I have a Facebook account and a Twitter account. I used to be on them all the time. I played games on them. They were pretty much a large part of my day. Of late though I have become very disillusioned with facebook and I only use Twitter on an ‘I’m bored’ basis.
This is largely about Facebook.
Firstly I realised that, with the games I played on Facebook, it was required to become friends with total strangers in order to progress. I also received endless games requests from people I actually was friends with. I didn’t even play most of the games I got requests for. That can be sorted out but you have to do it piecemeal. It would be better if you could block all games requests with a single option.
I also have many posts on my timeline which are designed to make me feel guilty about various issues (And to generate likes and Shares). I get fundamentalist Christians inviting me to say Amen to their wild theological ideas. I am told I am heartless if I don’t like a post about animal cruelty. I am invited to comment on heart warming stories about people I may never meet, and often wonder if they are made up. These are usually Shared by friends and the original posts are from people I would run a mile from in real life.
Then there are the bullying posts which are designed to elicit a response. The poster then sets out to ridicule your reply. An example of this is a Maths question which is set in such a way that there are several possible answers depending on the method used to solve them. When you fall into the trap you are told you are an idiot or worse. As far as I can see these are designed to assert the mental superiority of the original poster who is probably a teenager with issues. Again these are normally shared by genuine friends. I rarely bother with them now.
Sometimes even people I do know share way too much online. Every item of their lives are relentlessly recorded and often all they want is for everyone to sympathise with them or to confirm their status as a victim. I am a really sympathetic person and will respond to these until it becomes an everyday task. Recently I had to block one friend who posted that she was pissed off every day with no further explanation. On responding you would get a large post full of misery about how her life was crap. I really don’t go on these sites to be a counsellor. I also see endless pictures of Kids, not known to me, that have been shared by others because they are cute or Mummy and daddy want their little angel to be seen by the world and his wife. I had kids and was proud of them and I have grandchildren. I am also proud of them but I don’t expect everyone to ooooh and aaaah about them over Social media.
Lastly there is advertising.I know in this day and age every space on the internet has to pay it’s way but does every 20th item on FB have to be an advertisement, largely one I have no interest in?
The latest attention seeking device is a friend posting that they are cleaning their friend list and you have to post, share or like in order to confirm your friend status. Well sorry but life is too short to waste it ensuring your need for attention is satisfied. You’ll have to remove me.
In short, no matter how well I know my friends on FB, a lot of posts are of little or no interest. One of my friends shares 15 or 20 items a day all of which I receive notifications of. I have started ignoring them. Many posts are specific to the USA and they are of little interest. I do not buy over the internet unless I go on it specifically to do so hence adverts are of no interest. I would say that 90% of my timeline is either not applicable or damned annoying. Add to this that many annoying posts re-appear every two to three months and you can see why I can’t be bothered to sort the relevant from the rubbish.
Twitter is not as bad but still has advertisements and people who love doom and gloom. Like Facebook it is hard to pick out posts you are interested in among everything else.
One reason I started blogging was because I wanted to start weaning myself off Social Media. For the reasons I have mentioned it was a hard task finding posts I wanted to interact with and it took way too much of my time. Blogging is, at least, requiring of a degree of intelligence and you tend to think before you post. Social Media, on the other hand, encourages those who do not want to think too much and can get lots of attention for the least effort. There are some very intelligent people on Facebook and Twitter but they get buried in dross. This is an arrogant statement but I challenge you to look at your timeline and see just how many posts are relevant to you. Then look at your friends and see just how many you know and how many you have actually talked to.