mindful that Facebook is engineered to be habit-forming. My participation in the platform makes me complicit in those efforts.
- A day without Facebook is nearly always a better day!