Dumping Social Media
I decided to strongly assert my toxic masculinity and white privilege and take some personal responsibility by dumping social media.
Despite best selling author and university fellow Ibram X. Kendi declaring the term 'personal responsibility' as racist, I continue to preach that gospel.
It was just one of the terms included in Kendi's education of the world via Twitter.
The term ‘legal vote’ is as fictionally fraught and functionally racist as the terms ‘illegal alien’ and ‘race neutral’ and ‘welfare queen’ and ‘handouts’ and ‘super predator’ and ‘crackbaby’ and ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘post racial.'
That tweet also says a lot about social media. It is filled with assorted whack jobs, abusers, creeps and self-loathing basement dwellers. There are plenty of racist anti-racists like Kendi on there too.
There are probably a few reasonable people there too but they are often drowned in the ocean of hate.
Over the summer I re-entered the Twittersphere. It may have been boredom or the desire to see if anything had changed on social-media but I found myself engaging on the platform after a post-politics hiatus.
Over a couple of months, I had some fun trolling the perpetually outraged and managed to call out some political staffers operating anonymous accounts under their bosses instructions. I uncovered plenty of hypocrites and abject liars, awakened some previously encountered creeps and saw just how myopic most users were.
I realised pretty quickly that nothing has changed and it wasn't adding any value to my life. So I decided to engage my latent inner racism, strongly assert my toxic masculinity and white privilege and take some personal responsibility.
I dumped Twitter. In fact I dumped all my existing social media accounts.
Starting with Twitter, I dutifully deleted all tweets. This was a long process as each deletion has to be done manually. It would have been easier to simply delete the account entirely but I didn't want anyone else to be able to use my name as the twitter handle (which is @corybernardi ).
I then changed my profile to 'Bored with Twitter' and logged off the site. It really was a cathartic experience and I haven't missed it for a moment since.
Next came Facebook. For a long time I maintained a Facebook page principally due to the demands of politics. When I left the Senate in January 2020, I made it non-published where it has sat dormant since.
There was also a non-public personal account that needed to be maintained to be able to administer the political page and to access any facebook content. Both have since been deleted and in less than a month all the data will be deleted.
Facebook give you a thirty day window to 'have regrets' and sign in again to keep your accounts open. That's what they want you to do because they make money from mining your personal data and selling it.
I won't be logging in again.
Next came LinkedIn. This is a more business oriented network which I have never really used but one which I still maintained an account with. Rather than keep it there for no reason I just hit the delete button.
With every step I felt strangely better. Somehow more liberated, even when dealing with the accounts I don't use.
There is one more process to go through and that's to dump the legacy Youtube channel. It will be done in the next 24 hours, assuming I can remember how to sign-in!
The reason I took these steps, and will be taking others, is because of the conduct of the tech firms. They use all of us as their product, enticing us with 'free' platforms while busily planning to control or influence many aspects of our lives.
I have written about that several times recently. Big tech is dangerous for our privacy, our freedoms and our democratic traditions. They need to be reigned in...or dumped!
It's time for me to get off that treadmill even though it will have an impact on my ability to encourage use of the Confidential website. It will also impact the way I consume news and information and myriad of other interactions.
Despite the immediate challenge of those changes, I am confident that ultimately this will be a step in the right direction.