Says Bleacher Report:
This summer, JJ Redick wanted a reset.
He had been telling himself that he would do it for several years but couldn’t bring himself to follow through at first. Social media was his way of staying current with the news and keeping up with the reactions and the reactions to the reactions. He chased that dopamine hit of being in-the-know. And, for a while, it made him feel good to scratch that itch.
In August, the Sixers sharpshooter finally pulled the plug. He erased his once-beloved social media apps—Twitter and Instagram. He deleted all of his accounts—including his private Instagram account that only his close family and friends knew about.
All of it, gone.
Why would an NBA player in 2018 do such a thing?
“It’s a dark place,” he says of social media. “It’s not a healthy place. It’s not real. It’s not a healthy place for ego”—he pauses slightly—”if we’re talking about some Freudian shit. It’s just this cycle of anger and validation and tribalism. It’s scary, man.”
Not long ago, Redick says, he reflexively pulled up social media without thinking about it or even realizing it. Too often he caught himself staring into his phone around his wife and two young sons, constantly refreshing Business Insider, HoopsHype and Twitter to satiate what he calls “Information FOMO.” (Redick also pays a monthly subscription to Basketball Reference to get an ad-free NBA numbers fix.)
“It’s not even conscious,” Redick says. “I hate to admit it, but anytime you’re at a stoplight and your phone is within reach? You pick it up. It’s become instinctual. Even if you put the phone down and walk out of the room, you’re always aware of where it is. It’s become an extension of you. That’s fucking scary.”
At 34, Redick is the elder statesmen in a youthful, social-media frenzied locker room that includes Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, two of the savviest athlete-users on the planet. Simmons and Embiid are Instagram magnets with about 3 million followers each, regularly making headlines and posting jabs at teammates in the comments. “I’m taking the credit: I have the best social media by far,” Embiid told The Crossover. “I just do what I have to do and then I’m out.”