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I used to fear being a nobody, then I left social media (nytimes.com)
373 points by wellactually 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 263 comments

I quit social media for a long time too. And then I noticed how disconnected I was from all my old school friends and contacts. Even close family that still uses Facebook but I otherwise don’t talk to much directly (brother’s wives posting about their kids and stuff like that, maybe even more extended than that).

Really, I’m starting to think that opting out of social media altogether is a bit like opting to be a hermit in today’s society. Sure, I’m not advocating posting every 5 minutes on Facebook and getting into dumb arguments, but it really feels like opting out is a way of putting walls between yourself and the rest of the world (that is on social media). You will miss out on news of friends having kids, graduating college, going to college, getting new jobs, and even planning events together since many events are organized officially on Facebook - from free local concerts to your friends bachelors party. Many people just go through Facebook and create a private event and invite their Facebook friends when they have a birthday gathering nowadays. You will miss out on these if you opt-out completely. I did.

Don't conflate the medium with the quality of interaction. Not on FB != hermit, that's just what Facebook wants you to believe. I prefer deep personal relationships with few over hyper connectivity. Others may want a broader, shallower network; neither is wrong just define happiness for yourself.

I gave up facebook in 2014. It was a good decision. Some contacts I've lost. Others I picked up on email.

My sister now posts her baby pics to me via whatsapp (yup: facebook owned) and email. Mom SMSes me when she wants to contact me. Dad emails me from overseas bi-weekly.

Other people, I meet over a beer, or a coffee. And the best of it all? You have actual stuff to talk about. No! I did not know you had a second child already. Wow! Do tell!

> And the best of it all? You have actual stuff to talk about. No! I did not know you had a second child already. Wow! Do tell!

I cannot emphasize how positive this is. I deleted my Facebook account about two years ago, and it's amazing how much more intimate my conversations with friends have become for precisely this reason. They now can't assume that I know things that are going on in their lives, which was hard at first (due to social pressure—"What? You haven't heard?") but became a blessing really quickly. I didn't realize how shallow some of my interactions with friends and acquaintances were until I dumped social media. By actually having a deep, face-to-face conversation with someone, you're much less likely to skip over some of the more nuanced bits that you're assumed to already know.

My immediate family (brother, some nieces) all share a nice What's App group. Way more rewarding when someone posts something to that than FB feed. Also, have various groups with former co-workers, etc. I've replaced bland, meaningless feeds, with small targeted groups. And it couldn't be more perfect.

Understood, but you also have to remember you can't control how your friends communicate. I'd be perfectly fine communicating only via iMessage, but most of my friends have social media accounts and when I quit FB/Instagram and stopped liking their posts, I had less presence in their lives. Think about that - social networks are almost like an Internet schoolyard; just upvoting something shows presence and lets everyone else know that you're in the room.

To me, it's opting into different means for keeping in touch and hence, keeping that "presence" in my friends' lives.

I quit Facebook a year ago - I had 800+ friends. I was only "close" (subjectively) with a slim fraction of that. Now, I text, call, send birthday cards, and use other means to communicate with those I truly care about. Not that I don't care about the other, it's more of my way to prioritize the people who I've shared more life experiences with and/or can better relate to.

If I see the others who aren't in that close circle, we have plenty to talk about. If I see my close friends, well, we do as close friends always have done.

No offense, but I would argue the notion of needing "presence" in people's lives contains some inherent narcissism which is also prevalent on social media; and to be fair, the other piece is the need for belonging. True, it was a tough pill to swallow when first disconnecting, but over time this faded and via the other means I suggested, I've found I get that same level of belonging.

It's the equivalent of body-in-seat nonsense.

I'm not sure that's true. if 3 people like a post I see 3 names. If 15 people like a post I see 3 names so 12 people went unnoticed. Is that presence?

If you really care for each other, they'll find a way. My family has realized that group message are the only way to communicate quickly with one another. I have friends and family with whom I correspond via snail mail. And email bridges the gap between those who prefer digital, but not texting. As others have said, the conversations are more meaningful, even if they are less frequent

yeah, I've never understood myspace or FB. I remember when myspace was first blowing up, people were talking about having 100 friends, which always blew me away. I couldn't imagine trying to keep up with that many friends.

I had a brief 1-2 year stint on FB where someone finally convinced me to get on it, and I had 13 friends on there. All of them people I know and hang out with regularly in real life. All I ever did was post funny things I came across, and I eventually got pushed off during the election cycle because I got REALLY sick of seeing all the misinformation about hilary and trump (both sides were doing it).

I just don't understand FB.

At its core Facebook is a great and useful tool, but like everything else that is sold to corporate influence its primary purpose rots away. It _should be_ a way to interact with close friends and family, but it’s become a breeding ground for ads, and ads welcome misinformation—for the right price.

Honestly—there’s no reason a social network can’t be decentralized these days. Give people back their friendship circles and their information.

My understanding of Facebook is that it taps into human necessity for socialization, but it’s only masquerading as such and yields too-many, and over-stimulating relationships based on false pretense.

Yeah, you may have done it wrong :)

To me, FB is a way to keep in touch with non close friends and relatives. I know what my close friends are up to anyway, but without FB I'd have no clue what the "next tier" 50-100 people do.

Really? Anyone actually posts something personal these days? Facebook is not about that anymore. It's about liking posts and ads. So basically twitter / reddit, which makes sense as they copied the twitter timeline

I dont need facebook for my closest friends as I see them often enough. But there are 200-300 friends and family that I dont see often and it is great to see what is going on in their lives.

I only tend to post once every few weeks, but I enjoy reading about what people I know are doing.

Facebook groups have been a great way for neighborhoods and communities to come together.

> Facebook groups have been a great way for neighborhoods and communities to come together.

I would argue that we would have organically developed much better online ways for neighbourhoods and communities to come together, absent the monopolistic Facebook.

I don't understand people who don't understand Facebook :-)

You know what a blog is, what photo-sharing is, and RSS too. You know how people are social, a little bit vain, and like to brag. I'm sure you know about ad-tech, data-mining, EULAs nobody reads and dark patterns. I'm sure you've used email and chat, and you know deep down all email clients suck anyway.

Mix it all together, put it on phones with push notifications, and boom, you have Facebook and control half the Internet.

obviously I understand the business model intellectually, what I don't understand is the draw.

Trying to keep up with 200-300 people sounds fucking exhausting to me, yet this is the reason most people have given in response as to why they use FB.

I just have to question if these people actually do anything in life besides socialize.

How is this not a caricature of HN readership and geeks in general? Some/most people might even tell you that the purpose of life is to socialize--and all the games/power plays around that.

To add more information, FB doesn't actually connect you to 200-2000 people literally. When you think of RSS, you think of seeing every single article that you subscribed to, but FB doesn't do that. It shows you only some of the what others publish, and it uses its dark algorithms to make sure those are the most engaging and addictive stories (reposts of click-bait titles, trending gossip, politically divisive arguments, etc.). And then it pads the feed with ads and more click-bait.

Actually the "genius" of FB is to tap into the social-reward centers of the brain by letting you inflate the number of friends, the number of followers, number of notifications, while still trimming down the firehose of pictures of your second cousin's roommate's tacos. Conversely, it lets you post your food pictures into the void and feel that others care about it, without actually bothering too many people.

To answer your question directly, yes these people spend inordinate amount of time doing this, but I believe they feel it is a good thing, to have a big social circle and feel connected to all those people--without always seeing how they were manipulated into being addicted to something that is not real socialization.

I am who I am and I make no apologies for it, stereotypes be damned.

I get more value out of being useful than socializing. That's just the way I'm built.

> I don't understand people who don't understand Facebook :-)

People who use Facebook mostly do so because they don't understand how it works, in some cases they do understand but prefer to be ignorant.

Precisely my thought process when giving up FB. Sure I'll miss the timeliness, but when I hear the great news or even bad news, I can be there with my friends to celebrate or empathize in person. Quality over quantity.

How about a bit of both? I definitely value my deep personal relationships, which are few, but log in to Facebook every couple of weeks or so. I also get the occasional invitation through Facebook.

It doesn't have to equal hermit-ude but it does require work to avoid it. Social media is great for making low friction contact between people.

Thanks for this. It helps to hear it.

>Many people just go through Facebook and create a private event and invite their Facebook friends when they have a birthday gathering nowadays. You will miss out on these if you opt-out completely. I did.

This has been my experience. It's a valid pragmatic argument for staying, and a valid principled argument for opting out.

If someone can't be arsed to call me or send me an email inviting me to their birthday then I don't consider them a friend.

I have not had this issue since quitting facebook around 2011. But then again I have clearly notified those people that are actually my friends that if they want to include me they need to call or email or something like that. Nobody has issues with that and fully understand my desire to stay away from facebook.

> If someone can't be arsed to call me or send me an email inviting me to their birthday then I don't consider them a friend.

And they think the same of you. If their preferred method of communication is Facebook message, are you really a friend if you don’t care?

I do care about my friends though, which is why I’m trying to fight against the current and get them to also opt out of Facebook which I see as a toxic cancer upon society. I miss out on socializing by not smoking cigarettes too.

If you've stated your preference to them and explained why you personally don't feel comfortable using Facebook, and they don't care, then they are the one being unfriendly.

Of course there are many ways to state that preference, ranging from "you're an idiot if you want to keep that advertising agency alive" to "I don't feel comfortable putting details of my personal life, including our friendship, on the Internet for private companies to profit". If someone truly belittled the second, then yeah, they aren't a friend.

If I have some friends who are into amateur radio, am I not really their friend if I don't get my own ham radio so they can contact me through that?

I wouldn't say that. But don't be surprised if the ham radio friends become grow apart from you. It isn't necessarily a bad thing because people change.

"Hi friend, whenever we eat together I don't want it to be a self-catered barbeque or picnic in a park, dinner at my place or yours, a meal at a great local restaurant or any other of a thousand and one possibilities. No, whenever we eat together it must be at a MacDonalds restaurant. Otherwise we can't be friends."

> And they think the same of you. If their preferred method of communication is Facebook message, are you really a friend if you don’t care?

It's hardly the same though, it's not like the other commenter's expressing a preference for a call or text where the other would be equally possible. It's exceedingly unlikely that someone with the capacity to have a preference for Facebook messaging is unable to call or text; the reverse isn't true.

Saying 'I would rather we texted' vs. email or whatever is not the same as 'I would rather you sign up for this service and use it to contact me'.

If they think the same of me then so be it. We are obviously not compatible then.

For information I still have the same set of core friends from elementary school so it has not stopped anyone that I actually care about from contacting me.

Edit: and yes as the a side comment here suggest I do not say this in a patronising way, I just explain why I am not on facebook and that there are other ways to contact me.

Assuming that they already use a computer and/or a cellphone, sending an email, making a call, or sending an SMS is much easier than creating and maintaining a Facebook account.

I would believe it if someone didn't want to use cellphones at all, for moral reasons, but that person wouldn't have a Facebook account anyway.

> Assuming that they already use a computer and/or a cellphone, sending an email, making a call, or sending an SMS is much easier than creating and maintaining a Facebook account.

An empty FaceBook account that does nothing but notify you when someone invites you to an event? Requires no maintenance.

Asking someone to remember that you need to be specially invited because you're special -- that's ongoing maintenance right there.

If I prefer social interactions at a bar and I allow a friendship to suffer because I don't respect a recovering alcoholics preference to avoid those places it makes me the arsehole, not them.

I mean, I only joined Facebook back in 2009 because my flatmates were forgetting to tell me about flat parties.

I quit completely for several months and came back to it because of your exact line of reasoning - keeping in touch with those at the outskirts of my social circles is valuable to me.

However, I'm on the edge of leaving again because moderation is very difficult.

The problem with social media is that using it in moderation is an uphill battle against our own nature. It is designed to be addictive. Much like an alcoholic that keeps a bottle of vodka in the freezer and the dieter who keeps chips in the cupboard, you will constantly have to exercise restraint to keep yourself in check.

If you've woken up to the downsides of social media, and are trying to moderate, is that struggle worth the upside? I'm not so sure any more.

I don't have a solution for Facebook, since it feels like there's a bit too much garbage on the platform. But for Instagram, I've started fresh following a limited set of close friends and interests.

Few enough that I can still participate and get updates about friends and interests without feeling the urge to check multiple times per day. If anything "important" happens to someone I'm not following, my friends are kind enough to fill me in if it's interesting.

That is a great approach. I'll take a stab at pruning who I'm connected with and see if the experience improves!

Yep. I started with a new account to make things easier. Pruning from hundreds down to 10-50 is much harder than just thinking about who/what you actually care about.

Yeah, it's definitely a mixed bag.

In some ways, my mental health has improved since I'm not chasing online validation/FOMO all the time. My current friends don't use Facebook a ton, so organizing happens via text or other methods.

But for my college/HS friends, I'm definitely less close because I'm not present in the online arenas that they socialize in. Hopefully I can get back into social media without partaking in all the behaviors that made me quit it in the fist place.

I believe you can do it. Keep up the work. We need to relearn, and reteach people how to communicate without the big platforms distracting and moderating the focus.

I think the problem is that social media usage is on a continuum, and you can find yourself at a local maximum that is well below your global maximum. For example, if you check FB once a day, then maybe you would be somewhat happier if you increased to 2x or 3x daily. But if you decreased your usage to once weekly, then you'd actually be much happier. The problem is that you'd have to go through the "valley" of once every 3 days and once very 5 days before you get to once a week. There's also the fact that FB sets up the bday posting stuff to encourage you to log on every day.

I wish there were ways to distinguish between periodically checking FB and essentially being addicted to it (several times daily use). Perhaps we could employ language like "I use FB" versus "FB uses me". Only half-joking...

I stopped posting happy birthday's on FB because it's always someone's birthday. Occasionally I will wish a close friend a happy birthday, but usually through text message. It's also annoying on my birthday when all these people I barely know come out of the woodwork to comment. I usually ignore FB that day, then reply to all with a thank you the day after.

One of my best friends has his birthday on fb set to a different date. Always funny to see :-)

Maybe I'm an outlier, but I was never seeing news like that when I had Facebook. Instead I was bombarded with videos (usually "suggested by facebook") in between ads for things I had searched for days prior.

I almost think it's my own fault as I never interacted with those posts about friends having kids or getting new jobs (at least not on Facebook), so I wonder if the algorithms just showed me less and less of my own friends content. If it matters I only ever looked at FB through the mobile web browser - I didn't have the app and never looked at it on my computer.

If you need Facebook to keep in touch with your friends, they’re not your friends anymore. Accept it and move on.

Why focus on pretending you’re all still in school? Live in the now.

I bailed out of social media and while I can see how people will value that kind of interaction, I’ve felt a whole heap better forming closer connections and putting the effort into maintaining them.

For me personally, I didn’t see much value in getting second hand info from Facebook. It felt too impersonal and distant.

If I cared about someone getting pregnant or married or whatever I would have preferred the direct conversation over the social optimisation of receiving a broadcast. And if we weren’t close enough for that, then I’m sure it’d come up in conversation at some point. No need to be looking out for an announcement.

Getting rid of social media was basically my decision to cultivate a small handful of meaningful, high quality relationships over a much larger number of less meaningful associations. I see a lot more people in person now I’ve done that.

As an aside, it was as if one aspect of my depression was fuelled by having too much of the rest of the world in my head and not enough of myself, so it was a great move for self-care too.

I don't know how old you are, but I think that what you describe was just the natural course of things before social media, and everyone got through life just fine. Yeah, you lose contact with your old friends, yeah you lose updates from close but not immediate family. But you also start your own family and become way more involved in them. That happened to my grand parents, my parents, and myself. I think the idea that you have to be up to date on everyone's business you've ever met seems to be a new phenomenon, and maybe the solution to all this is to just be comfortable with the idea you can maintain a relationship without being in constant contact. I see some of my friends once or twice a year. None of us are on Facebook or social media. But we have the same relationship dynamic we've had since middle school, despite differences in time and space.

I've definitely had a lot of these thoughts before! In a way as life goes on our social networks get smaller but our lives get bigger.. I think the saying goes something like that.

I did something else to structure how I could interact with Facebook. I unfollowed all my friends. Joined only Facebook groups that had some value to me on a weekly basis (primarily organizing meeting new people in my local area). I'd say it's transformed my relationship with FB in a positive way.

>I quit social media for a long time too. And then I noticed how disconnected I was from all my old school friends and contacts.

As opposed to faux-connected through FB though?

You're not wrong.

I guess it depends on where you are in life on how much it matters to you. Personally, I'm single and live alone, so it's nice to keep a superficial awareness of people I met in school not that many years ago. If I were married and having my own kids, I'd probably have enough social contact at home and through my wife and kids that I don't really care about observing others' lives from 1000 feet away.

I'd argue those people that are too lazy/inconsiderate/uncaring to not invite people who are not on FB are not friends at all. It takes a few seconds to text/email someone, sometimes even less if you text/email a whole group at a time. Expecting people to give up their privacy and use an addictive surveillance platform just so they don't miss out on parties and other events, is way too much to ask of anyone. This is especially true of close friends and family that one cares about. It's easy for people to forget the true consequences of using a platform like FB. It's literally inconsiderate when they do so, however.

Oh I'd argue the same, but I have friends who I have known for my entire life that I would consider brothers who can't even be bothered to answer a text message, so you really can't expect the same out of everyone else that you expect out of yourselves. You definitely can't expect them all to see Facebook as an "addictive surveillance program" (even if it is).

> brother’s wives posting about their kids and stuff like that

Either that is a misplaced apostrophe, or you are revealing more about your family than you intended! Punctuation is important :)

Most of my relationships that were worth anything have largely moved to platforms that involve actual conversation rather than the posting format of Facebook. This is stuff like WhatsApp and Discord and Slack mostly. Most of the life update stuff that doesn't merit conversation is on Instagram at this point.

I think the key is really just using the services in ways where they can't dark pattern you into engaging with them. So notifications get shut off and anything you can do to turn off "endless scroll" mode is worth doing.

Facebook was originally designed as a sort of directory or phone book type page for people and that's still what it's best at. Instead of using the regular page, which just tries to dark pattern you into engaging with it, I've bookmarked mbasic.facebook.com which lets you see only the top 5 to 10 posts on your feed at a time and then I shut off all notifications that weren't sent to me directly.

Once I got rid of the "one more post" effect of wanting to keep reading, I found myself spending a lot more time going through my RSS feed, which is nice as that's content I find much more edifying.

I used mbasic at some point (and had the normal one blocked), and then I just unfollowed everyone. I now just check someone's profile when I remember that they exist - once a month or even less often.

The thing that makes this so much harder is that there's still an algorithm between you and your FB feed. Even if you feel you're good the check in once a week, you still don't see the "important" posts and there's still mindless noise in your feed. I don't know if there's a way to curate this, but I've found that FB is all or nothing for me (and I feel better with nothing)

One thing that helped my Facebook feed a lot was going through and unliking EVERY page/interest/book/movie/whatever (or most of them). My news feed is now only populated by actual friend posts and ads.

Yeah, I haven't done any tests on this myself but the algorithm is frustrating. I see a lot of posts from people I am not that close with, but I don't really scroll the feed anymore. The only people who really like my posts are family members, and I've heard that once Facebook marks a post as "relevant to family" then it mostly gets pushed to your relatives' newsfeeds, so I'm not sure if non-family people are even seeing my posts.

Simple solution: unfollow everyone except your family. Unfollow anything/one you’ve liked too.

Edit: same comment as below oops

Is that not then a case of making an effort to keep in contact with those friendships you value? I still use messaging apps to facilitate communication but I opt out of the social 'media'. Instead of sharing media we should be sharing our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Those who want to contact me can easily do so. Group chats are another big time sink that I try to avoid by muting the ones filled with spam, keeping the most relevant ones unmuted for upcoming social events.

Perhaps missing out will create a forcing function in your life where you start to focus on the people that are important to you - whether that's your children, neighbors, parents.

Maybe you'll move locations to be closer to the people you love. I've often wondered if I might have lived in a different country if I couldn't watch my friends from afar.

I've never used social media and I sometimes wonder what other people think when they ask me what my account name is and I tell them I don't have one. They've never seemed to care that I don't have an account. What goes through your head when someone tells you that they don't have a social media account?

> What goes through your head when someone tells you that they don't have a social media account?

Up until a few years ago, it wasn't common but it wasn't super rare. I knew more than a handful of people who didn't have any Facebook/Insta/etc. accounts and mostly I just assumed they wanted to keep their personal lives private from friends and colleagues.

In recent years though, I can only think of two persons that I know directly who I could not find a trace of online. The first was a smart programmer I assumed to be into HN privacy-activism type groups or something like Anonymous. The second, which was more baffling, is someone I knew in college that appears to have disappeared off the face of the planet, and I thought maybe he had died until someone told me he "doesn't want to be found".

Maybe old school friends and in-laws don't really matter that much. I see my brother in law a few times a year; i see old school friends once every couple years. Is this not sufficient? On the other hand i could legit be a hermit...

I've found a happy medium in checking it once every few weeks without deleting it.

You aren't putting up walls around yourself when you do that. Facebook is.

People have forgotten how to gossip, which is historically how you learned about babies, and other life events.

When people do gossip now a days, it's about politics, or celebrities.

I think you have just perfectly described what makes FB et al walled gardens.

> Really, I’m starting to think that opting out of social media altogether is a bit like opting to be a hermit in today’s society

Perhaps this is what the network wants you to think? Or how your behavior has been modified by too much reliance on this technology?

I used to excessively post on Facebook. I started to worry that it was unhealthy- why do I need the constant validation from strangers? What is wrong with me psychologically that I crave that more than my own privacy? So I quit last year and I've felt good about that choice.

Now I have 17000 HN points and I'm starting to feel like I gave up meth and replaced it with cocaine. Maybe better, but still not good.

Going to stop posting here now too. Thanks everyone for the good times.

I have more HN points than you, but a couple of things makes me feel like it doesn't matter:

The lack of any visible sign of new replies removes a lot of compulsion. I only stay engaged with the conversations actually interesting enough to get me to keep reading them.

Compare with Reddit where the best thing I learned to do was to decide when I was 'done' and open the list of unread messages while looking away and closing the tab...

> Compare with Reddit where the best thing I learned to do was to decide when I was 'done' and open the list of unread messages while looking away and closing the tab...

This is so true. I'll often delete a reddit comment a few minutes after writing it if I think it's potentially inviting some troll or person with shit reading skills to respond back negatively. Even the so-called "good" small communities have a couple people like that, which is enough.

Apollo has had a bug the past few days with iOS 13 where the mail icon doesn't light up. This has honestly been really nice.

I use a user script in chrome to hide my HN karma count from myself. Super helpful for focusing on what is important when contributing (along with a lot of constructive feedback from the mods over the last 8 years).

Is this publicly available? I've been looking for something like this.

Install Stylus or another css extension and then add this style filtered to news.ycombinator.com:

  .pagetop {
  .pagetop * {
  .score {

This would be a great HN feature actually, fitting in spirit with the existing settings (eg showdead etc). @dang, if you read this, what do you think?

If you use an adblocker like uBlock Origin, you can use the following filter to remove the top navbar:


I do a similar thing blocking it with ublock origin

I have to say I fundamentally disagree with the assertion that "social media bad." I've learned tons of things from communities I follow, including this one, and a number of reddits. I keep in touch with friends of varying distances, and even make plans in my own town.

I'm not saying that the way social media tries to suck you in doesn't make you unhealthy, or their ideal patterns of engagement won't make you miserable, but in my mind that's like saying that Smirnoff's ideal of your consumption will make you an alcoholic, therefore alcohol is bad. Alcohol and social media are perfectly able to be consumed responsibly; perhaps not by everyone, and I would never begrudge someone not partaking if they don't want to. I just get tired of the drumbeat that "social media bad, delete your facebook, don't post on instagram" when I've had and have Facebook, Instagram, Hacker News, Reddit, on and on and they don't make me miserable because I don't obsess over them.

Just saying.

I did the opposite, I left a very toxic environment after over 4 years, which caused a lot of people whom I used to consider mates, or even friends to cut off any contact with me (I suspect they might have been influenced by some bad actors but this is outside of my control and will to be controlled anymore).

I started being more active on social media (only to an extent - for example I use the built-in Instagram timer to only allow up to 15 minutes of usage a day) to cope with the lack of interactions I used to have at work and around it. Some of the old 'friends' found and started to add/follow me but there was no other meaningful interaction from their side. Before they would call and ask to go out and do something after work - not anymore. I reached out to some of them a few times but felt that there is an imbalance in both quality and quantity in communication from their side. Since I found that to be very shallow, I started regularly wiping my contacts who are there just to leech on my private life and give nothing in return.

Some people aren't your friends, they just happen to spend time with you because of common activities in your and their lives - they're simply stuck with you in the same place and time. I cut these people off from my life and trust me, it has been over 2 months and I have less relationships but only the high quality ones survived - it makes me much happier, less drained on a daily basis and more content knowing that they're the few good ones.

There is no need to be attached to people who aren't attached to you. And there is no need to force anything - it will only cause harm.

I've gone the same way with Twitter -- from massive amounts of tweeting to posting fairly regularly on here. Though not to the 17,000 points scale... I was around the 700 mark last time I looked (I don't look at the number very often).

The difference for me is, on Twitter you get people quote-RTing you to ask their friends to hate you. Here... it's a relatively polite reply explaining why I'm wrong (and I often am!) in their perspective. Or that I've missed some key point which utterly skewers my argument.

Maybe it's more like giving up meth and replacing it with codeine...

> Here... it's a relatively polite reply explaining why I'm wrong

I've never found this. It's generally a three hundred word roundabout way of saying "You're an idiot" to fit in the faux civility guidelines.

Yes. Somehow you have to play along, otherwise someone will point out that "non-substantial comments are not welcome here".

Point is: Sarcasm works best when writing somewhat snarky. But probably most HN readers don't understand sarcasm and that's the problem. (See what I did there?)

I have always been curious about this: Are you for real saying you can take an "You're an idiot" comment with the same equanimity as the 300 word option? Email/Forums etc already loses a ton of context. Merge that with semi-anonymity - I don't know how you can do it better with a short form answer.

IOW - Your comment is ignorant :D

Twitter is a toxic cesspool and I can't fathom the value people get out of it. I don't CARE about influencers think, I don't WANT to see the most re-tweeted comment.

Whereas FB is more "flat"; I see what people who I actually care about post. Nice vacation, hey, your kid did something unremarkable, cool, you got a new dog.

If your usage pattern is to try to game the system and gather likes and shares, you're probably not someone I'm interested in, hence my distaste for twitter, or, generally, 'following' anyone I'm not personal friends with. Twitter seems to be setup for the latter; I keep trying to like it and use it, but I get uninteresting shit from the "public" figures I try to follow; eg, race drivers I'm interested in, cybersecurity figures, etc.

Twitter is for the most part as toxic as you make it. You have to be willing to aggressively cull the people you follow, and there are always promoted Tweets in there possibly crapping over your nice timeline, but you can make a pretty nice place by being selective in who you follow.

Also, if you care at all what your "score" is on a social media site you will grow to hate it. No matter what the site is remind yourself it always has Who's Line rules: The points don't matter. If you're not an asshole they tend to just come naturally with time. If you're being hidden because your score is too low then you should probably step back and ask if you really want to be part of that community, since you seem to be so at odds with it.

If you want trade the cocaine that is HN with a weed variety, you should blog. It's really fufilling.

I blog publicly but also journal privately using git and vim. I have been on and off for about 5 years.

The raw thoughts rarely show the light of day, but sometimes I synthesize my journal entries as blog posts or HN comments. I refine my true self for the public. This saves me from letter downvotes sway what I believe.

By the time I post on HN I've already collected my thoughts in my other journals.

I do feel very disconnected from people these days.

It's been about a little over a year since moving my of my status updates to Mastodon from Twitter where I follow exactly one IRL friend from high school, a friend from two jobs ago, a person who found me randomly, and a customer for Remarkbox.

When I do post on Twitter it's often a link to my Mastodon post, or a link to my blog, or side project I'm working on.

It's sort of selfish but I only read tweets on my timeline up to the first ad, which is typically a scroll and a half on my phone.

In this way, I sort of use Twitter as a broadcast, like updating a RSS feed with something I'm proud of. I rarely digest the tweets others put on there. This seems selfish, but really it's not.

> you should blog. It's really fufilling.

In what way? Do you write for yourself then make it public not caring if anyone sees? That doesn't sound fulfilling; I have blog posts over the years which I have no idea if anyone ever saw and it feels a bit of a waste. Do you write as if you're trying to contribute to the world? Then doesn't that depend on feedback to know if you are succeeding or failing, and put you in the mind of "I have to create something good" as a competitor in the world of content-creation competition?

There's this quote from Kundera's The unbearable lightness of being. Perhaps it makes sense in this context.

    We all need someone to look at us. We can be divided into four categories according to
    the kind of look we wish to live under.  
    The first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other
    words, for the look of the public. That is the case with the German singer, the American
    actress, and even the tall, stooped editor with the big chin. He was accustomed to his
    readers, and when one day the Russians banned his newspaper, he had the feeling
    that the atmosphere was suddenly a hundred times thinner. Nothing could replace the
    look of unknown eyes. He thought he would suffocate. Then one day he realized that
    he was constantly being followed, bugged, and surreptitiously photographed in the
    street. Suddenly he had anonymous eyes on him and he could breathe again! He
    began making theatrical speeches to the microphones in his wall. In the police, he had
    found his lost public.  
    The second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by
    many known eyes. They are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners. They are
    happier than the people in the first category, who, when they lose their public, have the
    feeling that the lights have gone out in the room of their lives. This happens to nearly all
    of them sooner or later. People in the second category, on the other hand, can always
    come up with the eyes they need. Marie-Claude and her daughter belong in the second
    Then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly
    before the eyes of the person they love. Their situation is as dangerous as the situation
    of people in the first category. One day the eyes of their beloved will close, and the
    room will go dark. Tereza and Tomas belong in the third category.   
    And finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the
    imaginary eyes of those who are not present. They are the dreamers. Franz, for
    example. He traveled to the borders of Cambodia only for Sabina. As the bus bumped
    along the Thai road, he could feel her eyes fixed on him in a long stare.

From the comments I get on my blog (shameful plug, I run Remarkbox, hosted comments for static sites) I know I have changed the world, if at least just a bit.

I write primarily for myself, but I do put my words into a form that others could digest, understand, and learn from.

The words on my blog may be the butterfly flapping her wings.

I do not and likely cannot measure how much my writing changes the world and trying to do so often discouraged me from writing. Do book authors really know how much their work changes the world? To me, it seems like an infinitely complex relationship.

I can tell you I have saved many people time on their research and learning and I'm sure I've swayed some to think differently, more like me.

My blog is the storm, ans is cast out to the world and left to chaos and entropy to find who it must.

Links in my profile.

I really do feel like I get a lot out of having conversations with random people on the internet. Especially a place like this, filled with intelligent people.

It's really healthy to have people challenge your ideas sometimes, which happens a lot more on the internet than in real life in my experience.

And there is obviously some degree of benefit in being a software developer who is tune with his fellow tech dorks.

Having my ideas challenged by strangers on the internet has been very valuable to me over the years. I do wish conversations on forums like this were transient though. It's one of the reasons I really enjoy IRC. I fear that my opinions from $CURRENT_YEAR might come back to bite me someday in the future. I should probably not use my name as a username, but ultimately I think that the BigCorps can resolve usernames to real identities without too much hassle either way.

Personally, I've decided that if somebody bases their opinion of of me off of an internet comment I made a couple of years ago- their opinion really isn't worth considering. So I've decided not to care about it.

Whatever stigma exists online with people who have the "incorrect" opinion- I haven't really seen reflected in real life.

The logbook of my opinions is actually really interesting for me to look back on. See how I've reevaluated some opinions, or take a critical look at older arguments that I hadn't considered recently. Of course- I do some sanitation as well, removing certain things that may have been particularly dumb.

How did you get 17,000 HN points?

Did look something like this: https://serendipitygreece.com/wp-content/uploads/comforting-...

To me, this is the problem with seeking validation through these systems. You are rewarded for saying pleasing things and for conforming to group think.

Why don't you spend down your points by playing devil's advocate? Then, when you run low on points, you can fill-up-the-tank by saying nice things that everyone wants to hear again.

Spend down? You mean get flagged and banned? Because that's what will happen.

In an interview, Evan Spiegel described Facebook with the single best succinct description in my opinion: “Facebook is a market for attention.”

HN can be too, and I like to think that I am asynchronously contributing stuff that may lay off the typical radar of the Venn diagram of typical HN readers.

Most of the Internet’s economy is a market for attention. HN in particular tends to glorify this as the vast majority of people here make their money from other peoples attention in some respects.

I don’t think seeking attention is bad as it’s the process of individualization. The opposite is far worse. Being expressive is the only way to connect with others, and often shameless, provocative or wild expression can be charming and relationship building.

The problem is our mindsets, our shallow culture and our lack of resilient thinking. We’re being provocative about the wrong things and we’re focusing our creative wonder on only the superficial.

So I've never had "Social Media", but I read Hacker News too much, and contribute a bit.

I'm wondering if Hacker News is better or worse than Facebook/Instagram.

At least on Facebook and Instagram, you usually interact with your friends, right?

Here, I feel like I read a lot of insightful posts and stories and have good discussions. But I'm not making any friends or strengthening any friendships.

Is it worth the time? I don't know. I'm definitely addicted.

I think it can be as addicting, but HN is far less vapid. Does this make it better? It's hard to say. With FB, I'd find myself reloading, and looking, and not being happy I spent any time there, all to do it again the next day.

Have an upvote, 17001 now. Seriously though, good luck to you. Have you checked out HN's rate limiting features (maxvisit, minaway, etc.)?

Imho no need to stop. Just moderate.

Suggestion: give up your 17000 HN point mabbo account and start from scratch. Only with moderation this time :-)

Agreed. The answer to doing something too much isn't to cut it out completely and move onto something else that you'll end up doing too much, that doesn't even attempt to address the issue.

I post not for points. I post because I have something to say. Expressing my self is validating, who cares if others read or agree.

I post for the same reason, but getting negative points does discourage me from posting half formed thoughts.

I do try to save the hip shots for twitter.

"who cares if others read or agree"

Too many people.

Why not just post to a text file if you really don't care?

I've found that for me, caring about such things is a larger pattern of 'holding on' too much.

So I've made it a conscious decision to constantly be getting rid of things I accumulate.

For HN and other such sites, I regularly open new accounts. This is both for ego reasons, as well as doxing: rotating through accounts and usernames helps leave less of a trace.

I override HN's css to not display points just for that.

You can check out of Hacker News but you can never leave. No seriously, you can’t delete your account.

Just try the noprocrast options in your profile. I have it set so I can basically browse for a bit in the AM, maybe do a comment and then I am locked out until the evening.

It's a useful feature for those of us working on discipline + distractibility issues.

I tried it several times, but I am usually a slow typist and English is not my native language, so I sometimes think twice about how to formulate a sentence. Sometimes when I wrote a posting, I ended up hitting the timeout, just when I was about to post. This is the only reason I turned 'noprocrast' off again, otherwise it is a super useful feature!

> What is wrong with me psychologically that I crave that more than my own privacy?

The alternative view is that you are perfectly normal and that craving validation from strangers is what built human society.

I've used a combination of tampermonkey type scripts and "ublock origin" block elements to remove all karma from here and reddit. I find it a lot nicer.

I remember about 15 years ago, having a MySpace profile. I poked around for a while, but just didn't understand it, and eventually stopped using it. (All your friends are here, they said. The only one I could find was my idiot friend.) When Facebook/Twitter/et al. came around, I avoided them, and about 5 years ago, realized that I made the right call.

I know this is a bit like saying "just stop having a problem!", but if you stop caring about the number of likes/upvotes/whatever, it's a much more relaxed experience, where you just read what informed, insightful people (and me) have to say. I imagine having to look at upvotes can make it a much more stressful experience.

Never heard of you before mabbo, and I read the comments here every day. If that gives you any motivation to quit.

I have 50k here and 36k on electronics.stackexchange.com. It's a good thing I'm too ugly for Instagram.

I routinely nuke my reddit account every year or so, so I stop caring about things like karma. And I've found that my experience hasn't changed one bit, except the relief that I know my older posts can't get linked back to me except with tremendous effort.

Maybe concede that the need for validation never quite goes away?

You can remove all externalities but then it becomes an internal barometer. “Did I do enough? Was what I said funny/insightful/smart? Do they like me?”

The voice is always there. It just doesn’t have a number assigned to it.

Well HN is less a validation peddler and like other aggregators offers rapid doses of news, little info-hits that can leave us feeling scatterbrained when overindulged. It can be too distracting but from a healthiness standpoint seems vastly superior.

This reminded me of dickfromaccounting.


Just turn on the procrastination monitor. I did it and with my reading habits, I can only post something like one or two comments a day.

There's a big difference between superficial mostly-visual social status sharing and having discussions on a tightly moderated text-only forum which de-emphasizes personal identity and has no notifications.

FB tends to be a net negative while HN is the opposite (at least for me) because of the content and engagement.

I don't think there is a substantial difference. I had an account (which I've since deleted) with thousands of karma points. I was becoming obsessed with the validation of getting upvotes. And I'm somebody who never cared about likes on Facebook. But validation from the smart people here? It was addictive and really tainted how I interacted with HN. I went into an emotional tailspin if I started getting downvotes.

I think caring about that kind of validation is a separate issue from the content itself, and requires self-discipline regardless. At least discussion on interesting and educational topics is better than sharing yet another batch of vacation photos.

I'm not so sure. If it's something that impairs you, I think it's negative.

I think i do the same. I shouldn’t have posted this

maybe just turn off the upvoting bots

I'm going to downvote you, but only because it's what you would have wanted.

I want but I can't

Same, That's exactly what i was thinking seeing this comment ironically at the top.

As someone addicted to checking my upvotes on hacker news, please don't upvote those of us that admit that to you ;D

Half a million Karma in < 2 years? Here, have some downvotes :P

ngngngng's karma is a little over 1.5k. You're looking at their about field.

I absolutely am. D'oh!

17000? Damn, I really am a nobody.

Meh. HN points are pretty meaningless. I have way more than 17000 and I am still a nobody. I wouldn't put much stock in it.

I'm a nobody and I have 35,000 HN points (please don't check)

It's too bad there isn't something you can do with HN points. If only they were like airline miles or something... :-)

You can change your "topcolor" (the orange bar at the top) at some point. It's something.

296 man, it's like not even worth this reply.

I quit social media for a long time too. And then I noticed how disconnected I was from all my old school friends and contacts. Even close family that still uses Facebook but I otherwise don’t talk to much directly (brother’s wives posting about their kids and stuff like that, maybe even more extended than that). Really, I’m starting to think that opting out of social media altogether is a bit like opting to be a hermit in today’s society. Sure, I’m not advocating posting every 5 minutes on Facebook and getting into dumb arguments, but it really feels like opting out is a way of putting walls between yourself and the rest of the world (that is on social media). You will miss out on news of friends having kids, graduating college, going to college, getting new jobs, and even planning events together since many events are organized officially on Facebook - from free local concerts to your friends bachelors party. Many people just go through Facebook and create a private event and invite their Facebook friends when they have a birthday gathering nowadays. You will miss out on these if you opt-out completely. I did.

Good counter-point.

A social network is not inherently bad. It could be a simple extension of our analog life, a simple tool to stay in contact with friends an family or share things with people that we do not have regular interactions with in our day to day life.

The problem is not the social media, but the way is has been instrumentalized to capture our attention, since this is the product being sold to advertisers. All the mechanisms to keep the user hooked -- akin to the way slot machines work -- have been pointed out many times already.

It doesn't have to be that way, we could design a neutral platform that is built around fostering personal connections with the people we care about.

Everything you say is true, but unfortunately a viable economic model for social networks that doesn't make use if the dopamine hook hasn't been discovered.

I felt similar, except in creater scale. There used to be forums and portals, where people share their experiences and knowneledge. Now many forums are almost dead, some are spam towns, some are closed. Few weeks ago was closing party for biggest local music community website. There was heathy forum but owners saw bigger picture and didn't want wait, until place dries up. Facebook seems taken over all kind communication.

This is the most disappointing thing about the facebook revolution to me. Facebook is useful for a lot of things, but specific forums covering specific community topics have mostly died out.

Reddit kind of fills the gap for larger niches but some of the smaller niches aren't well filled

Yeah, tons of board game discussion (gamers, designers, and publishers) migrated over to Facebook Groups. I don't mind it too much because Facebook will let me know when anyone I'm friends with posts to one of these, which includes local gamer friends and people in the industry.

I actually kind of like it, since I only have to check what they posted and can respond to them, and not have to check and read every single thread in a forum to see who I know has posted.

I don't think the solution is to your ailments is to reconnect on Facebook.

I think there's pressure to keep people in your lives that are not involved, partly to do with tradition and partly to do with the way social media now works.

Instead of browsing Facebook, why not make the time to actually see these people in real lives, call them on the phone, facetime them, write them a letter?

What I am trying to do for myself is invest in the meaningful relationships and eliminating personal social media has helped provide that focus for the people that I want in my life.

While I understand your sentiment, I just don't think connecting with most people by phone or in person is actually feasible. I keep direct text groups open to my immediate family members and closest friends, but I rarely text my sister-in-laws, and I almost never directly contact my cousins, aunts, or uncles. It just doesn't make sense to say "why not call them" as a counter-argument when we don't have that kind of relationship. As for sending a letter... most of us stopped doing that in the 1990s unless you were in jail or sending banking statements.

I've noticed the most active commenters on my Facebook stuff these days are all family members, so I have a ton of extended family that stays aware of what I'm doing through that. And of my ~850 connections on Facebook, I could probably delete 80% of those and it would be a more realistic picture of either 1) family or 2) people I actually know and have talked to in the last 3-5 years.

I completely understand your point.

I am perplexed at the value of these 'distant relationships' and question if they're necessary. I have spent a lot of time thinking about that and have no good answer.

They aren't really necessary.

Honestly, if you aren't super worried about privacy, having a FB account just to open when you get curious and want to check in on someone (if they are an active poster) isn't so bad. It's the mindless addictive scrolling that gets me.

I tried that for a few years, actually. It made it seem even more pointless.

I held on to the account because I am into competitive Bass Fishing and my clubs only presence was on Facebook.

Since I've left Facebook, I'm no longer in the club and it really hasn't made much of a difference.

I used to think I was using Facebook to stay in touch with people. But I really didn't enjoy using it, so I decided to challenge my assumptions. I went through 3 months of my activity, and saw that the overwhelming majority of what I was doing was sharing links that had no engagement. Personal photos got some likes, but just like. I maybe sent one or two messages. I was barely staying connected to people like I thought I was. So I left Facebook without regret.

I don't feel out of the loop, though. I text or email friends and ask them what's going on. If there's an event I ought to go to, one of them usually lets me know. It's more effort, but I think that's a benefit: relationships based on scrolling through feeds and liking stuff are pretty shallow. And I don't let myself feel bad if I do miss something, because I know that's a small price to pay to excise that source of anxiety from my life.

while i hate FB so much for their shitty practices I keep it because i find it very valuable to see what's going on with distant family and friends and to share my photos to keep my personal photography hobby going...

for me the trick is that i set my password to random and keep it locked in keepass and never installed the app, never logged in from work computer. so i do only check in 1-2 / week and only briefly. that's enough to catch up on extended circle, local skateboarding groups etc, but not waste too much time on memes. i am also hopeful that without sharing any personal info and installing the app FB does not track too much about me .. maybe just wishful thinking!

I understand where you're coming from, but in my opinion the benefit you're describing isn't worth the privacy concerns for me. I do wish there were a service that allowed for event organizing that didn't try to track me around the web and that didn't sell any information they could find on me to third parties.

There is also the idea of "quality of interaction". My relatively nearby sphere of family that posts updates aren't really looking for my validation. They'll let me know what their children have been up to the next time I see them in meatspace. I'll get more enjoyment out of talking with them about them, too, then I ever will by posting an emoji or liking their post. My proverbial crazy uncle that posts political screes will still corner me at the next family gathering and I'll using coping strategies until I can escape. Do I really need to keep tabs on the lives of the people I would casually say 'hi' to in the hallway in middle school 40 years ago?

If the cost were trivial, then maybe this would all be worth it. But the privacy concerns drive me away. I have an account. I use it once every year or two to give my condolences when I hear someone I know had a relative pass away or something. Other than that, I do without. It makes me wonder what life would be like if there was a corporation like that that I could actually trust.

If you can remember your middle school classmates after 40 years, you're doing better than me after < 20 years.

My dad loves Facebook, but he has no clue about security, so he isn't burdened by any of the same thoughts as you. I'm overall a tech-person and software developer, but I either don't care that much about privacy or I'm just clueless. Ignorance is bliss?

The only thing I regret about not having FB anymore: I don't know when peoples' birthdays are.

For the entire history of humanity, we didn't know anything about anyone's lives unless we saw or talked or heard about them. I don't consider it a loss to not know distance acquaintances' life updates...if it's important, I'll hear it from other FB users or from an important friend.

There used to be a way you can populate calendar apps with facebook birthdays. I still have it from a decade ago but I don’t use the site enough anymore to know how to do it again.

If you only know stuff about your brothers kids because of facebook (and he lives withing reasonable distance, granted!), you are already a hermit.

I agree about the invite part, some communities are really build on top of fb. Here in the Netherlands I started missing things when I was off of Whatsapp (lived without a smartphone for 1.5 months).

I just have a list of people that matter to me, and make sure to text or call each of them every couple weeks or so to see what's up. And I have their birthdays next to their names :)

I think that it's going to turn out that social media is like coffee: It's fine, even healthy, for some people, and harmful to others.

And I would think that's fine, except that I fall into the latter group, and social media has come to consume so much of the online world that it means that I can't avoid it without excluding myself from large swathes of public life.

I don't volunteer at my kids' school because coordination is done through Facebook. I don't stay in touch with people I meet at events because Facebook has thoroughly supplanted other modes of casual communication. I don't hear about events at some of my local community spaces because they only advertise them on Facebook. Etc.

So it's not entirely like coffee. It's like what it would be like if coffee were healthy for some, unhealthy for others, and quasi-mandatory for all.

Sounds more like alcohol. If you have a couple drinks a week, it's no problem. If you can't stop yourself from binge drinking, you have to stop completely. Sobriety means that you miss out on social activities based around drinking.

I couldn't agree more but with a few additional points.

As some have pointed out below, It is more like a new drug that essentially has billions of people prescribed and now addicted to. Its creators (Zuckerberg, Dorsey and Spegiel) have invented the Like, Follow, Heart tools to give us the equivalent of a dopamine hit to manipulate us to stay and continue to get more of them. It then becomes a livelihood to do extreme things just for more attention and followers which dangerously merges social media into the real world and makes it difficult to distinguish on what is real or fake, which is very unhealthy for the mind.

Imagine if FB was a drugs-manufacturer and they are selling drugs called "The Facebook" or "Instagram", etc to you. To use it, just "Post/Like/Follow". Advertisers are also the drug dealers. When we are talking about billions of prescribed users and 100m daily active users, that sounds as if Zuckerberg has become one of the most successful drug kin-pins in history.

If this analogy doesn't sound terrifying, then perhaps its time for some social media therapy then.

Speaking as someone who can't drink caffeine without a painful pins and needles sensation (thanks levofloxacin!), I'd say the analogy works quite well.

Off topic but can you expound? I was "floxxed" with joint pain etc long ago...but have never heard of the caffeine related effects. Is it all caffeine? ie chocolate/pills too?

Coffee is really the only caffeinated thing I consume. I learned after my (relatively mild by some stories I've read) floxxing that caffeine + flox drugs are a bad combo, and I was very much a coffee person, so of course I combined them. My skin has been more sensitive in general ever sense, and attempts to drink regular coffee usually lead to that pins and needles sensation.

On the upside, I've discovered a great decaf: Slow Motion from Counter Culture. So hard to find high quality decaf, and I'm glad I was recommended this one. I actually drink more coffee now than before because I've been able to switch to decaf.

Kicking Horse is another decent decaf brand. Dark roast, Swiss (water) process, available on Amazon.

That's interesting, but I am sorry you have to deal with it. Thanks for following up.

I do get the point of the author and I share it's thoughts and values, but for me it went quite different.

I have never been a really social person. I have never had many friends. No one really asks me ever where I have been or what I have been doing or whatever. I used facebook to shitpost. To shitpost a lot and MAYBE get a few likes. It worked. It worked for way too long. Then someday i literally fell on my head, my depression got way worse and I finally started working on it.

I then realized that I had no values at all. I always felt like facebook is bad, but i never acted accordingly. So I quit that. I thought 'yeah, maybe i will feel better now.' and i do. I feel great. But now, I don't even have anyone to contact and ask if there is something going on on the weekend or if people want to go out. I don't really have anyones number either (because i deleted A LOT of my private stuff in a furious rage). Now I am alone and I don't know how to get out of it. Social media is no option though, I don't want to be that attention seeking person anymore. I want to be the person i am and find people who like me for that exact reason. I just don't know how.

End of story: Quitting social media made me a better person, but if I add everything together i don't feel better (yet)

Woops. Went a bit offtopic, but whatever. Thanks for reading.

>I then realized that I had no values at all.

This is too real. The curse of taking the irony pill.

Fuck, I pressed way too many times F5 on this to see if anyone replied or upvoted. That's why I got rid of my HN account. I guess I should press logout on this one, too.

Thanks for posting :)

Many years ago someone told me that we should care about our mental hygiene as much as we care about the hygiene of the food that we consume.

I quit FB two years ago after 11 years of active use. For a few weeks after deleting my account, I had these temptations to go back but after two months, I totally forgot about it and after two years, I'm very happy about leaving the platform.

I also realized that it wasn't just FB or social media that contributed to my stress and anxiety; sensational and provocative news was as much to blame. These days, I try to get my news from only a handful of news outlets that I trust. I know this is not a perfect solution but at least, I've been able to avoid click-bait titles.

I feel similar. Years ago, I used to be very into YouTube. I followed the channels I loved closely and loved discovering new channels. It felt like I could search for any topic I was interested in and find a small, cool channel about it. Then yesterday for example I was reading an article about tornado alley and wanted to watch some storm chasing videos on Youtube. My searches just turned up page after page of "Family Vlog" clickbait, with people using their frightened kids as the thumbnail picture. Was so off-putting that it killed my interest.

Next, take it one step further and skip going directly to any news sites or aggregators, and cut out news TV and radio.

You cut out the news-induced anxiety this way. After a while, you also realize that most news is noise, and doesn’t matter even a day later.

If something really significant happens, you’ll still hear about it.

I'm not sure about that. I still enjoy the long reads in the New Yorker and a few other magazines. But if you mean the 24-hour news cycle, I agree with you.

These posts are so tiring.

It's usually from the same people that are super active and obnoxious on FB. Posting every single hours of their life. And suddenly realizing they addicted to it. And they still need to post about it.

I didn’t quit fb but I unsubscribed from pretty much everybody. I think I’ve posted once in the last 6 years, though occasionally I come up tagged in friends’ pics. I think I’m better off. I occasionally miss engagements of my friends though so this is a downside. (I’m 29). I continue to use messenger to chat with friends, including one good friend who has a budget phone plan (meaning fb messages are free while texting this friend isn’t for her).

I guess I’m posting this here to say that there is a middle(?) ground that works for me. I rarely find myself envious or jealous on fb. I will confess that I do experience these emotions in my offline life (much less frequently than daily, more often than monthly). Come to think of it, while I spend under 20 minutes a week on LinkedIn, I feel some negative emotions while browsing this feed. I’ve just realized I should limit my LinkedIn better.

I’m not posting this to brag, just to share another perspective because it felt relevant.

I found that when I quit facebook, I started obsessively arguing on HN about the same shit ...

At least the writer of the article didn't feel compelled to use Medium to post it

A surprising twist: social media invades meatspace.

I go to a board gaming club once a week. It used to be reasonably easy to find someone to play with, but nowadays:

1. all groups are already formed the moment the club opens (one per board game), 2. newcomers come in groups already decided which game they're going to play, don't waste time looking around and play among themselves.

So you can be there on time, and that's not enough to find someone to play with. It feels like fb/social media is a kind of lobby for board games in that place. Wanted to go out and meet some new people over board games? Think again. It's like those stories you might hear about bars, dating and tinder - that nowadays even bar goers stare at their smartphones. Guess what, the same mechanism affects not just bar goers but also nerds like me. It's like each board game at a table is its own social media bubble(different people like different board game(s)).

There are two ways to deal with this: a) submit to social media b) resist

I'm doing b), I bring in my copy of Spirit Island and if there's no one to play with the game is also great solo.

Being the person who shouts loudest "I am somebody" on social media does not make you somebody worth listening to. This narcissism is the key problem of social media. Oddly enough, social media made it's big entrance via movie stars - I could not possibly be any less surprised at this.

It would befit social media to rate someone with importance not according to a check or star but according to actual real world accomplishment. I realize that creates a natural bias against the underachieved, but without such weights, anyone can say anything about anything no matter what the education or perspective, and have it essentially equivalent to a subject matter in the field, at least until further examination.

There's a good Seneca letter, "On Quiet Conversation." It includes these lines:

"Philosophy is good advice; and no one can give advice at the top of his lungs...

Words should be scattered like seed; no matter how small the seed may be, if it has once found favourable ground, it unfolds its strength and from an insignificant thing spreads to its greatest growth. Reason grows in the same way; it is not large to the outward view, but increases as it does its work. Few words are spoken; but if the mind has truly caught them, they come into their strength and spring up. Yes, precepts and seeds have the same quality; they produce much, and yet they are slight things. Only, as I said, let a favourable mind receive and assimilate them. Then of itself the mind also will produce bounteously in its turn, giving back more than it has received."

So it's like concern trolling.

> but without such weights, anyone can say anything about anything no matter what the education or perspective, and have it essentially equivalent to a subject matter in the field, at least until further examination.

We began with institutions whose voices were the authority, period. With the internet, anyone could spread their own ideas and thoughts thereby decentralizing the power. We have now accepted the presence of fake news and voices with vested interests. Is the pendulum swinging back to the established individuals/institutions in response to this?

> Oddly enough, social media made it's big entrance via movie stars - I could not possibly be any less surprised at this.

Is this true? I don't recall that occurring, it seemed more like a young-techie-people, grassroots phenomenon when people started using MySpace and FB.

Remember Twitter?

Facebook? I don't regard a company that sells people's information without their consent as "social media". There's nothing social about going behind someone's back and deceiving them.

When fan pages gave way to official profiles was a watershed moment. It showed facebook wasnt just a teenage myspace replacement, but a commercial engine.

When user's information was leaked to third parties without proper management or oversight, while Facebook stock continued to go through the roof, that was another watershed moment. That was the moment people realized that Facebook is full of crooks and enables other crooks to boot.

In LinkedIn, I get the opposite feeling. It seems that a lot of people spend a considerable amount of energy pumping their profiles with lots of achievements, professional photos and blog posts, but it feels like everybody is talking to themselves. Nobody cares.

Do people actually interact with each other over LinkedIn? The only people I've every talked to are recruiters. I thought it was just a directory of potential employees for recruiters. If people actually do social things on LinkedIn then that's news for me.

After a long time in software development, I'm now a sales engineer, and LinkedIn is a very different place when your weeks involve interactions with C-suite and marketing types. I find LinkedIn to be pretty absurd, and I'm never going to (or want to) compete with the people who share life-affirming abstract business nonsense in a vertical video shot from their car, but I get a surprising amount of interaction from my screeds about the ecommerce ecosystem. I'm not using LinkedIn to boost my personal brand, but I do use it to talk about the Saas ecommerce platform we sell (because a lot of people hate Magento and find Shopify doesn't suit their needs)

A coworker has at times referred to me as a LinkedIn Shitpost Memelord, although I don't use image macros/memes. I just share information about a very niche corner of the internet, and it's way more effective than advertising. It actually serves as an outlet for the kind of writing I used to do, and sometimes still do, on forums - but instead of being about music and bands, it's about commerce and software. It's weird, but it scratches an itch I guess.

I do see more 'social' posts on LinkedIn, and it's pretty close to the worst of the net. It's like YouTube comments, except you can see the people who post them all wear suits in their photos. A surprisingly large number of people who like & reply to self-help garbage, effusively, as though Gary Vee's latest you-can-do-it schlock saved them from offing themselves at the water cooler that morning.

I see some people using LinkedIn in an attempt to boost their public relevance in their fields, but I only see recruiters interact with their content. Hence, nobody cares about the content.

There is a very small subset of people who do.

There's also companies who are posting things like "Hey we won some irrelevant award yay us." Or more likely, employees posting this about their own as a public signal that they are "all in" on "company."

It's mostly for signalling for especially aspirational people. But generally speaking, 99% of the utility of LinkedIn is to have a public resume so recruiters can find you. At least in my case.

My linked in is only for recruiters. I rarely update it. Every time I go on it I get kind of sick I guess? Like I can't really say what makes me dislike it, maybe it feels corporate? It feels like everything there is just to promote yourself? Idk but I hate it.

I think LinkedIn suffers from people treating it as an extension of a CV or prospectus, which probably isn't an unfair assumption on their part. Which means not introspecting failures, only commenting or reacting on banal platitudes, and not saying anything that might be remotely controversial for an employer.

This is sad, but as someone who will happily admit failures, frustrations and annoyances on LinkedIn I have been in interviews where people have dinged me heavily for it. So far these have all been quite toxic work environments - maybe you could count it as a useful filter, but I understand given this why people feel pressure to do little more than copy/paste the same Oleg posts ad infinitum.

Facebook (et al.) has done an incredible job (for better or worse) at changing the way people in society interact with and perceive others. It really is staggering when you think about it,.

One giant learning experience. We're adapting. It's kinda gross, but hopefully we'll all come out the better for it.

There was a tipping point for me when I decided that all the negative things that come from social media far outweighed the good it does.

I have a Twitter account. I log in about once every couple of months. Nothing changes. The cancel culture hasn't died off, it's just gotten stronger, more pervasive and more corrosive than ever before.

This has lead me to believe we are on a downward spiral with no bottom in site.

Social media is very much what you make it.

I use facebook to keep in touch with hundreds of people that I would never normally keep in touch with.

I use it to plan events like birthdays, bachelor parties, and vacations. I fully believe it enriches my life.

I learned that I reject that shit pretty quickly... I haven't been on facebook since sometime around 2010 or 2011 maybe. It's mind-boggling to me that it's even still a point of discussion in 2019.

It was always a pretty poor way to communicate, imo. At last for my use case, which was wanting friends to hear about interesting / exciting things going on in my life.

I had like 300 friends on there -- a good mix of family, old coworkers, old school friends, people from a local sports league, etc. -- and I happened to have a fairly successful startup at the time, so I'd post about that... and got back crickets.

For whatever reason, at least back then, the algorithm would only show my post to a few people at first, and if none of them liked or commented, it wouldn't show it to anyone else. At least that's my assumption.

So I was like 26, pulling in $1k / day in AdSense revenue, and trying to tell my family and friends how exciting it was, and every post I'd submit would just get totally ignored. Out of ten posts that actually had a bit of depth, nothing super dense or overly intellectual, just describing some of the challenges and successes, (like a $12k hosting bill from Rackspace), I probably got around 2-3 comments total. The vast majority of things I posted were ignored completely.

Then I'd see the most banal and superficial crap get put on my feed with tons of comments, so eventually one week I posted, "TGIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Out of my last 10 posts that actually mattered to me, that one immediately got tons of traction and something like 60 replies, etc. I quit right after that.

Facebook forced me to confront how boring my passion for startups really is to normal people... so why waste my time sharing it?

Or their algorithm was just really poor and my posts weren't being displayed to my friends, either way, what's the point?

You read enough of these ‘quitting social media’ articles over the years that you almost know word for word how the linked article is going to go.

So, if I get this right, her addiction got so bad she needed to upgrade from posting on social media to writing to the NYT? </irony>

I think with social media's goal of "connecting everyone" and "bringing everyone together" has brought us too close.

So close that we're like a village -- blasting out clickbait and accusations with rare repercussions and making sure we say "hi" to all our neighbors in the village while also maintaining our "social status" within this village: i.e. reputation.

I'm glad I took off from there a while back.

Social media promised to connect people. It connected avatars instead.

People are physical. We have bodies and brains. We have thoughts and opinions. We have friends.

Avatars are conceptual. They have representations, not bodies; "profile pics" that are edited and changed constantly, never bearing much resemblance to the human it claims to represent.

Avatars have agendas, not opinions or thoughts. They seek to convince you of something. To buy, to vote, to protest, or simply that the anonymized human behind the avatar has a life full of wonders and happiness. Agenda.

An avatar has followers, fans, not friends. Social media avatars have little to no interest in you as a human being. Your body's eyeballs are an avatar's currency. It wants your them to see its agenda so it can win.

A social network that brought humans together would fulfill the promise of social media. Meetup.com might be the closest thing to that. For now, social media does not connect people, it connects avatars--personifications of agendas which are built, almost always, to serve its master without regard for others.

Interesting point. At the same time, if a person legitimately has an account (meaning it's their personal account) and decides to let everyone know of their entire personality, it won't be "pursuing an agenda".

But realistically, this doesn't happen; unless that avatar is anonymous and can't be linked to you. I think this is why places like Reddit and HN to some extent are good: they allow people to freely speak, but at the same time you're technically still being manipulated by what others think (on r/popular for example)... which brings me to my last point:

You're a composition of years of manipulation. It just depends on who you trust, whether it's in real life or online.

In all, I agree with your point, but giving anonymity brings people to talk more about themselves, which hopefully is a bit better than the world that you described is.

I never had facebook, irc and some forum was everything I wanted, exchange of knowlidge and ideas. In term of "beeing nobody" I never cared. I am 42, highly valued in technical circles. Lots of friends, paragliding, mountain biking. Never had a car. Didnt need it. Lots of friends to go for a beer with. I use phone, sms, email to communicate with real, physical friends. Never been unemployed. There is just nothing "social media" can offer to me.

It seems like much of technology is focused around narcissism. Even the technology ecosystem, with the startups and whatnot, are sort of celebrity technology. I'm not sure that is good or bad for actual technological progress. Given that the fundamental philosophy, math and science this is all based on is still considered lame, then modern technology is largely a distraction from true progress.

I took a year off of all of social media and took a break from startup tech in general. I didn't miss it, at all, and I wonder what real tangible value it still has coming back.

One thing is for certain, being plugged into the hive mind has clear advantages, especially as it relates to employment. It's like the old adage - it's about who you know, not necessarily what you know.

This. Left my job and traveled for almost a year.

Part of me wanted to push updates to Facebook and Instagram to get the dopamine rush from likes. I pushed myself to not post any updates others than calling//emailing my close friends and family and after a couple months I didn't miss it at all. I felt like I was living for myself in the moment without the need to publicize what I was doing.

Coming back, I still have my social media account and go there maybe once a week. I usually come out of it a bit burned out with the feeling that everything is fake. But overall cutting out social medias has been hugely beneficial.

I'm convinced that Social medias are a negative to humanity and overall causes more depression and anxiety than anything else. It must be extremely difficult to be a teenager in high school without the mental strength to resist that fake world of social medias nowadays

Why is this problem of “being known” so common? Does it stem from the way you’re raised? Personally, I’ve never cared two about how well known I was or that my accomplishments were recognized, etc. I just derive joy from the activities I pursue in themselves, I don’t really give a hoot if anyone acknowledges them.

I never joined social meadia because of this. I didn’t see the point. Seemed like a boring waste of time to me when it first dawned. Sure that has dramatically reduced the number of acquaintances I have in comparison to others, but I feel that the relationships I do have are of very high intimacy and quality.

Where does this need to “be somebody” come from? Has there been research on it? Are you more likely to develop a thirst for fame if you’re given a lot of external motivation/reinforcement as a child? If your parents focus on appluading you rather than the things you do? Not trying to be snarky here, I am genuinely curious as someone who has always been quite indifferent to the concept of fame.

You belong to a social species and come with built in drives to engage in social behaviors like acquiring status and an interest in others social standing.

These tendencies vary by the individual and life experience.

“My wanting to share every waking thought became eclipsed by a desire for an increasingly rare commodity — a private life.”

She forgot the part when she wrote a New York Times piece about her life.

She also hosts a weekly podcast.

Also, I must be using social media wrong. I use it mainly to talk to and send pictures to my grandma, look at videos of baby animals, and find out about concerts and shows in my area.

It has had a highly net-positive impact on my life, especially the puppy and kitten videos.

It did offer us the chance to read thoughts that might mirror our own but in a more succint and well-written manner. I definitely saw a lot of relatable elements in the article and appreciate what was written.

>> I definitely saw a lot of relatable elements in the article

That is why I think this was written in order to receive attention from others (not necessarily the readers), but I tend toward cynicism.

I gave up FB and Instagram posts because my political view (conservative) and got 2 banned and harassed by relatives and strangers. Life is way better without FB/Insta

Yeah, I lean right as well (fiscally). There's no way in hell I'd seriously post any political stuff online that's tied to my real name. There is absolutely no nuance in online discussions. Just wrong think, name calling, and down votes (and spamming links that "prove" things at each other).

Contrast that with the real world where (outside of some fringe goofballs) having deeply different political beliefs doesn't mean that much. You can vehemently disagree with one another... while also enjoying each other's company (and also talking about things other than politics!).

Try being a Libertarian on social media... I get hammered from the "left" because of my "taxation is theft" and "defend the #2A at all costs" mindset, and get hammered from the "right" because I believe in strict separation of Church and State, don't glorify the police and military, oppose all drug laws, am pro-choice, and oppose the death penalty. Basically, every political conversation I get involved in is a negative experience for me, as I basically feel like I'm always under attack and have almost no allies or friends. :-(

"It was useless to argue, she thought, and to wonder about people who would neither refute an argument nor accept it."

You have many allies, but they are doing more productive things than arguing with senseless people on social media :)

If you describe each of your beliefs as a preservation of individual liberties then you may get farther in helping others understand your position.

Yep, I agree 100%.

It's all just tribal bs -- mostly via imprinting -- very few people actually care about genuine principles or have nuanced takes on issues.

I'm conservative libertarian. I am by no means alt-right or right but people label me as extreme right without excuse.

Hate to break it to you, but I have multiple friends who have been banned from here for the same thing.

Be very careful criticizing socialism, for instance, or the mods (one in particular) will accuse you of starting "flame wars".

Of course any debate that isn't related to their personal politics or against their worldview is fine.

Case in point: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20830862

Note that criticizing capitalism endlessly is just fine. Defending it? Not so much.

I understand your point. I've got downvoted several times when I critized socialism here at HN.

I deleted FB from my phone about 2 years ago and have not once regretted it. I still stay in touch with my closest friends via phone, text, and the good ole' fashioned physical meetups.

No more fake celebratory comments. No more fake photos. No more fake LIVES portrayed by others (early on, I participated in this).

I must say that one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to delete these social networks off your devices. I've actually gone so far as to block all these sites network-wide via my pi-hole so nobody can mindless scroll through content while in my home.

My quality of life has improved as a result; I can now live in the moment and be grateful for not only where I'm at, but also where I am going (i.e., goal(s)) and what I will learn on the way there.

The social media problem is multi fold..

Facebook - While i need to check my friends's life events and keep a tab on what they are up to, i dont want to see the constant tirade of posts regarding their political views.. How ya'll are handling friends with crazy political extremist thoughts, completely ignore those areas ? try to make them sane?

Twitter is even worse, so stopped posting all together and limited my time only to like few tweets .

Alternative to Twitter is Reddit, which you can scroll through for few laughs and that itself will become an addiction.

Finally, i think we need social media at the same time we dont need social media, no amount of filtering and altering the news feed can put us in a place of what we want to see.. So..

Re: Handling "crazy political extremist thoughts" on Facebook, I tend to either engage in a calm and reasonable reply that resembles the Socratic Method, or simply unfollow the person. It depends on how well I know them and how reasonable they tend to be. My best/closest friends are all reasonable people which is why I chose them as friends, so no contradiction there.

Twitter is worse, yes.

Reddit is OK if you avoid political subreddits and keep it light. I've curated my subs to be just that and it's delightful.

I believe that we shouldn't "need" social media (as other comments here pointed out, an external locus of control or validation is unhealthy), but rather we should use social media. Have a purpose whenever you open the app, even if it's just passing the time (Reddit).

I unfollow any Facebook friends who post political rants, but remain friends with them. Then I occasionally do a quick scan through their profiles to catch up on any major life events I missed.

I was a pretty avid Facebook user from ~2008-2015. I posted multiple times a day, had about 70 well-vetted friends on there, but unfortunately I have a bad habit of starting arguments with people that I think are espousing uninformed opinions. By 2015, it felt like a not-insignificant part of every day was dedicated to arguing something political, leading to me getting mad. Eventually, I started to feel that this was unhealthy.

I deleted my facebook back in 2015; I was afraid I'd have some kind of withdrawal, but bizarrely after about two days I sort of forgot that I had ever even used Facebook.

Recycled comment of mine from a few weeks ago here. Note: I was told NLP[0] (Neuro Linguistic Programming) was not cast in a good light in its Wikipedia entry, and I admit it has its weaknesses, but I was inspired by the fact Tony Robbins used elements of it in his seminars. Certain parts of NLP appeal to me, but some don't and can be denounced as pseudoscience/quackery.

Below is the original comment:


I tend to stay away from Instagram as I once read a study (too lazy to find the paper) that Instagram is more detrimental to mental health than other social networks and is generally to be avoided (partly this is because you are comparing other people's highlight reel to your boring drab life).

I use Facebook, albeit sparingly and only ever to make meaningful interactions with my family, and nothing else. I don't feverishly 'check in' to locations, don't engage in 'groups', don't 'like' a million-and-one things, or otherwise engage in the Facebook app in any big way. It means Facebook can't build a dossier of my interests, although they do know my social graph, but then: I'm not a person of interest anyway. I am actually very forgettable.

For Twitter, I have a locked down account and only follow what I'm interested in. I don't actively seek to get more followers, and have literally nothing in my bio that is about me. I don't use my real name. My account is purely for discovery of positive news, and content that stimulates me intellectually.

I recently started to experiment with Neuro Linguistic Programming[0] and a big part of that is deciding what you pay attention to (especially online) and feeding your brain with content that enables you to grow as a person and not be bogged down with negative content that only appeals to your 'monkey brain'. I haven't gone to extremes by cutting out all social media, instead I just use it mindfully and by carefully choosing the types of content I consume.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming

I see a lot of people publicly quiting facebook, then quietly rejoining because... well that one person they know only communicates via messenger.

When I finally stopped using Facebook, I didn't close the account. It's just there. It's no longer part of what I do. At some point I realized that the worst thing about the network is not that they do shady things, or trick you into staying, or meddle with politics. The worst thing is the person you gradually become.

The moment you meet someone, you check their facebook, look through their pictures, browse their posts. When you become friends with someone, everytime there is tension you check facebook to see if they haven't posted about it. If it's a lover, you base the status of the relationship on their posts and frequency of pictures. If it's an ex...

In 2015 I wrote [1]:

> On facebook, why would I give someone privacy when I have access to all this information. And I don't even need their permission. I can watch your private pictures because you made them available. It's not that I can find out where you work, where you live, where you eat, everything about you. It's that I actually do find out without ever hiring a private detective. It's not what I can do, it's what I do!

Facebook turns you into an insecure person.

[1]: https://idiallo.com/blog/facebook-and-me

I mean being raised with the attitude when you see the world, the world sees you makes the facebook thing just another venue for that same idea. There is an acceptable level of neglect for a facebook account. Just put up a nice photo of yourself and forget about it. Like myspace and friendster, ect. It's not clear what the value of facebook is to a 'customer'. It's basically a modern day newspaper, with classifieds and crossword puzzles, except your friends are now 50% of the news headlines. I never used to read newspapers either.

I feel like social media and dating apps hurt one's self image. Even for individuals that have a serious following, there doesn't seem to be enough validation from peers/followers to satiate their drive for happiness. I'm curious to see how social media continues to mold society in the decades to come where we can delineate what the long term effects of its use are.

Is it just me who thinks social media just filled the hole that was missing in the society ? No one forced anyone to join Facebook or twitter. People were obsessed with other people way before social media, they just gave the platform to existing behavior.

Modern problems require modern solutions.

One way to gradually lessen your facebook usage is to use this addon (chrome version available on the chrome web store).


I think most people have been conditioned to keep themselves plugged in so to speak, gradually minimizing interactions rather than going cold turkey may prove more effective at re-framing your perspective.

The book I recommend on this topic is '10 Arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now' by Jaron Lanier.


It makes the arguments for doing so very clearly and with a good sense of humor. Lanier, is a treasure, I always like how balanced he sees the tech industry, it isn't all good or bad but a mingling of ideas.

I love this article. Thank you for sharing. I'm on a similar journey.

I used to fear being a nobody, but then i came to accept that i am nobody and i never will manage to do anything that would make my name worth putting into physics textbooks. More than a decade spent studying physics turned out to be somewhat helpful to an ordinary programmer.

Guess what i am trying to say is that, this is not a new problem created by social media, but an old problem caused by most of us having to be not special. And while eventual acceptance of it is very important, the initial denial is even more important.

Fame and success is still valued by society writ large. This is deeper than this most recent social media layer. I also left social media but I feel just as much pressure as before because the people who I hang around with (who themselves are on social media, but that's not the only reason they act that way) directly or indirectly put pressure on incentive levers which all in all culminate in me preferring to be a "somebody" rather than a "nobody".

I've got around 20 "friends" on FB (mostly family, and not really posting anymore), but subscribed to many feeds (mostly bands I like)

If they ever add RSS to their own websites, I will have no more reason to be on FB.

Please make RSS a thing again !

On the other hand, I was reading a tweeter feed an hour ago, and I was so disgusted by the hatred of the exchange that I told myself (again...) "Why are you inflicting this on your sanity ?"

She forgot to quit meat, dairy, grains, booze, weed, going out, staying up late, having sex, and so on

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