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Is 2018 the Year We Step Away From Social Media?

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I checked Twitter and Tumblr before I started writing this piece, and I’ll probably check them again as soon as I’ve finished. I keep telling myself that I should stop automatically turning to social media, and I’ve taken steps to reduce the amount of time I spend on the sites — I regularly cull my feeds, for example, and I’ve removed all push notifications from my phone — but the urge to take a break from my own thoughts and see what other people are thinking about is too strong. (Are my friends posting Google Arts & Culture selfies? Is everyone discussing a specific article? Did Lin-Manuel Miranda tweet something inspiring that’ll make me feel a little better about the world?)

Plus I like to keep up with the news.

But I don’t necessarily enjoy the time I spend on social media, and I doubt you do either. I used to compare it to hanging out in a library with friends — the sort of thing where you’d look up from whatever you were studying and say “hey, check this out!” — and now it feels like stepping into a room where everyone is shouting at each other. Even when the arguments are important, they still feel unproductive and unhealthy. To quote M. C. Mah, at LitHub: “Good-faith argument on social media is probably impractical, and definitely unclickable.”

So I want to spend less time on social media in 2018 — and I’m not alone. Read more…