I’m considering deleting my social media accounts…

A month or so ago I posted a few paragraphs on Facebook about how I am seriously reconsidering my use of social media. Since then I have done virtually no scrolling through my feeds, and have limited myself to very occasional posts. And I think my life is much better for it – social media was eating up more of my time than I realized, time I now use out in the real world.


So much so that I am considering deleting my accounts – particularly of timeline-based “scrolling” sns (facebook, instagram, twitter). Socially/ethically I believe this is a good thing to do (do I really want to support these companies?), though this isn’t significant in my decision – rather, my motivation is selfish: much like giving up other unhealthy addictions like smoking (admittedly I never really smoked beyond a short phase of smoking-while-drinking) and drinking (which i surely did to excess), quitting social media has made my life better.


It’s important to realize why social media exists: to make the SNS companies rich (by advertising to us). Social media is addictive (just like smoking and drinking) – it was designed to be addictive by software engineers who wanted to maximize the time we spend on it by feeding off our innate need for social interaction (without ever really satisfying that need) in order to make profit (notwithstanding their publicly stated purpose: “to bring us together”).


Putting aside all “ethical consumer” motivations, do I really want to spend significant portions of my time engaged in an activity that was designed to make someone else rich? Wouldn’t I be better off enriching (in the broadest sense) my own life?


There are some practical issues I’ll need to address:

  • leaving the facebook timeline is pretty easy (just don’t log in),
  • as is getting news and views by visiting websites directly.
  • However many of my contacts are only on messenger so I will need to make sure I find other ways to keep in contact with those people I do actually wish to stay in contact with.
  • And I have made deeper friendships in Okinawa by being able to maintain conversations on FB between face-to-face meetings (especially surfers who I otherwise only see occasionally in the water). I’m not sure how to replace that, though perhaps this is just part of the challenge: I need to learn how to obtain actual (and genuinely rewarding) real-world social interaction instead of salving my need via the (ultimately unrewarding) interaction of social media. If this is difficult because everyone is so busy….then that is a problem our society needs to address, not salve with social media…
  • (Also: I’m not entirely sure it is even possible to completely delete my accounts….)

So for now it is just something I am exploring. However if you’ve noticed I’ve gone very quiet on here recently – well now you know why. You’re welcome to comment on this, I value your thoughts, though please understand that it will be several days (at least…) until I next log on and see your comments, and that I am now reluctant to engage in extended conversations online (I could use that time to be playing with my children, gardening, or reading books) so you might have to feel contented with a “like”. If you’d like a longer discussion then give me a call (feel free to message to arrange a time, or just call out of the blue – remember when we used to do that? before messaging became a thing…)or (better yet) come round for a coffee!

That’s all, I’ve now used up all my internet time for the day, back to the real world….

Greta Thunburg Austria World Summit Vienna 2019 Speech

(ごめん、日本語訳を探しきれない)

(Scroll down for English)

Greta Thunbergがもう一度、混乱を切り取って、要点をついています。全ての人がまだ気候危機の対策に取り組んでいない理由は、危険性を感じていないからです。危険性を感じていない理由は、私達の社会の(いわゆる)リーダー達が説明をしていないからです。

最近私の活動によって友達はコメントしています。「皆はスマホ、車、買い物の生活が好きから、サイモンが言っている大きな社会変更は承認してくれないよ。」でもこれはただ、具体的な選択肢の説明を聞いていないからです。

“Greta Thunburg Austria World Summit Vienna 2019 Speech” の続きを読む

気候危機を画像6枚で説明する

南極の氷の記録を見れば地球の平均温度は二酸化炭素の濃度によって変わる:二酸化炭素(CO2、青い線)が上がると、温度(temperature、水色の線)も上がる:

https://www.ajne.org/article/climate-science-and-litigation

私達の社会は多くの二酸化炭素を排出している。近年(表の右側)を見ると、排気量はますます増えているのがわかる:

“気候危機を画像6枚で説明する” の続きを読む

How to face your fears of the climate crisis

A lot of my recent posts have been very energetic (ranting and shouty, even…) but today I want to take a moment to breath deeply, and talk quietly about how terrifying this all is, and how to deal with that.

First, a brief summary of the facts, just as a short reminder of how scary the situation really is:

The science and scientists tells us that we have a massive problem: global warming will lead to more extreme weather: heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms. The physics of why is simple: more heat energy in the air means more energy to the air’s movement, which makes weather events stronger than they would otherwise have been.

Heatwaves and floods are going to damage crops; as these events become more frequent and stronger more and more crops are going to be damaged and fail. That’s going to reduce the food supply, eventually getting to the point where people start to go hungry (this is already happening).

Climate change → hunger

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Facebook (and all social media) has to go…

Yesterday a friend of mine shared the Carole Cadwalladr TED talk “Facebook’s role in Brexit – and the threat to democracy” in which she explains how she led an Observer newspaper investigation into the role Facebook played in the Brexit and Trump elections. The talk is absolutely jaw-dropping, so if you haven’t seen it yet then watch it now, because I’m going to discuss it with spoilers.

To summarize: People with a lot of money paid Cambridge Analytica to use Facebook to spread carefully targeted misinformation (and outright lies, and hate speech) with the specific aim of influencing the result of the UK Brexit election as a testing ground for technology that they then deployed in the US election of Donald Trump. And so as Cadwalladr says:

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T4:地球温暖化3: 私達の生活の全ては地球温暖化を起こしている / Everything we do causes Global Warming!

動画原本 / Video Transcript:

前の動画で説明したとおり
As I explained in my last video

地球温暖化が進んでいる
global warming is continuing apace

気象の変化は既に起きている
and the climate is already changing

“T4:地球温暖化3: 私達の生活の全ては地球温暖化を起こしている / Everything we do causes Global Warming!” の続きを読む

T3:地球温暖化2:起こっているのは当たり前! / The earth’s history shows us that global warming is the logical result of burning carbon

今日風邪引いて声が枯れているけど
I’ve got a cold today so my voice is hoarse

収録頑張ろうね・・・
but I’m going to try to record anyway…

地球温暖化の原因について少し話させていただきます
I’m going to talk about what causes global warming

“T3:地球温暖化2:起こっているのは当たり前! / The earth’s history shows us that global warming is the logical result of burning carbon” の続きを読む

T2: 地球温暖化01:3つの数字 / Global Warming: 3 Numbers

Infographic

infographic

動画原本とリンク / Video Transcript with Links:

地球温暖化について話しないといけないですよ
We need to talk about global warming.

今日は大事な数字3つを紹介させていただきます
Today I’m going to introduce 3 important numbers.

+1ºCは現状です
+1ºC is the current situation.

“T2: 地球温暖化01:3つの数字 / Global Warming: 3 Numbers” の続きを読む