“Life, if well-lived, is long enough.” Seneca

One can buy a calendar that is nothing but a grid of 4,000 squares. Each square represents a week, and the totality represents an average life-expectancy. There is, of course, absolutely no chance that I’m going to buy one. I’d have to cross off more than 2,700 of them straightaway. What a depressing thought.

When you pass the 2,600 week mark, it occurs to you that there’s less to go than has already passed. (Obviously, one should take nothing for granted. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.)

It focuses the mind, I can tell you.

I’m keen to waste less time, or as Seneca has it, live well. As a consequence, I’m taking a look at where I spend my time. To borrow from Marie Kondo, “does it bring me joy?”

When it comes to social media, the answer is a resounding “No.” I haven’t visited Facebook in years, but things crosspost to it, and it’s linked to Instagram and the account that I run for Nero’s Notes. I’ve looked at leaving it before and given up, discouraged by the hurdles and obstacles that Meta puts in the way of anyone trying to leave. Instagram has died on the vine for me too. The usual complaints: I can’t see pictures from my friends, only more and more ads, suggested posts and videos. Twitter. What to say about Twitter? Frankly, it was never really any good. Now? It’s mostly broken. The bottomline is that all of these services exist to capture attention and sell it. Scrolling infinite timelines makes me both the product and the target market.

So I stopped.

I’ve nuked my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Mastodon accounts. Deleted. Gone.

It has only been a week, not even, but already it feels amazing.

I’ve had meaningful interactions on social media platforms, and I hope those will translate to e-mail or other fora, but those positives have been far out-weighed by the negatives.

I still have some accounts running for Nero’s Notes - and I make no excuses. These are there to remind people that we exist and sell lovely notebooks. I post to them through a third party app, and won’t monitor comments or messages. I’m not judging anyone either - if social media is bringing you joy, then fantastic. Enjoy it.

What to do with all that extra time?

Something useful, I hope.

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