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T·B·P. HOT TAKE - FOUR YEARS W/O INSTAGRAM
A guest post by Andrew Fisher
WELCOME TO THE·BY·PRODUCT. A WEEKLY RECAP OF WHAT IS GOING DOWN & WHAT IS COMING UP ON THE INTERNET. THIS WEEK THE NEWSLETTER HAS A GUEST WRITER. TYPICALLY I WOULD LINK THEIR INSTAGRAM HERE BUT THAT WOULD KIND OF BE IMPOSSIBLE IN THIS CASE. ANDREW FISHER IS NOT ON INSTAGRAM, AND THAT IS KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS ISSUE.
ANDREW IS A LONG TIME HOMIE AND WE MET IN LOS ANGELES WHEN WE WERE BOTH WORKING FOR HUGE. I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND HIM TO NOT ONLY BE A VERY STYLISH CAT, BUT ALSO SUPER SMART. ALSO, I KINDA LOW-KEY DIG HIS HEAVY APPLICATION OF ITALICS! KICK BACK AND GIVE HIS WORDS A READ.
THIS WEEK’S HOT TAKE
THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IS OVER.
Ok…I know…this has all the makings to be annoying af. This dude who’s a strategist at Wieden + Kennedy is gonna talk all esoterically about how he got off social media and was able to live a life with less distraction and is more present…that’s not my intention. I’m not trying to convince anyone to do this. I’m just trying to tell y’all a few things I’ve noticed in my time without the Instagram.
It is very much an addiction
Ok..so my story of getting off of Instagram isn’t some revolutionary moment. I was sitting on the toilet at home after a night out, a little tipsy, probably not even using the bathroom–I think that’s just where I feel most comfortable (and where I did the majority of my scrolling). And I did exactly that. Open up Instagram, scroll mindlessly. Close it. Open texts. Open Instagram. Scroll mindlessly. Close it. Open it again. I must’ve scrolled past the same posts 3 or 4 times before I realized that I had no recollection of what I had seen. And then I just deleted it. It wasn’t serving me. I wasn’t even paying attention…..and then the most fucked up part…I opened the calculator app that was in its place 50 times over the next couple days. Out of pure habit. Out of addiction. As if a phantom hand was controlling my phone without my mind operating it, knowing that’s where IG was supposed to be.
Try it out, I bet you’ll realize the same.
People are weird about me not being on social media
This is the first thing I noticed when I chose to live my life under a rock – and probably the weirdest repercussion. First, I’m living life in incognito mode and I think that weirds some people out. Nobody knows I went out of town. Nobody has seen my travel pics. Some people don’t even know I live in NY. Then you have your friends who wish they could get off the app but haven’t brought themselves to actually do it, telling you how little they use it, in order to potentially rationalize their own reluctance to take the plunge. Then you have the people who are mad at you for opting out of something that they use to keep others so informed of their lives. I get it….I’ve made a selfish decision…now it’s on me to make sure I keep up.
Keeping up on people’s lives is an active process
You don’t really realize it when you’re a voyeur into everyone you know’s lives, but since IG lets you keep tabs on everyone, you don’t really need to ask questions about what they’ve been up to. You don’t need to ask how their vacation was…you saw it. You don’t need to ask if they’re engaged yet….you saw it. You don’t need to ask what they dressed up as for Halloween….you saw it. But now, I don’t know how your honeymoon went. I didn’t even know you went somewhere. I’ve learned that staying informed on people’s lives takes active questions. It takes actually caring. And it creates more room for discovery. I had no idea you were just in Peru – show me the highlights!
FOMO doesn’t exist if you never know what people are doing
I miss a ton of shit….and I love it. I used to sit at home on nights when I didn’t feel like going out and see everyone having fun at a bar together and feel bad about myself. Now? Now I have no idea all my friends went out without me and I wasn’t invited…and I don’t feel bad about it one bit. It’s freeing.
Fewer inputs make the ones that you do have more impactful
So, part of my job is definitely to stay up on what’s happening in the world and in culture. And you’d be right that a lot of that is found on social media. But one thing I’ve realized is that rather than scrolling through thousands of posts a day, the posts/articles that I end up getting sent have a bigger impact on my view, because they’re one of a few, not one of many. And now when I’m writing a strategy or just in conversation, my brain isn’t sorting through 1000 different inputs to pull from for reference, but just one that I read/watched/listened to with intention.
NO, YOU DON’T NEED IT FOR YOUR JOB
Stop lying to yourself. If you actually wanted to delete it, you would. I haven’t regretted it a day since I have.