This brings me to the most embarrassing reason I stayed on social media for so long: ego. I genuinely believed that my posts, tweets, likes, and retweets and the blue check mark on my account actually meant something, that all the followers I’d amassed proved that I was worthy and important. I also embraced the delusion that social media was vital to my personal and professional success as a writer and activist. Without it, I was sure I’d miss out on parties, protests, and publishing contracts. Yet an honest accounting forced me to admit that my ability to party, protest, and publish has been far more enfeebled than enabled by social media. In short, I haven’t built my career on posts, tweets, and feeds. I’ve built it on books, essays, and speeches. And I haven’t built my strongest communities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’ve built them on porches, around firepits, and under the stars.