Monday, February 3, 2014

The Evil Social Media

The Evil Social Media

I never was one to watch any reality TV.  In fact, the only thing close to reality TV I watch is Ghosthunters on SyFy because I love watching the science evolve in that area of research and the personal experiences of strange phenomena the crew have during the show.  But that is not the evil this particular blog is all about.
This is about social media.  I get we are in the electronic age and this is now the current trend on how to communicate with our peers, family, friends, co-workers, even acquaintances.  But, I wonder how real it is.
  Do you feel your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Google Plus profiles are true representations of your personality?  What can you gain from them you can’t from other sites?  Do you get news feeds there any different?  How about sporting events? Weather?  Is it the games that are the enticement?  How about all the ads?

Now let’s ask the grittier questions.  What do you know about the personal lives of your “friends” on those social media accounts?  Is it positively uplifting? Is someone divorcing?  Someone having a hard day? What did they have to eat?  Where have they been?  Is there too much a person can know about another’s life without it being intrusive?

I’ll say.

I think Twitter is fairly safe.  On the profile page, you can have a short description – within the same range of characters as a regular post (140 characters).  And “characters” means spaces too.  Which means the amount of detail about yourself is limited.  You can put in your marital status and number of kids If you like, but what does that really tell about you?  Hopefully not too much.  I only have about half as many followers as I am following and keeping up with 774 followings isn’t a piece of cake.  I miss a bunch.  I do, however, enjoy Pinterest shares on Twitter feeds and occasionally sharing a recipe I’m trying.  I stay away from photo postings of personal stuff, but I do put my blog posts there.  Being an aspiring writer, I follow others in the same boat as myself as well as the accomplished writers and publishing companies.  I try to stay abreast of new developments in that area and to give my fellow writers support.  Overall, I rate it as a benign place to “socialize”.  Or maybe it’s my use of it that makes it so.

MySpace I have issues with figuring out how to setup my page and what to follow.  It’s changed so much since I first heard about it.  Even the original code I had in there for my page setup is all messed up.  Is it just me, or has it turned into a place for just music?  As a matter of fact, it’s been so long I’ve been on it, I don’t remember how to sign into it anymore.  So, moving on.

Google Plus….  Does anyone use it other than being forced to by Google on their androids?  I put people in my circles, but I don’t ever see anything from them.  I notice my phone has a tendency to back up my photos into it – which I appreciate, really I do.  If I decide to post them, I can; otherwise they remain hidden from everyone in my circle – which is like two.  Those poor two souls never get to see anything of my photos.  Oh well, such is life. 

Facebook, however, seems to be the place where you can go and completely intrude on another person’s life just by being a silent observer.  You can get a person’s email, phone number, marital status, number of kids, photos of their kids, photos of them (the bathroom selfies, OMG!), where they have been, where they are, what they have been eating (I’m staying clear of your house if you are having tacos again), as well as a regular accounting of their general well-being.  And, quite frankly, I was tired of the constant posts about Paul Walker, gun laws, the constant reminder that its flipping snowing like the devil outside (I can see that out my window, thank you), and Obamacare.  I will miss Candy Crush Saga the most, I think.  So long, Level 215.  It was nice seeing you, but since I deleted my Facebook account, my phone thinks it should steal the few lives I get every hour by randomly crashing because it can’t find the FB account any longer.    That’s just another level of stress I don’t need.  I also removed the stress of thinking someone can find photos of my children and use them for advertising or stalking my kids at school.  I realize now that Facebook had sucked me down a deep, dark hole of constantly needing others approval.  Now I don’t think about what other people are thinking about my profile and what I post.  The notifications have ended and so has that false sense of belonging whenever someone liked something I liked or posted.  That doesn’t define me.  I do.  Without that particular social site, I might even have energy and time to blog, write, read, and seek out only the important things on the Internet that truly inspire.  I can research new things to post blogs about.  I’ve already begun the process of planning it in my head.  And I’ll have the time and resources to do it without the mental distraction of who did what today on Facebook.  Facebook, you rank in the stank.

 I realize Twitter never pulled me into its web as Facebook did.  MySpace and Google Plus were bland and had a confusing structure, so they didn't take much time from my life.  And now I've removed Facebook from my life, it will move on (my life that is; although I can see Facebook will survive my absence, so will I survive its absence).  I can see myself becoming more productive in all things relative to my life already. 

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Diana Murdock said...

A bold step, Sista! Not many have the strength to unplug cold turkey. Bravo! I agree with what you say. It's a time drain to be sure and it can create a negative vortex for some. Hugs to you, C. Your growth as taken on a new meaning.