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

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:

“Facebook (and all social media) has to go…” の続きを読む

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

How to import tide info into Google Calendar

この投稿を日本語で読む

Surfers (and other sea-faring types): ever needed to make an appointment and wanted to check the tide times for that day before making a commitment? Looking at a tide chart every time is kind of a pain (and a bit embarrassing, depending on the situation…), luckily it’s very easy to import the tide data into Google Calendar (note that you can’t do this on a mobile, you’ll need to do it on a desktop): “How to import tide info into Google Calendar” の続きを読む

Do the Left need to listen to the Right?

Earlier this week Jonathon Pie shared this video, which I agree with, so I shared on Facebook:

It’s a bit of a rant, but I think he makes some very valid points, notwithstanding his style.

I do need to point out that when he says “if you feel my mansplaining is triggering you can fuck off” he is falling into the very trap – insulting people – that he urges the Left to avoid. I wonder if that is why some people are rejecting his message -this morning my Facebook feed told me that one of my friends had liked this post:

screenshot-from-2016-11-12-150239

I think this tweet/share is a mis-comprehension of what Pie is saying. He’s not saying respect other people’s opinions, he’s saying: respect their right to hold those opinions. Because at the moment those opinions, those voices, are being SILENCED: removed from the forum of public debate.  This is particularly true in the media: Pie is spot-on that the Left-leaning media has demonized the expression of Right-leaning sentiment, to the extent that people have stopped saying it…. but then vote the way they really feel. “Do the Left need to listen to the Right?” の続きを読む

Children’s independence

(この投稿を日本語で読む

Summerhill School is a democratically-run boarding school in England for children aged six to eighteen. Founded by A.S. Neill in 1921 it is sometimes called “the oldest children’s democracy in the world,” and when I visited for a week in 2005 I loved it – I said to my mother “That’s the first school I’ve visited that I actually like!” The kids had so much freedom – some of them went to lessons but many of them simply spent the day climbing trees and messing around on bicycles. I also got to witness the school meeting, which was wonderfully egalitarian, with teachers and students on a completely equal footing, able to speak their minds honestly and without “Children’s independence” の続きを読む