Leaving Twitter, Reddit, and Mastodon

I started re-engaging with social media when the pandemic began as a way to stay on top of the news. At this point, 115 days in, these sites have lost their value.

The reason is stagnation. Everything has stagnated: news about the virus, changes in recommendations for how to avoid the disease, and our government’s response to COVID. There’s nothing to learn each day except how many newly infected people were tallied the previous day (which in itself is a kind of stagnation because we all know how exponential growth works).

Everything boils down to this:

  • The US has abdicated its duty to its people
  • Spread will continue unabated here until there is a vaccine, which might happen by the end of the year
  • The numbers are going to get worse every day until that vaccine arrives
  • Stay at home
  • If you have to go out: wear a mask, maintain distance from others, and wash your hands frequently

All I’m getting from reading Twitter and Reddit is anger, anxiety, and sadness, and that’s unhealthy. This is not how I want to–or should–spend my time.1

I’ll continue to post here and on Micro.blog, but that’ll be it for social engagement (except for a couple of private Slack teams). This site has an RSS feed, so feel free to subscribe.

Stay safe, everyone. ✌️

  1. Mastodon is okay, but engagement there has dropped off and I don’t see a reason to keep hanging out in an empty room. 

COVID-19, Day 114

Thinking really hard about detaching myself from social media and the news for good and investing the time I would have spent doomscrolling into reading books. Lots of books. Sure as hell would beat being angry and anxious all the damned time.

COVID-19, Day 113


I can’t stop thinking about this picture.

Imagine going to a restaurant and the person serving you looks ready to do open-heart surgery. Wouldn’t that make you stop and reassess your choices? Would it make you at least a little bit nervous and concerned about your wellbeing? Would you worry about the wellbeing of the person who has to go through that much trouble just to bring you a burger? How could you not wonder if the environment you’re sitting in is, I dunno, dangerous?

Suspension of disbelief is a powerful thing, and while I’m sure the people eating in this restaurant are employing that to help them feel at ease, I’m pretty sure what’s really at work here is a massive goddamned sense of entitlement.

COVID-19, Days 111 and 112

Some great things to talk to your kids about this July Fourth:

  • America’s history of slavery (don’t forget the founding fathers)
  • The Trump regime’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents
  • Japanese internment camps
  • Drone usage by the Obama administration
  • The Trail of Tears
  • Waterboarding
  • The Three-Fifths Compromise
  • Tulsa, 1921
  • Leonard Peltier
  • Standing Rock
  • The ecological effects of Trump’s border wall
  • Nagasaki and Hiroshima
  • The motivations behind the Iraq war
  • Native American genocide in California in the late 1800s
  • Jim Crow laws
  • The death of MLK
  • For-profit prisons
  • The Equal Rights Amendment
  • The Stonewall Riots
  • Operation Paperclip
  • Republican gerrymandering and disenfranchisement