Why I left Twitter and Facebook, and you might want to consider doing the same
by Massimo Pigliucci
Until recently, I was very active on Twitter and Facebook, sporting a somewhat enviable (my publicists tell me) following of about 50 thousand on Twitter and regularly participating to a popular forum on Stoicism, with 100 thousand members, on Facebook. Then I suddenly quit both. Or so it seemed from the outside.
In reality my decision to leave those virtual spaces had been a long way in coming, and had matured as part of my philosophy of life practice, which these days I think of as a type of skeptically grounded Stoicism. Stoicism teaches that the chief good in life is one’s integrity of character or, in an alternative formulation largely due to Epictetus, one’s sound judgment (“prohairesis”). Everything else, certainly including one’s number of followers or “friends” on social media, is at best a preferred “indifferent,” meaning that it may have value, but it doesn’t affect our character or judgment.
Or so I thought. You see, I always considered (most of) technology to be morally neutral. Sure, atomic bombs are very bad and vaccines are very good, other things being equal. But the good or bad that derives from much technology lies in how we use it, not in the tech itself. … (continue on Medium)