The 21st Century Matrix: Should I Delete Social Media?

That depends. It’s entirely contingent on your relationship with social media.

Some of us can live without it. Others can’t. Sometimes all we need is a brief break from the social media-ridden space.

Do you remember your first social media account? I had just turned eleven years old. My aunt sent me a link to this app called “Snapchat.” I asked my parents if I could create an account, they said yes. My username was “Coolcookie1010,” and my score reached 11 points before I deleted it. This would become a recurring theme over the next ten years. I would periodically delete the apps off my phone or de-activate my account.

But social media is quite the catch-22. You can post any of your work. You can become famous overnight. You can even make new friends through common interests. Anyone with a social media account is considered a content creator, on the flip, you are consuming content on a daily basis.

There’s a part of me that thinks a majority of those who use social media are living their lives on auto-pilot. Slightly aware of their surroundings and all, but spending a majority of their time in a virtual world.

Have you ever asked yourself what you are doing any of it for? What is the purpose of what we post? When was the last time you created a piece of art purely for yourself — one that has not seen social media? When was the last time you went on a vacation and did not post a single photo of your trip while you were there, or after?

I mean, why are you really on social media? I consider myself a “digital minimalist.” That’s the phrase coined by Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism. This is a philosophy in which you focus your time on a select number of things while you optimize activities that support things you value — and as Cal says, “then happily miss out on everything else.”

For those of us who stand in the middle of the debate. What does it really mean to give up social media? Why should I delete my social media accounts? Should I delete my social media account?

Here’s a quote from his book that hits close to home.

The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your “likes” is the new smoking. — Cal Newport

My grandma passed away from lung cancer in 2008. Probably similar to most, she started back when it was cool and the masses didn’t know it was bad for you. By the time she tried to quit it was too late. She remains one of my favorite people. I wish I could spend an afternoon with her. I’d ask her about growing up during the Great Depression, see if she could miraculously teach me Greek in an hour, and simply want to hear her voice. But that’s not the way the world works.

We live in a world of choices and in this case, it all comes down to a very familiar scene in a nineties movie… The Matrix. Cue the red and blue pill scene. Does Neo opt for a pill that will widen his horizons and help him uncover the truth of the world, or does he opt for a life of ignorance?

In this case, the social media giants of the world urging us to take the blue pill while digital minimalists such as Cal Newport and Elon Musk are offering us the red pill.

Red pill = fight the addiction: de-active your accounts

or

Blue pill = maintain the ignorance is bliss state of mind

What pill are you going to take?

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For those of us that are torn. Yes, we can live in a world where we have social media accounts. My question for you is, is it worth it? Go a week without all social media apps. Remove them from your phone and take note of how you feel. If you feel better, maybe it’s a step in the right direction.

Here are my ten reasons why you should delete social media today. #DeleteSocialMedia #JointheMovement #LiveFreely #TheMatrix #TheTwentyFirstCentury #WeHaveASay #Share

Big time people person. Book enthusiast.