Have taken a month off from Facebook, which, when I use it, wastes my time. I have this vain idea that a social platform will help me if I ever publish a book again. (Same with Twitter. What if I could get a lot of followers? I could rule the world a little bit, like other people do.) But the effort doesn’t pay off. So I’ve stopped. Worked with Facebook but I’ve cheated and gone back to tweet a couple of times, mostly late at night when I can’t sleep. Big mistake. Twitter never improved anybody’s insomnia. Sense of doom, sense of how stupid people are. When I am in a thinking phase about a piece of writing and I kill time on social media I find myself overtaken by anxiety and then nausea. Not just the poisonous strangers. People I know typing terrible things about people they don’t know but read about on social media. It’s a culture of vilification in an echo chamber where you can choose voices who will reinforce your thought. In between writing about their last art project, in the case of my friends. Some of it is useful, though, isn’t it? Not if it lures you in for the nastiness or the misinformation or the outright lies, and it always does that. Do I blame both sides, left and right? Well, first let’s allow that it’s a matter of left and right; I’m skeptical but okay, for the sake of saying something, yes, that’s it. Yes, I blame both sides; the utter stupidity of both sides is full-on in evidence. No, I don’t blame both sides equally. Sometimes I enjoy the reading of such well-aimed venom at politicians I hate, for instance, or celebrities whom I find vapid. To name only two. This is where the power of social platforms emerges, after all; one wastes time on them because they feed something, like a drug does, almost exactly like that. In my case they feed my need for Xanax. My thinking spins round as I read and I reach for a pill. One drug to counteract another. For years I’ve said I stay on Facebook because of my family and friends but what’s the good of that if what I find out is my friends are as prone to bullying language as anyone else, and when I see my family spreading rumors and worse. It’s about emotion for us all, what we feel ought to be true. Echo chamber is only a slice of it. Will see how long I can maintain my silence. It’s the politics that kills it. Everybody performing their certainty all the day long. For reassurance. For the maintenance of a well-defended self.