I deleted my last social network account in December 2017. It was my Twitter account. I almost decided to keep it but I felt compelled to go full-hog and drop all social network usage. Over the course of the last two years, I’ve developed a distaste of the state of social networks. I’m sure I could write up quite a detailed post on this subject. I’ve reflected a lot. I’ve distilled my thoughts and observations into something simple:
I’m far too busy to use social networks. Or, they are far too expensive to use.
Allow me to give you some context on how I organise my list of priorities. It begins with our most precious form of currency—time. So, with that in mind, here is my list of priorities. I’ve organised them by where I wish to spend the most of this finite currency:
Time spent with my family is most important to me. When life comes to an end, I do not wish to reflect and see how wasteful I have been with my most precious resource. Everything else can wait, family cannot.
Any financier worth their salt will inform you that a good investment is one that is long-lasting. So, with my time, I make sure to invest it in my health. My investment here is twofold. The first part is mindfulness practice and mediation for mental wellbeing. The second is regular exercise and healthy eating for physical wellbeing. A handful of things I tend to pay special attention to here are the gut, hydration, and the mind.
Since I was 11 years old, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I knew what kind of work I wanted to do. Moreover, I knew exactly how I wanted to do my life’s work. I realised that vision in 2013. At that point, I worked in offices and studios for five years when I took my first remote-work job. Since then, I’ve been working remotely for companies across the globe. I don’t think of retirement either. I chose my line of work because of the length of time I wanted to do it for. Retirement, to me, isn’t something that exists. I will always develop, and I will always design.
Civilisation evolves on the exchange of goods for some given value. In our day and age, that is money. So, to allow my family to have a good, enjoyable, and healthy life, one must pay attention to generating an income. While I have a dislike of money, I understand it’s unequivocal value in today’s world.
You determine success by your actions. I don’t care much for public success as in, “being recognised” as a successful person. If I do good in the world, then I am being successful.
Not on the list but sprinkled throughout each priority are my hobbies. I spend time with my family, I read, I watch movies, I go to the gym, I take long walks, I code, I design, I play video games, etc.
What does this have to do with social networks?
I mentioned that they’re expensive to use, yet they’re free to use. Social networks are currently designed to keep us engaged. They aim to take up as much of our time—our precious resource—as possible. The more time you spend on social networks, the more your data is worth to advertisers.
I’m aware of the hint of self-righteousness, arrogance, and elitism that saying “I’m too busy” might have. What’s true is that I delegate all my time to my list of priorities. This leaves no time for me left to spend, let alone wasting it on something like a social network.