Social Dark

A note: I’ve stolen this title from Matt Gemmell’s piece Social Dark. It’s a great title and sums up how I feel. The title has been sticking with me in my head so long that I’d forgotten I read it on his site.

This is a rare political post.

This election, and the aftermath, has done me in. On all sides of all issues. The noise on my social media feeds is out of control. It seems like everyone I follow on Twitter and Facebook is upset about something related to the current political climate. Again, on both sides. I’m tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of just trying to see what the weather is going to be, if an artist that inspires me posted a picture of their WIP, or is there some sort of tech news I’m interested in and instead being blasted with a lot of vitreous discussion about whatever the hell happened in Washington in the last five minutes.

It’s just buried right now in a large fire hose of angst. I’m not putting my head in the sand, I’m just tired of being constantly exposed to it. It’s like trying to get work done with the person in the next cube on speaker phone while they are eating fish they microwaved in the break room.

So, I’m making some changes to my social media.

Facebook, I love you but you’ve got to go. There are zero mute functions in Facebook. I can’t separate out the posts I want to see from the ones I don’t. Again, this is on all sides of the issues. Facebook is still the service I use for things like Words with Friends, so I’m going to keep the app installed. My Facebook visits will be swift. I replied just now to my last political post on Facebook–one where I admitted I was wrong. A good note to go out on. I have pared down who I get notifications about posts from to a handful of close friends and family members.

Twitter, thank god for mute filters. I’ve blocked almost every political term and slang statement I can think of without fucking up my Twitter feed beyond repair. Which means derogatory terms like “snowflake” still exist, and I kinda want to hear about when snow might start to fall in New England. And yes, democrats and republicans alike; god help me if there is a sale on belt sanders I might like, or Apple will trump Samsung. Yes, I’ve blocked Obama and Barack; but not Michelle. That’s just too common a name (it’s also why Warren and Ryan haven’t been blocked). Various hashtags are muted. I’ve unfollowed Twitter users who cover politics, or politics is their main topic of discussion. I now live in a world where I had to mute the words “National Park Service.” It’s not perfect, but now it’s one or two posts that slip through instead of a torrent.

I’m not ignoring what’s going on. There are news sources that provide me with value. I will go to them, read about what’s going on, and do my own research into the facts behind it if I want to.