Ditching Social Media — Unplugging From the Algorithm

Colin Castle
6 min readNov 12, 2020

My name is Colin and it’s been over 2100 days since my last tweet, Facebook post, comment on a news story, or any social media posting and Goddammit, it feels good!

I’m an old millennial, well, aging millennial at thirty-one years of age. I remember when Facebook started and was still a networking tool for universities in the United States. I think the age to sign up was eighteen or maybe sixteen and I would’ve been fourteen or so at the time. So I created an email address, lied about my age to Mark Zuckerberg and joined Facebook. One of the requirements to join was you needed to be “vouched for” by another Facebook member already in a university network. I can’t exactly remember who or why they accepted me into the network, but whatever, it worked! It was a barebones operation then and mostly people sharing about classes and homework. For a period of time, as Facebook grew in popularity, it changed rapidly. New features were being added constantly and formats were forever updating. Sometimes it was exciting, other times it was frustrating. Right when you got used to a feature, it would change or disappear. Regardless of the nuisance of a company discovering itself, Facebook provided a way for my teenage self to reach out to the world through my dial up modem.

As an early user of Facebook during my formative years, I mostly used it as a way to express my teenage angst. How many posts did I make of lyrics from whatever melancholy emo music I was listening to at the time? I’m sure it numbers in the thousands! If you’re of the right age, you’ll remember MSN messenger services and the way to make a music note in your user name was (8). That carried over to a lot of statuses on my Facebook.

Shortly after Facebook came Twitter. I think I might have been sixteen when Twitter came out. At this point, I’m still using dial up and the website for twitter was pretty basic. When I joined, they gave you a number that told you where you were in order of joining. My number was somewhere in the low one million, like 1.3 million something. I wasn’t the very first to the party but I was OG for sure. I really didn’t engage with Twitter much in the early days. I mostly signed up to say I was a part of something new. What a snobby thing to do. At this point, I still didn’t have a cell phone so using Twitter was limited to the desktop and it was cumbersome to use.

The year 2007 brought about quite the changes. I had a car, I had some money saved…

Colin Castle

Husband. Proud Cat Dad. Jack of all Trades — Master of None. Musician. Contrarian.