why I'm leaving social media

September 21, 2020


I know many of you (about a third of my readers) get their "new post" alerts from Facebook and I want those readers to know that I will be deleting my Knitionary Facebook page. If I can find a way to pause it, I will, and then probably delete it altogether in 2021. I have also disabled my Instagram and deleted my personal Facebook account. If you're not on social media, you're probably thinking, pfft, who cares? But some of you might be wondering why, and I'd like to share my decision process.


Three years ago my mother was gravely ill and spending time with her was my priority. In order to do that I had to eliminate all non-essentials from my life. One of the non-essentials I eliminated was reading my social media feeds. I continued to post daily on my Knitionary Facebook knitting page but would leave right after the post. That took only a few minutes a day and I enjoyed it. A year later, mother passed away, and slowly, and hopefully also thoughtfully, I brought back a few of those "non-essentials". Some things I missed very much and bringing them back was comforting, but others, like social media, was not missed at all. I continued to post on my knitting page, occasionally post on my personal page, posting a few times a month on IG, and always leaving immediately. Even with those quick appearances I couldn't help but see some of my feed and I saw derision and division. I felt too many things were distorted, amplified, inaccurate and cruel. I often did not feel good when I was on Facebook or Instagram and wondered, what am I doing here?


A few days ago, my daughter-in-law asked that I watch "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix. I did. I was stunned. I was shocked. And it was the tipping point for me. If I had been having second thoughts about my involvement in social media, here was the evidence I needed that it was not good for me. I highly recommend this documentary. It shares information that we've all heard before but presented it in a way that made it hard for me to ignore any longer. If you don't have Netflix, perhaps there is another way to view it? At the end of the documentary they interviewed several of the key contributors (all were either creators, enhancers, and/or visionaries of social media) and they ALL have already taken these 4 steps:


--They have removed themselves from all social media.

--They do not allow their children to be on any social media.

--They have removed all news apps from their phone.

--They have removed all notifications from their phone--no pushes, beeps or vibrations.


The reasons why these mavens of social media have taken these 4 steps are numerous and the documentary explains the reasons well. Two main points I took away were:


--The alarming amount of personal information that is harvested and subsequently used to manipulate the user. This can be avoided and built out of the model, but that is not done because of their personal financial gain and influential gain over users, and is in fact getting more personal and more manipulative.

--The purposefully built-in addictive nature of social media to keep us coming back, or stop us from even leaving. This can be avoided and built out of the model, but that is not done because of their financial gain, and is instead getting more and more creepily addictive. 


The above is loathsome obviously, but my main reason for leaving is a little different: social media does not enhance my life; too often it does not truthfully inform me and too often it does not entertain me well. Given that, plus the 2 points above, why would I stay? As for my personal connections, they can be successfully fostered in other ways.


Consequently, I'm on a digital clutter clean up. I have deleted a dozen apps on my phone and decided to delete/disable/archive my social media accounts. It's an ongoing battle to keep my email box lightened up and I'm quick with the unsubscribe option. If I like something and there is an option to receive an email once a month or once a week, I take that option. If that option is unavailable, I unsubscribe from anyone who emails daily. I'll continue to pop onto Ravelry to view patterns and yarn, but I've never been involved in a forum except if I'm testing a pattern, so I'm unfazed by any shenanigans going on over there. Pinterest is fairly innocuous to me. I'm on it a few times a year to search out an idea so I'll keep that. I know I have a Twitter account but I don't remember how to log in. Years ago a male enhancement site attacked my Twitter which was a mess to clean up, and consequently I put in so many log-in precautions that it's now too complicated for me to get on. I will continue to write my knitting blog because I love connecting with the knitting world. I will continue to follow my favorite knitting, cooking, political, decorating and gardening blogs, but unfollowed them if they were plastered with (too many) ads. I certainly sound picky, don't I? But why not--it's my time after all.


If you would like to follow Knitionary, there are a number of ways that I know of:

--Subscribe by email (see the box on the upper right side of the blog).

--Use a blog reader app such as Bloglovin' (that's what I use) or Feedly.

--Bookmark my page and check in weekly or monthly. I generally post 4x a month.


As for Knitionary gathering personal information on you, I wouldn't even know how to do it if I wanted to. I have never looked at my list of followers by email and/or apps, don't know how many I have or who they are. I do check my volume stats because I'm curious if a post has been popular or not, but it doesn't really change what I write about because this blog is simply a fun and creative outlet for me. I hope you like it too. ๐Ÿ’— 


As I post this, I'm heading over to FB to delete and archive. If you still see me there and it's not archived, it's because I can't figure out how to do it.๐Ÿ˜•


Oh, and that picture above is something that just arrived in the mail this morning. Hudson and West designed a slouch with mini skeins using their new yarn, Weld. It's such a nice way to sample yarn. I'm also working on two test knits right now, one is for me, an adult cardigan designed by Anke of Ankestrick and the other is a child's jacket by Lisa of Froginette designs. Some knitting posts will follow!


To make a comment, scroll down if on the blog or click here. Take care friends. Be well. Be happy. Kristen

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34 comments

  1. Thank you for your thoughts and honesty. It’s certainly given me something to think about.

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    1. I agree...I want to make good use of my time as well. Unsubscribing from various company's emails is a start. My son is in IT and has cautioned me about "liking" posts. I will look forward to your blog content- yours is my favorite.

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    2. Thank you for commenting Sharon.

      Kristen

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    3. Norma

      Who knew that liking a post could be a problem? My granddaughter is pursuing a degree in communications and she says the same thing. Don't like-ever!

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  2. You will be missed on FB, but I agree it is definitely a time suck. Happy to hear that you'll continue your blog because it is delightful and something I really enjoy. Wishing you happiness in your new found freedom. L

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    1. Aww, thank you Lynne! I appreciate your comment. Kristen

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  3. It is scary. A friend and I were sharing these same concerns over the weekend. You will be missed by all of us ‘good guys’ out there. Take care.

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  4. What a timely, brave, considerate post. I have been contemplating these changes for quite some time, but gotten no further than that. I will miss all your helpful links to patterns you find at Ravelry -- no idea how you have time to do that for us! -- but since I already have a lifetime of patterns stored up I think I will be ok. I do enjoy your blog (thank you for sharing your knitting and garden!) and will continue to follow that. Stay well!

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  5. What an informative post. I must admit leaving social media has been on my mind too- i might look at that Netflix documentary,thank you..

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  6. Thank you I have also been thinking along these lines recently. You have given me something to consider doing myself.

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  7. I applaud you, Kristen. I find I never go to IG anymore and have reduced my FB time considerably. Still, I hope to follow in your footsteps and eliminate it altogether from my life. I have felt discouraged that our citizens can be placed at so much risk due to greed and political gain.

    I will happily continue to follow your blog/newsletters. It is a highlight of my day to see it in my inbox! Thank you for your comments. I will look for the documentary and watch.

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    1. Thank you Venice. I was hoping you would read this and comment. And what you said—greed and political influence—and putting us at such risk to gain them—it’s unconscionable. I hope you liked the documentary. Some of the story lines, mostly about the family, were a bit contrived and silly, but they were trying to make a point and I overlooked the clumsy storyline. What was so shocking to me was the attitude towards social media that the own creators had. “We’ve created a monster. A really scary one.”

      Best, Kristen

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  8. Thank you so much for writing that all out. Even without the informationnfromnthe Netflix show, I think it is food to ask ourselves if our lives are really better after reading all this stuff, or is it resulting us being angrier and afraid? See you on the blog!

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  9. Kristen - I totally get all that you’re saying. I’m going to look for that documentary on Netflix. Thanks for your post.

    Diane

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  10. Kristen,

    Good for you! I read Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport in the first quarter of the year and decided to give up social media for Lent. Lent has continued these last six months as far as my participation in social media is concerned. My approach and exceptions such as Ravelry are pretty much like yours. You'll be amazed by how much more time you have to do the things that give you joy and brighten the lives of others. I will still follow your blog.

    My husband and I plan to watch The Social Dilemma. We continue to receive recommendations to watch it.

    Janet

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  11. Smart move! I have a FB account but only go on there about once a month & only for a few minutes. I am not a FB fan. It is too time consuming. I keep the account only to keep in touch with family & friends, if I need to. The personal stuff people put on FB amazes me & drives me bonkers so I stay off there as much as I can. I have a IG account & it is set as private which really helps to keep from weirdo’s trying to access it. I also have a public IG account for sewing & knitting & that is still a “trial” account, that may get deleted, still deciding.

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  12. You have made a very wise decision. I only follow your blog, so will continue to enjoy receiving it.

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  13. Thank you for your excellent blog. Also, thank you for posting the Netflix documentary! I rarely participate in social media and have already eliminated a barrage of unneeded email. With many best wishes.

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  14. I left FB about in the first year it started and never looked back, I'm glad you will keep posting here because I really like your blog.

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  15. I DELETED MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT 2 YEARS AGO AND HAVE NEVER LOOKED BACK. I ALSO DELETED MY INSTAGRAM ACOUNT BUT GOT BORED DURING THIS PANDEMIC AND HAVE BEEN SUCKED RIGHT BACK IN. I AM GOING TO DELETE IT AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR THIS POST TO REMIND ME OF WHAT IS IMPORTANT. Shoot just noticed I was in cap's sorry.
    I love reading your emails and all of your wonderful ideas on food, knitting, gardening and grand children photos. You are one of the few emails I get that I never delete without reading. Thank you for your advice.
    Stay safe and enjoy life to the fullest.
    Debbie

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  16. Very thoughtful and interesting discussion Kristen. I have also significantly cut back on social media although I haven't quite "unplugged" as much as you have. But that's the direction I'm heading more and more. I highly recommend you read The Benedict Option, strategies for Christians in a post Christian nation - it also warns about the danger of social media and how it is manipulating out thinking, etc.

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  17. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I have stayed with both facebook and instagram as I'm part of many knitting groups, which I enjoy. But your words have provided some insight that I need to consider....how much do these groups really add to my life vs take up my life? At the same time, facebook has proven to be a good method to stay in touch with friends and family these last few months. I'm going to have to give this a lot more thought.

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  18. I’m soooo glad you’ve decided to keep your blog. I love reading about all your adventures and look forward to every post. I hope you’ll continue for many years to come.

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  19. Smart lady, but I knew that. We watched the movie the other night and it was an eye opener. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Carole

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  20. Smart move. I follow you on feedly.

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  21. Wanted to comment right away then decided to watch The Social Dilemma first. Only had time for a little bit of it yesterday, but enough to write. Thank you for this post and example Kristin! I have always tread very lightly on a very few of these platforms for your very reasons. And often been lightly criticized by family and friends in the past as being overly cautious. Now I feel vindicated. Computer science is a young field and the young do not have the life experience and thus wisdom to fully realize the consequences of their actions. Added to that the money and power they have accumulated along the way makes it very hard for them to reform their practices. I so much admire the young men and women on The Social Dilemma who are willing to risk their careers to stand up and be counted on this documentary. I can't wait till I have time to finish it - lot of house stuff going on right now. Chloe

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  22. P.S. Love the colors in that hat! Meant to include that above as actual knitting content, but figured my rant was long enough:). Chloe

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  23. Please add me to your subscription list. Thinking about leaving social media as well. It no longer brings me joy.

    Regards,
    Marilyn

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    1. Hi Marilyn, I think I was able to add you to my list. I took the email you sent to me and added it, and I think you should have received a confirming email from Feedburner. Kristen

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  24. Dear Kristen, another thing against the network is that we don't keep in touch personally. I live in Austalia and if the covid wasn't on and that you live in America and me in Australia. I would invite you for a delicious meal and one to one conversation. Our accents are different but we still speak a sort of English! lots of love from Aussie Vicki.

    Regards,
    Victoria Halliday

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    1. Aww, that's very kind. I would come for dinner, and then after dinner we would sit and knit!

      As for networking, FB was great for my mother who was in her 80s when she discovered it. She was on it constantly to connect with family, old friends, friends of friends, second cousins, third cousins, etc. It kept her connected to the world and that was good. If they harvested information from her, it had to be the most jumbled info ever!

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  25. Hello Kristen, I read your reasons for leaving Social Media with interest. I have found it takes far too much time too, time which could be spent knitting and doing other more worthwhile things! I’ve enjoyed your posts and will miss them, but understand and admire your decision. I would enjoy reading your blogs though, hopefully I can still receive them via email? Have a lovely day!

    Regards,
    Lillian

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    1. Thank you for commenting Lillian. I hope I’ve been able to add you to my email list. You should have received a confirmation email from Feedburner by now. Best, Kristen

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