Goodbye social networks

Posté le 22.08.2014

(This article is exceptionally in English, as I have many English-speaking connections on social networks).

It had been on my mind for quite a while already. I have finally decided to take the step: I'll quit all social networks (Facebook, Google+ and Twitter) as soon as this article is published. I'll probably preserve my "professional" Twitter account for a while more, since I use it also to communicate inside the TYPO3 community. All the rest is going (although since I use some for logging into other sites, "going" may just be "staying dormant").

Usage of these tools has been become way too invasive in my life: posting stuff, checking regularly, expecting "likes" or "+1's". You might argue that this is my fault, that I could check only every now and then, that I could turn off all notifications. True, but not trivial. If I kept checking every now and then just to keep in touch with a few people, I would still have to wade through so many useless posts (not to mention that Facebook actually decides for me what is useful and what is not).

On top of that, it has also led me to read so many articles shared by "friends". When I look back I spent countless hours reading those articles to absolutely no benefits. I have been filling my mind with trivia or near useless knowledge. Indeed it was not knowledge that I was really seeking and that was useful to me. I was just following up on what my "friends" has been reading.

"You also realize that all the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace — arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken."
Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

That's not the social networks' fault. It's mine. I realised that I had been into intellectual pursuits ever since I was a child since that was my only strong point at the time. This is no longer true. I don't need to be running my intellect at high level all the time. This frees an immense space inside of me. And the best thing is that I don't feel the need to fill it up with anything else. In that emptiness intuitions arise. This is such a beautiful state. And although I'm quoting Eckhart Tolle here, this did not happen just as a result of reading one of his books. It came as part of very deep meditations I indulged in recently.

Obviously quitting social networks is only part of the actions I needed to take. I have also uninstalled a number of silly games, thrown away several unread magazines and reduced my pile of books to read. Am I becoming an idiot? Of course not. I now know that my mind is just a tool, that I can set aside when I don't need it. I also don't need to feed it all the time, like some vampire in my brain. I will sure continue reading, but either for distraction or for targeted projects, not as if I were just ravenous for more words.

I'm not sure yet if I will also stop this blog. Probably not, but I will definitely write far less. I will move to more creative activities which are a wonderful way to stay in the here and now.

This may sound very weird to those of you who have not experienced it. I cannot really explain it, maybe in part because it's all very new to me. Anyway the sure thing is that I feel absolutely wonderful.

If you feel like reacting to this, please use the comment form below, as I won't be checking comments on the social networks.

(Mandala design by Claudette Jacques, colours by yours truly)