A group of teens look at a photograph they took on a smartphone in Times Square, December 1, 2017, in New York City.

A group of teens look at a photograph they took on a smartphone in Times Square, December 1, 2017, in New York City.

When it comes to social media, is it better to fight or take flight?

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be open spaces to express your views – but things can get ugly, fast.

Maybe you’re used to the bickering and the trolling on social media, but why put up with it?

At what point would you just log off…forever? Are there health benefits to shunning social media? Or would FOMO online cause you too much anxiety?

We explore if there are ways to have a wholly healthy life online and how to recognize when it’s time to deactivate your social media accounts.

Guests

  • Cal Newport Associate Professor of Computer Science, Georgetown University
  • Pamela Rutledge Director of the Media Psychology Research Center; faculty at Fielding Graduate University; @pamelarutledge
  • Alexis Madrigal Staff writer at The Atlantic; @alexismadrigal

Quitting Social Media, All In Good Rhyme

The folks that listen to 1A aren’t only smart … they’re creative, too.  Regarding today’s conversation about knowing when it’s time to deactivate your social media account, several of you sent in poems (some on social media) you wrote about the topic.  Here is a selection.

 

“Untitled”

So long Facebook, I won’t be back!

I’ve grown weary of being tracked, maybe hacked

And attacked by trolls and other cretins

Whose comments and replies lack rhyme or reason.

Bombarded by politics, pundits and Russian fake news –

I wail and sing the policy blues

So full of vitriol and dissent,

I happily bid you a fond adieu.

-John Mannarino via Facebook


“No Facebook”

I don’t do Facebook, I hope I never will

Twitter hasn’t gotten me still

The only tweets I want to hear,

the ones most pleasing to my ear,

are from birds outside up in the air.

Though I wish to be spared this inevitable plight

I fear, one day, I might give up the fight

or ostracized I’ll surely be

from this global network society

I’ll join the club or be left out

My alternative is to do without

the sea of friends and family

who communicate electronically

Those of us who prefer anonymity

finding in it some serenity

will be thought of as removed from the rest,

elitist and isolated, snooty at best

But that is not the case at all

We simply want respite from the call

of recording and reporting the minutiae of our days

We yearn nostalgically for the old ways

people heralded news to each other

So, we miss the details of the lives we are living

recording them like a parade in front of us

absent while engaged, observing in third person,

there with our minds, but not with our hearts

And yet this thing has brought us back

full circle to the beginning

Oneness, once again it shows

is central to our being

We seek connection, we come back home

to find a place among our own

In the house or across the globe,

the tools we use matter none

We laugh, we love, we share our pain

we hope, we rage, we believe again

this reassurance that it’s all okay

that we’re not alone on our way,

That once and for all,

the lesson is learned

we are kindred, we are one

race

many

colors

-Renee A. Bostany, 2008


“Too Many Lists”

One address, one electronic list
after another

It is the end of the year

and I am signing off

Unsubscribing
from complexity

Stripping away the unimportant

Cutting down to the bare
essentials.

I am searching for a clean path.

In the Spring I will plant a garden
and clear it of weeds —

Each week
remove the overgrowth
so that my intentions
will bear fruit
and grow heavy

So that at the end
of my season
I can look out and think:

This is well done.

-John Bunch via Facebook

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