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Life Without Social Media

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I have Facebook. I've "unfollowed" about two thirds of my friends to avoid a constant barrage of complaining on my newsfeed. I spend about ten or twenty minutes a day seeing what everyone is up to, then I move on.

I put a hammer to nails, spend time with my family, pet my dog or make dinner. Leaves sprout out of the hardwoods in my front yard, the sun rises and sets, and rain feeds my tomatoes and strawberries. 

The real world seems to operate smoothly without social media. All of the plants and animals and natural processes continue completely uninterrupted despite the latest trend on Snapchat, and the world very much resembles itself in spite of trending topics on Twitter. 

A general sense came over me as I looked out a tree full of cherry blossoms that the real world couldn't care less about social media, and that perhaps, nothing actually happens on social media. If something important happens, you'll hear about it elsewhere, and won't be able to avoid it, and for everything else there is social media.

Rather than an industrial revolution that changes the patterns and habits of everyone everywhere, or the creation of the internet that allowed all information to be accessible to everyone at all times, social media creates a parallel universe that has practically no effect on the real world. Real events happen, and are subsequently reflected and distorted fun-house-mirror-like in the world of social media.

And so, people who spend a large quantity of time on social media aren't actually participating in real life; rather, they exist in the alternate universe of social media, where nothing actually happens, and nothing actually matters. Some people still say, though, that they can't live without Facebook or whatever other platform is their favorite, but the truth of the matter is they can only live without social media, life only happens outside of Facebook. 

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Richard is an engineer by day, and a political activist by night, fighting would-be totalitarians and government busybodies everywhere.

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