I've been giving a lot of thought lately to abandoning social media.
It started when I deleted my Facebook profile in 2020. It felt like every time I opened the app, it left me feeling angry. I was no longer using it to keep in touch with friends & family, or following new artists. I wasn't even getting any meaningful news from Facebook anymore.
It seemed to draw out a lot of anger from everyone. I always tried to avoid blocking or muting 'friends' that I philosophically disagreed with, figuring that was the best way to find common ground and grow-- but what usually transpired was arguments and name calling. Not very effective.
Honestly, I've felt great since bailing out. I miss some connections that were made possible by and only sustainable through Facebook, but not as much as I love not being bombarded with rage non-stop.
I consciously decided to keep Twitter because, well, I liked it.
It felt like I could tap in to the communities that interest me and stay informed and engaged in real time. Heck, it even felt like industry professionals and celebrities were within arm's reach. Having (brief) conversations with sportswriters I admire like Danny O'Neil or being retweeted by your comedy heroes like Neal Brennan feels really cool.
I could give a shit about Elon Musk buying Twitter, except to say that he's a turd. He hasn't even officially purchased it yet, but I've been turned off the bird app for months now. Maybe something systematically changed or maybe I just feel differently, but it feels just as gross to me as Facebook did in the waning moments before I split.
Maybe I'm just an idiot. But it does feel like the shit that makes me angry is getting pushed in my face more. I'm not seeing as many new people and I'm seeing more content I would never voluntarily seek out. Who cares, I'm over it.
Here's my conundrum: but what about the podcast?
We've got multiple podcasts gestating in the labs of our Discord server, and, sure... nothing of substance has yet to be produced... but someday it will, right?!
Of course that's the plan. But even without a timeline or any other discernable details, it goes without saying that you need social media to reach and sustain an audience.
Or do we? Maybe we don't? Maybe no one gives a shit?
Just like when I made my decisions to delete my various social media accounts, I had to go back to the foundational question: why am I doing this?
I believe I already answered the question of 'who am I doing this for?' even if only internally, but the answer unequivocally is for myself. It will be nice to have an archive of material that is around after I'm gone. I mean, at least that's what I'd imagine. Maybe my kid or survivors won't give a shit, and that's fine. Personally, if I had a record of some project or endeavor that one of my ancestors took on, that'd be fun.
But ultimately WHY am I doing it? If not all humankind, I definitely have some inherent desire to create. Its a feeling that has ebbed and flowed in it's intensity over my lifetime, but it's always been with me. This website in conjunction with a podcast or podcasts would be a tremendous vessel with which to create. It certainly feels like it could be less pressure than creating music can be.
I also feel like I am at my core an entertainer. Whether it was putting on plays for friends and family as a kid to putting on shows with my band through my 20s-- I like creating a fun atmosphere and serving entertainment to people.
Long before the advent of podcasts, I fell in love with talk radio. In the late 90s/early 2000s we had an exclusively all-talk format radio station in Seattle called The Buzz. I was enamored by Phil Hendrie and the way he could create an entire show in my dumb little head. Seattle later got Howard Stern briefly before he left terrestrial radio behind, and I shortly followed.
Then came podcasts. Now, everyone could have their own talk radio show-- and no topic is too niche!
I've dabbled only slightly in the world of podcasting. My friend Michael Vander Kley, who shares my affinity for Stern and theater of the mind, in an exhibition of discipline and willpower I have as yet been able to personally demonstrate, created his own podcast. I was graciously invited to join the cast and contributed to 4 or 5 episodes before I could no longer commit. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.
I also did a single episode of a podcast version of my football blog, SeahawksFTW. It was such a huge undertaking for one person, but I wrote all the music, created segments with bumpers and tags, had a guest on from a 49ers fan blog (who's Canadian phone number ended up costing me a considerable fee) and brought in friends for roundtable discussion. When all was said and done I said to myself "This is not worth the effort when no one is even listening."
So, I'm going to go forward with this. I'm going to build a workshop/studio in my backyard this summer and I'm going to put a podcast(s) together. I'm going to try to make a good show and keep working to get better at it. Even if no one is listening.