I realize that I’ve written here and in the past about my struggles with social media more than a few times. I know that it’s “what people do.” I finally fled Facebook with real conviction this past March, and since then I’ve tried other places (Diaspora, Ello, MeWe), but it’s just not in me anymore to engage with people I don’t know in person except around specific and extremely focused topics, like street photography (my public account on Instagram being the example here). And certainly not at sites (Facebook) whose main thing is using your data to earn a buck without giving you a choice, and without even giving you a share of the profit when you are aware that YOU are their business, but instead making the site purportedly “free” as a trade-off. We are content creators after all. It’s nice to have people follow us and appreciate our work, but that is in fact, at least for me, what it is – work. After years of doing this, what do you get in return? Friends you make online can be connected with in real life, away from the gaze of the “free” corporate site, after all. It gets tiring to do the same thing over and over without moving on to something new and different and challenging, at least, for me. I’m ever focused on growing, and stagnation is death for me. My real life IS in real life, and if any “life” I am leading is not really going anywhere, growing to a new level, I no longer find the desire to stick around.
So little by little I’m chipping away at what I built over the last six years in cyberspace, trying to leave only what I like and find both enjoyable and useful (very few things indeed), and nothing else. Since March I’ve felt that after expanding, much against my natural inclination to keep life small, private, and involved, I’m closing back up again like a fan. Maybe because my energy, while it seems to be stabilized for now with all the chronic health conditions I am battling on a daily basis, is permanently diminished. Maybe too, being a performer saps me more than energizes me, and six years of playing a role that goes against my internal grain is enough. It’s enough. There’s nothing more to explore in that realm that could keep me committed. I’ve passed through the online equivalent of my teenage years, trying to push myself to fit into a social scene that I needed for that time, but being really rather uncomfortable with it at the core. I don’t need that anymore. I accept my discomfort with it. I don’t need to have self-induced discomfort in my life.