I’m not on social media. Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I have a private Instagram account that I post a picture to about twice a year so friends and family I don’t see often know I’m not dead. Seriously. When you're not on social media or you don’t post, every few months you will get a random message that simply says: “Are you okay???” For the record, everyone, I’m doing great.

I wasn’t always an anti-social media misfit, I did experiment with Facebook years ago for about nine months and then Twitter recently for about a year. They were interesting places to visit but I didn’t feel like moving in permanently. The sheer volume of dissatisfaction voiced by my friends who were suddenly toeing depression due to the comparisons brought on by the ‘social networks’ was enough to make me skeptical as to the advantages. And I, as much as I love deconstructing the inner workings of our humanity through obsessive people watching, found that I was being fed the pretend versions of lives lived and, for me, there is no greater turn off than pretense.

Twitter I liked for a minute and I admit I miss it occasionally. People told jokes and sometimes I learned things. Then the American election happened and everyone got mean. And I get it. But I don’t think quips make change. Deep, lasting change is achieved through emotion that moves through hearts that are open. Quips, unless they cause deep shame which can, in some cases, catalyze growth, but are more likely to reinforce defences so… it’s just not for me – though I have major respect for my pals who ride those networks hard. It’s a job. And it’s admirable when done well.

That being said, feel free to follow me on Instagram. I’ll follow you back. And you can enjoy my one or two offerings a year. Here are some articles about social media that I like:

Zadie Smith says using social media would threaten her writing

Will social media kill the novel? Andrew O'Hagan on the end of private life

I’ve left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators