Yeah yeah I’ll get to you in a minute, settle down. If you can’t find a seat you gotta sit on the floor alright? You, drinking the coke, don’t make me pull out the fucking flamethrower now.
Let’s talk about why I went away, and why I’m back, maybe.
In early 2018 I deleted my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles. In late 2018, I deleted this website. Later, I tried bringing Riderzone back to life under a different name, and killed it off again. Then I tried writing on Medium, and after a few months deleted that profile too.
While all this bloodshed was going on, I tried creating video content to upload to my Youtube profile, which is still alive, but I just couldn’t do it. I hate creating videos, every step is repulsive to me.
It’s like asking a lesbian to paint a scrotum, and enjoy the process.
I deleted my social media profiles for the following reasons:
1. They depressed and frustrated me
It’s up to you how you use your social media, some people are able to use it for good, I couldn’t.
I would get angry about the stupidity I saw, write articles making fun of that stupidity, and then get angrier when the mere act of me making fun of the stupidity didn’t make the stupidity go away. Most of the articles on this site are nothing more than me ranting off about something, and the frustration behind them isn’t imaginary.
It depressed me, still depresses me, that people are such absolute dickheads.
However, dickheads being popular on Instagram because they’ve got cat ears on their helmets is not a real problem. It was real for me I mean, but the world has far bigger issues right now. And that adds a different kind of irritation to the equation.
Watching yourself get riled up about a girl getting a few thousand likes on a photo of her tits on some bike, spending hours writing an article about it, and then hoping to make money off the process, is pathetic.
2. It wasn’t paying enough
If I could’ve made 30,000 bucks a month off tit shaming, I would’ve considered it time well spent. The destruction of my privacy, the random fingering of strangers, the abuse, I wouldn’t have particularly cared for any of it. But the best I ever came to was 10,000 a month, and that was just a fluke. Mostly it was less than half that.
The entire reason I was messing around on Facebook was because that got me plenty of traffic to this site. The traffic got me money. But if that money wasn’t enough, what use is the traffic, and Facebook?
3. Billionaires are dicks
Around this time when I was questioning the value of Facebook and Twitter in my life, the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke out, and Trump took control of Twitter.
I just couldn’t justify being a regular user of these sites anymore, given the incompetent and mildly evil way these companies handled the situations.
Imagine if you found out that every time you buy something from Amazon, the item is first sent to Jeff Bezos, who carefully unboxes it, shoves it down his crotch and keeps it there for an hour, before it’s shipped over to you.
Would you still buy from there, no matter what discounts are on offer?
4. Making money from advertising is weird
And then there’s Google. That’s where most of my income came from, advertising revenue. But it’s a rather creepy way to make money.
As you browse the internets, one way or another, Google knows. It knows what you like, dislike, your fetishes, and a bunch of other inclinations you didn’t realize you had. When I run Google ads on this site, the ads change themselves based on your interests, making it more likely that you’ll click on them.
When you do, Google pays me a tiny amount, after taking their own cut.
Imagine if I was your roommate, and knew what time you took a bath. Then Google approached me and asked to tell them the exact time, so they could look at you trimming your armpits, singing in the shower, or enjoying the random rubdown. Feels weird to give that info away, especially for the price.
Of course there were a number of nuances here that are hard to explain, little things that influence your thinking in subtle ways that add up slowly over time.
One of the more important facts is that my life isn’t that happy or glamorous as my Facebook profile made it look, and that really pissed me off. I like that you can be whatever you want online, that’s the entire reason I still exist on Whatsapp, to post idiotic and slightly disturbing messages to random groups. What I don’t like is the filtering that happens by default the moment you log onto social media. All your imperfections and problems vanish, and for some reason you’re always trying to sell this lie that everything is fucking awesome.
It’s not, but you can’t post that, because we don’t post that.
What’s the point of “connecting” with others if all you’re doing is deluding yourself and them into believing that everything is alright. I don’t like this unwritten rule that you must embellish, exaggerate the good parts of your life, and excise the bad ones.
And then there’s the whole privacy angle. It’s very hard to give a convincing argument why it’s a bad idea to let Zuckerberg know everything about you. They are giving something for free to you, so it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to tell them your date or birth and your interests.
If you don’t get this visceral feeling that something is wrong, then there’s no argument that’ll convince you that it is. Privacy is free, and priceless. I didn’t think it was worth sacrificing for me to be able to post Royal Enfield memes.
Also, I don’t like the fact that all these big tech companies are nothing more than middlemen between actual humans. They want to control every type of interaction between us, and then monetize what they find. They certainly have made things extremely convenient, but I use a 14 character password on this laptop, I don’t like trading control for convenience.
I’m also a lazy guy, and I’m always looking for easy ways to make decisions. The level of greed and incompetence I saw made it easy for me to pull the plug.
There were also other smaller reasons, like the cousin who was always paraoid about her photos being online, and influenced me to keep my face hidden away. Or that time when someone tried to reset my Facebook account password, and Facebook didn’t think it was important to give me any information about where that request was coming from.
In the end, I had enough reasons to nuke my digital existence, and I quite enjoyed the mushroom cloud.
Why the new article then?
For a very long time, I thought I could do anything, so I did. Whatever new thing came my way I gave it all I had. Photography, video editing, cyber security, I’ve spent so much time on things like these.
But at the sweet, sexual age of 31, I have realized that unfortunately, writing is the only thing I’m any fun at.
I understand writing, I actually read books for fun like a dork, and it’d be rather stupid to give up on this website just because I’m not intelligent enough to make some money out of the experience.
However, it’s been difficult to return Riderzone back to life. For a while, I’d hosted it on Google cloud, which was a huge no-no, so now the site lives on Digital Ocean, another American company unfortunately, but one that isn’t big enough at the moment to be too evil.
There’s no way I can go back to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, so there will be very little traffic to this site. But that’s OK, because I have removed all plugins that measure the number of views here. Can’t complain about the site not being popular if there’s no view counter.
Delusions can be fun right?
It’s quite possible that I’ll stop writing again, when a few months down the line I realize again that I’m getting nothing for my investment, but that’s alright too. I don’t know of any good way to raise money from you people. Patreon was as close as I got to good, but their monthly subscription thing is a bit too much, and there’s no other other way that I can live with.
Who knows, maybe I’ll create a Patreon page again if I have a seizure or something, but this is all just us randomly hotboxing.
It’s strange trying to figure out what you’re going to do, and why, again. I would like to write, but I’d also want it to be financially viable, but that’d force me to be active on social media, and do things I don’t want to do, like sponsored shit.
So the only thing to do right now is write maybe once a month, get a few thousand views, and be happy being an obscure website.
I think I’d like that, being an unknown. It’s easy to live with.