A reader wrote me the other day and asked if the pandemic had caused me to rethink my fairly hardline position on social media. This is a great question.
Social media isn’t inherently good or bad. As Cal Newport pointed out in Deep Work, it’s just a collection of tools that connect people to one another.
Social media does a whole bunch of other things, too—it eats our free time, divides us into tribes, and encourages us to compare ourselves to others. And while social media does connect us, the low-quality digital connection it offers is a poor substitute for rich, face-to-face interaction.
But you know what? Face-to-face interaction is hard to come by right now.
As with any tool, the question of whether to use social media is simply a question of whether its benefits outweigh its drawbacks. And right now, the answer might be “Yes!”
I haven’t resumed using social media, but I’ve thought about it. And if you’re feeling disconnected right now, social media might be a tool worth using.