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Breaking up with social media

IdaClaire
5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

Instagram, to be specific. After coming to terms with the addictive nature of the site and realizing just how much time I wasted scrolling and refreshing, I permanently deleted my account a couple of days ago, and now my only online "social" activity takes place here and occasionally on a travel forum. I killed my Facebook account a few years ago and don't miss it a bit. Pretty sure I'll feel the same about Instagram, but the breakup is still fresh and I feel a tiny bit untethered. I thought it was quite telling, though, that out of 430 followers, I came away with emails of 3 people. Two of them live overseas and realistically we probably won't stay in touch. The third lives in a neighboring city and we plan to meet for lunch next week. As my DH put it, out of all those people, at least I came away with ONE new friend!
When you're no longer part of the action, you simply cease to exist in the social media whirl. Honestly, I'm glad I did it though. I've already accomplished some things in my spare time that I had put off in favor of sitting and scrolling. I found I lost track of time mindlessly taking in snippets from the lives of others. In a sense, I feel like I've reclaimed part of my own life and I intend to make better use of it!If you're still active on sites like IG or FB, this isn't really pertinent to you, but I'd love to hear from others who had a habit and kicked it. Do you ever miss those sites? Do you or did you suffer from FOMO? Did you start to view those sites as silly and indulgent? I'm definitely formulating some new opinions of my own.

Comments (60)

  • DLM2000-GW
    5 years ago

    Instagram is like thumbing through catalogs for me, nothing more. I look at pretty pictures of homes and gardens, dream a bit and go about my life. I have no interaction there at all. FB is different but I toy with the idea of walking away from it periodically. Both of my sons deleted their accounts long ago, we do 1/1 or group texts, actual phone calls and skype instead. I read local news, town events, library notices and belong to 2 decorating and 2 political groups on FB. Plus I keep up with friends where we used to live. The closest friends I talk to regularly and we're visit back and forth but I have a lifetime of people who were part of my community and it's fun to see their kids and grandkids kids, vacations etc. I have the beginnings of a community here but it will take a long time (if ever) to have the same degree of tribe so FB helps bridge that.

  • Sherry
    5 years ago

    Facebook only started in 2004. Iphones started in 2007. Instagram and Pinterest were 2010. None of this has been around very long and it will pass or morph into something else.

    Remember, the telegraph was a fantastic new invention. And when A. G. Bell invented the phone,,,,,,,,,,,,

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  • llitm
    5 years ago

    I've tried I/G and simply don't "get" it.


    I joined FB kicking and screaming, lol (was convinced by DIL, DD and a good friend). I enjoy it and am able to scroll through quickly. I've also unfollowed those who post political rants or mindless shares on a regular basis. I've thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with friends and acquaintances I'd lost touch with and, as a result of reconnecting on FB, have gotten together with again irl. It's been great!

  • maire_cate
    5 years ago

    I joined Instagram last year. I enjoy it and look at it once a day usually in the evening while watching the news. I probably spend 10 to 15 minutes a day looking at the photos of the 6 people I follow - my DD, my niece and my best friend of 30 plus years who moved to Florida last year and her adult children who live in beautiful places (USVI, Hawaii). I love viewing the photos of her kids and grandchildren especially since I'll probably never get to see them in person.

    It's an opportunity to see what they're doing without the obligation to respond to an email or text. I probably post 4 or 5 photos a week and I think I have 3 followers.

    I'm not on FB but I have thought about joining just for genealogy research. But every time I think about it I decide I just don't want the hassle of dealing with the privacy issues.

  • eld6161
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I agree with keeping social media manageable. I have only a small number of contacts on FB and Instagram.

    Honestly, I probably wouldn't be on either if not for my DD's.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Instagram is owned by Facebook and many use it similarly. Lots of political stuff (and trolling), but of course you can control who you follow and what you see. My feed was filled with inoffensive images of things and places that interest me, but even so it had become too much for me. There are countless staged photos being shared, and that's one thing that started to annoy me. A sweet young woman I followed recently posted a pic of herself chopping vegetables, perfect hair and makeup, everything arranged just so, and I thought - nope, I can't keep buying what many are trying to sell here.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    I also found myself looking for photo ops when we travel (or often just in my daily routine) specifically for the purpose of sharing my images on Instagram. I think my next vacation will have a different vibe, since the photos I take will be without that underlying motive. (Well, I might be trying for another art show win, but that's not quite the same.) :-)


    I feel a little untethered, but I feel a little bit liberated too. It's interesting how we have such varied takes on social media. I guess there are all levels of usage and comfort with the different content we see.


  • Funkyart
    5 years ago

    I also see value in limiting the use of social media-- for me, it's not just time management, it's mental health management as well. I don't mean avoiding the things that make me crazy-- though I suppose that is a consideration also-- I mean the health value of disconnecting sometimes. The value of not always being "on" and reachable. The value of sufficient sleep and relaxation time.


    I didn't go to the extreme of removing my accounts-- because I do get value in each of my accounts (FB, Pinterest, Twitter and IG). I do limit time with them. I've mentioned this here before but I have a fuzzy deadline to disconnect from all devices by 9:30 pm. Deadlines sometimes push that limit-- but for the most part, I am in my bedroom by 9pm. In my bedroom I can read on the ipad or talk on the phone-- but I am not reading email, no laptop, no surfing, no tv, no work. My ipad is setup for pleasure only and I don't keep my phone in the bedroom. Ever. It charges in the kitchen.


    I first started this not because I wanted to limit the social media and internet rabbit holes-- but more because of work and some issues with insomnia. However, a by product of that change was MUCH less social media time. When I had to prioritize my available online time, social media didn't hit high enough on the list to be a major time suck. Many week days, I have 2 hr of time between getting home from work and heading to the bedroom "relaxation zone". I have a lot to pack into that time and getting into a disagreement on FB or looking at photos of dream kitchens just don't fit most days. Some days they do... but then it is a choice not a compulsion.


    I say, do whatever works for you-- we all have things that suck our time. Awareness is key to making sure you are spending your time where you most value it.

  • Bunny
    5 years ago

    I have an Instagram account, but I'm not active. I do follow my daughter, her dog (he's got quite a face), and some family members because it's where they post. It doesn't feel like a compulsion or time-waster to me. I check it a couple of times a day and spend maybe two minutes total.

  • aok27502
    5 years ago

    I've never had an account on any social media (unless you count GW from about 15 years ago!). I feel much like olychick and lukkiirish. Sometimes I feel left out, but I just feel that the FB organization is too creepy. Too much tracking and influencing going on. And I don't need another excuse to spend time with my laptop.

    I follow several forums, but I have noticed that when I've been away for a few days, I don't miss them. When I am back online, I eventually get back in the flow, but I usually don't feel compelled to see what I've missed.

    I do get annoyed with groceries and other stores who will give a discount if you like them on FB. Why should I have to do that, just to get your better pricing? (I know the answer, but still...)

  • l pinkmountain
    5 years ago

    I've managed to get my FB posts mostly under control, by being very selective of my friends. I even had to unfriend my DH to keep the peace at home. But I was amazed at how useless I found Linkedin, although I didn't pay for the professional version where you can look for jobs and I know some folks use it for that. I could never get into Twitter, it seemed too complicated for me and no one I know is really into it, so that I can safely live without. Same with Instagram, I can't be bothered to take photos all the time and I can peruse Pinterest all day if I let myself, so probably best not to get started.

  • gsciencechick
    5 years ago

    I have never had Facebook--DH never either, and my family and friends have given me a little bit of crap about it over the years. "Now if you were on Facebook, you would know . . . "

    I've used Twitter for about 5 years. I use it to network with professionals in my field, and we use it in classes to teach students about responsible use of social media. So, it is a work-related account, and I get a LOT out of it. I've found out about new research, grants, conferences, etc. I even was able to publish an article that finally came out today based on a Twitter connection who advertised this special issue of a journal. I also use LinkedIn for networking, but honestly I like Twitter better because it gives me more of what I want.

    I joined Instagram last spring, primarily because most of the rock bands/musicians have IG to show tour photos, etc. They are most active on there vs. FB or Twitter. It is not connected to my Twitter account which has my real name, so I've got to keep my identity separate. I concert photos on IG, too, and follow others who do. So, yeah, it's a little bit of fun. I have a whopping 53 followers, and I've made 51 posts. I have a couple family and friends who follow.

    DH and I do not follow each other on social media. He only uses Twitter and he has an IG account to follow rock bands, too. I honestly don't know if he posts anything there.

    But I realize a lot of it is fake/staged, whatever you want to call it. And people fawn all over each other and it's so stupid. I had followed that woman who does over 50 style, and I made a comment on one of her outfits she apparently didn't like, and she blocked me, LOL. Freaking hilarious.

  • arkansas girl
    5 years ago

    I have no desire to use Instagram or any other social media beyond just facebook and a few discussion forums. I have never even looked into them. I only have a very few "friends" on facebook, they consist of family, one very old friend from school, and a few people in dog rescue and that's it...I think it's less than 30 people. I have turned off some of their newsfeed too as I got tired of their political posts and some very dumb immature posts.

  • OutsidePlaying
    5 years ago

    I don’t use Instagram or Twitter. I do use FB occasionally, but almost have to because a couple of organizations I belong to post information for members on closed group pages there. Thankfully some info comes via email, but for some reason social media seems to be the preferred method.

    I also joined the discussion group that spun off from here but am not that active there. I enjoy seeing the posts though, especially from a couple of people.

  • always1stepbehind
    5 years ago

    I joined FB when one of my class reunions were rounding up people through Facebook to get word out and have been there ever since. I joined IG for a short time, went off for quite a while...actually just started again with IG a couple weeks ago but have only been on maybe twice. I do go on FB daily...jump on and off through out the day sort of like I do here on these boards.

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    I use FB mainly for groups, especially our closed/private/secret uber-local town groups to share information on area road conditions, news and issues, opportunities to serve, etc., but also a couple of special-interest groups (I have learned that I have to pay attention to the groups' privacy settings when I post or reply, as some posts will show up on my friend's feeds!) Also for far-flung family connections.

    My phone does not have the FB or Messenger apps, I access their mobile sites. I get no FB notification alerts, and only a "ping" for the rare Messenger message. My iPad doesn't have the apps, either; but since I last updated the tablet FB wants to take me to the mobile site, not the full website. Hmm, not sure how I like that.

  • tinam61
    5 years ago

    I like Instagram and I also use facebook. Just not all the time. I have alot of past students that I have worked with that I like to keep up with. Also a community page on FB and even my church has a FB page for announcements, info, etc. I have all the notifications, etc. turned off - I cannot stand that. Instagram, as someone else mentioned, is kind of like decor magazines for me. I follow alot of bloggers and love seeing the pics, getting decorating ideas, etc. I also follow many friends and again, the former students. The trick for me is not letting it manage you. You can lose your life to social media. I don't like having it on my phone; I prefer to log in on my laptop occasionally. That way I don't find myself eating up chunks of time.

  • Springroz
    5 years ago

    I was on FB for one year. I absolutely hated it, as I always felt like it was the devil incarnate. It was strictly designed to track, mine data, and sell info and products. It nearly drove me crazy being on it. There are just SO many posts that are passive aggressive, or two-faced, or fishing.....not to mention political and just plain stupid! And prayer requests....for people who are friends thrice removed? I just don’t have enough brain cells left to have some sucked out by FB every day.


    There are a few sites from which I would save reading material, and I miss keeping up with a few people, but I feel that I added 3 hours to every day.

  • dedtired
    5 years ago

    I have an IG account under a fake name but rarely check it. I only follow some local interior decorators to see which one I like.

    I use FB a lot, in fact too much. I have seriously thought of leaving but there are some aspects of it that I like.

    My older son shares things about his life that I'd probably never see otherwise.

    There is a local community page that has been tremendously helpful in finding excellent contractors and getting advice. I mostly read it and rarely post. There are also local yard sale groups that are fun.

    I have a few friends who use FB Messenger to stay in touch. However, my regular newsfeed gets to be a pain. I think I have seen that video of the amazing gymnast ten times lately. I follow a number of news sites and when something happens I get the same story over and over. And the current rage is to post your first FB picture and your last. I really don't care.

    I think the day will come that we all move on from FB. I hope Gardenweb lasts!

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hmmm, I am more active on Facebook than Instagram, and am aware that they are now both part of the same company. I haven't shared any pix on Instagram in years now, but I do follow my sisters and a few other famous folks like Pete DeSouza and the Obamas, and some humorous feeds, but I rarely check in, maybe once a month, and only from my desktop - no apps on my phone for either.

    I do not seem to have any issues controlling my time on those sites. The one social media site that I feel I might have a problem with is this one = J

  • Bunny
    5 years ago

    carolb, I know I waste infinitely more time on Houzz than all other social media sites combined.

    And FB isn't keeping me from phone or in-person visits with the friends with whom I'd use those methods. It's enabling me to stay in touch with folks I wouldn't be calling or running into anyway. It doesn't replace normal interaction for me.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Well, as stated in my OP, if you're on social media and not finding it problematic, this isn't really pertinent. I was hoping to hear more from those who have been on social media but kicked a habit. Seems like some have experienced a bit of that, but overall usage is so varied that it's not entirely possible to get a feel for those whose experience mirrors my own. And that's ok. Just wanted to put it out there.

  • Feathers11
    5 years ago

    IdaClaire, I use social media partly for work and also for personal reasons. But I will say that with IG, specifically, I "clean house" about every 6 months. I last did so during the holiday season when many of the decorators, artistis and "lifestyle" accounts I followed started with their staged holiday decorations. Like what you described above, it all just seemed so fake and contrived to me. I ended up unfollowing several of them. Not to get too psychological here, but for me, there's a fine line between feeling inspired by a post and feeling envy. And if I feel envy it usually further manifests in feelings of inadequacy on my part. When I looked at accounts and their feeds, I just asked myself a very simple question: does it make me feel inspired or jealous? If the latter, I unfollowed. Seems simple and I'm sure there's a much better explanation for how we react to images (part of it, too, were the post descriptions). Maybe after a break, you'll come back to it if you miss the inspiration, or maybe you won't miss it at all.

  • PRO
    Lars/J. Robert Scott
    5 years ago

    I was on MySpace when it first started, and I liked it better than FB, but unfortunately, FB became dominant. I followed some rock groups on MySpace, and it was good for music. I wrote to one of the members of Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft on MySpace, and he wrote back, which I thought was nice. I wrote to him in German and he answered in German.

    I do not like instant messaging, although I hate texting even more. Most of my friends also hate texting and tell me to call them instead, but the younger friends get offended if someone calls instead of texts, and I don't get it. I used to spend a lot of time talking on the phone to friends decades ago - now not so much.

    I limit my time on FB to just a few minutes at a time and often go for days without checking in. I have an Instagram account because there were certain interests I had there, but I check in about once a month. I only have about 36 FB friends, and I have tried to reconnect with a few other people from my distant past, but they have not accepted me - perhaps because they are not really active on FB - at least it appears that they are not.

    I do not in any way feel addicted to FB and would not care if it went away, but it is the only way I do connect with a select few of my friends. I very seldom start posts on FB but occasionally will share photos of flowers.

  • teeda
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    IdaClaire, I can totally relate to your decision to disconnect from social media. I made the same decision, for almost all of the reasons you stated. I've only ever had a Facebook account, and slowly accumulated about 65-70 friends. I started a Facebook account to stay in touch with my young adult children and eventually added some old work friends, some friends from childhood and towards the end a few current co-workers. I too found myself compelled to check in every day, and sometimes several times a day. I enjoyed it at first but found myself learning things about people that I did not want to know. In the real world I never would have seen sides of some of these people had I not been on Facebook. Yet I still cared about them and would find myself struggling to balance this with the growing loss of respect I was feeling. Sometimes it was about politics, but at other times it was the hypocrisy I would witness between the persona some people presented on Facebook vs. what I knew they were like in real life. Example: my 80-something year old mother was going through surgery/chemotherapy for breast cancer and a sister-in-law who never once called to say hello or offer help was promoting her yoga business on Facebook and constantly sharing earthy-crunchy posts about the true meaning and purpose of life (giving to others). She also advertised a yoga workshop for the caregivers of people with cancer (for a charge of course)! So I began blocking several friends posts from my feed, but began to wonder why I would even put myself in such a crazy arena in the first place. So I stopped. I didn't delete my account, I just never went on the site. It was hard at first, because I felt I was letting some people down by not acknowledging their triumphs or supporting their tribulations. As you said, only a couple people reached out to me to say they missed me. I explained I was taking a break, which they accepted, but when I suggested we get together in person for lunch or something there was no further response.

    But here's what I miss about Facebook: I'm a photography hobbyist and loved sharing some of my photos. Like you, though, I found that I spent too much time while on vacation or outings getting photos to share on Facebook rather than just being in the moment! I do however, have a great photo album of my travels on Facebook--I found I never got around to organizing them otherwise!



  • Bunny
    5 years ago

    I do enjoy posting a good photo on FB, but it just happens organically, not because I looked for the perfect shot with FB in mind. Take photos, lots of photos. Take them for the sheer enjoyment of experience. Something will emerge that will be fun to post.

  • Sherry
    5 years ago

    I have decided to take a two week break from FB. If I don't miss it, and I don't think I will, I am going to delete my account. If no one wants to call and really talk, well okay.

  • DLM2000-GW
    5 years ago

    Feathers11 you really nailed it with the inspiration vs envy - I feel the same way. Which is why I use Insta the way I do - I never read descriptions or comments unless I'm looking for a source on a particular item. I follow designers, a few artists but don't do anything 'social' there at all. And I take a break from 95% of social media and forums from Thanksgiving till after the new year - have been doing it that way for more than a few years now. I don't need or want the crazy in my life any more.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Stare Into The Light My Pretties is an excellent full length documentary on how our screen interaction is carefully orchestrated by corporate interests. Most of us are aware of this to some extent. Some of it sounds a bit farfetched on the surface, but I think it largely rings true. I share the link for anyone interested.

    https://youtu.be/Q5qJjNM2Kx0

  • Lars
    5 years ago

    I just checked and found out that I have 76 FB friends instead of 36. I do belong to a lot of groups, however, many of which are not all that active.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    By the way, I'm purposely not hitting the "like" button in this thread as I usually do, but I greatly appreciate every single thought shared here.


  • pennydesign
    5 years ago

    Ida it's my belief that we are in a time where our brains are unclear about what is reality and what isn't. I don't mean in the obvious way, at all. But we're being conditioned. The urge to answer or to check or to post....it's an addiction. But why? It's not a real thing..screens and words and "likes" and "thumbs up" and "followers". From nobody we really know.


    If we cease to know, or care, whether the thing we're addicted to is real or not, then what does that make us?


    My thinking is a bit scrambled because I'm not well, so I hope that some of this makes sense. I may read this again and wonder wth it means, but if I can get the thought out better, later, I'll fix it. Sorry.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    No, I completely get it, Penny. Then again, I've been sick for 4 days so maybe sick minds think alike. What you've said was strongly conveyed in the documentary I linked above. It's sobering stuff.

  • misforminkGW
    5 years ago

    That was a good link Ida. Thanks for posting it.

  • pennydesign
    5 years ago

    Just wondering how it's going, Ida? Any withdrawal symptoms? Or did you fall off the wagon?

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Hey, Penny - it's going well. I don't really miss it; have had perhaps just a couple of moments where I wondered what "old so-and-so" has been up to, but didn't care enough to do more than briefly wonder. I'm managing my time better -- reading more, which is definitely a good thing. I've also been busier than usual these past few days, and it's been nice not to feel compelled to "check in" on Instagram in the midst of everything else I've had going on.

  • 3katz4me
    5 years ago

    I started watching the linked video - very good - I will watch the whole thing as soon as I have more time. Though I have to say it was making me a bit uncomfortable looking at my screen.....

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    3katz, I know what you mean. I actually watched the documentary twice, and recently watched an episode of Headliners on MSNBC detailing the rise of Facebook and all of its subsequent woes. What a mess, yet most people still view it as an innocent means by which they can "keep up" with the grandkids. (Of course, I still take issue with the fact that Thefacebook was started as a tool for rating college kids as "hot" or "not." That in itself is revolting.)

  • l pinkmountain
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I have mixed feelings. Last weekend I found out about a local concert via a friend on facebook and we went and had a blast. Was an hour out of town and I wouldn't have found out any other way. From time to time I find out about all kinds of interesting things via FB so that's why I'm on the fence. I have been judicious about who I "friend" and I have unfollowed a few people who don't jibe with my basic desires of keeping it polite, positive and civil. I have only unfriended a few who I don't even want to follow me or know what I am up to, but unfollowing allows me to check in but not be subjected to the weird posts that sometimes come from what seem to me like nice, reasonable people. I have a few friends who skirt my boundaries and I wonder what to do about that. They are the nicest people but sometimes the stuff they post is just so "out there" in terms of being false and nasty. This is coming from both ends of the political spectrum, (as if the political spectrum only had two polar "ends" which is a problematic viewpoint in-and-of itself!) And I'm torn between ignoring it and wanting to point out as politely as I can that their perspective is not the only one out there. I've been flamed for just having a slightly variant opinion by what seem to me to be open-minded people, on the surface. And it seems on FB that the ethos is that an alternative perspective is a bad, rather than mind-expanding thing. So if you can't just rubber stamp what someone is saying, best to say nothing, which makes it kind of a bore to me on some level. I love seeing the family photos and I love reading interesting articles that some of my friends share and I do quite frequently get a good laugh. So there I am, on the fence about it.

    But as a science teacher, I have to laugh that folks are all of a sudden having trouble distinguishing fake from real. Science gives you quite a lot of training in discerning what is objective and what is subjective. That's really one of our biggest problems too, along with realizing what is false, realizing what is biased and how. For example, if a glass has 500 ml of water in it, it's not "fake" to say that it is half empty or half full, it depends on perspective. It's also not "fake" to claim it is a good or bad thing. But in order to better evaluate whether it is good or bad, it helps to know perspectives, goals, values, etc. In depth analysis of perspectives and variables! We are really not very good at thinking deeply about those things either. I know my husband is not, he's a very black and white person, so much so that I have had to unfriend him because he just isn't civil about a lot of things, even though we might superficially "agree" he doesn't ever get why I get upset about his tone and don't want to associate with it.

    That's the insidious thing for me about FB, the effect of being subjected to the negative, nit picking petty tone of so much of it. But having had to stay home from work for a couple of mornings and watch my husband devour the 24 hr. news cycle, I can see where that is coming from and I think 24 hrs of news is more to blame, plus those stations are on EVERYWHERE. The irony is that even though the "news" is on 24 hrs. on these channels, there is very little in-depth reporting and very little variety of topics. There's a world of stuff going on and 24 hr news just nit picks the same story incessantly. It's creating a very damaging ethos for our time. Especially when good print and video media is hard to come by. Hubs and I are going to have to get a smart TV soon so I can branch out and stream some things of greater quality.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Here's a link to the Headliners episode re Facebook ...

    https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-originals/watch/-headliners-facebook-rich-with-data-1432092227716

    Re not being able to distinguish fact from reality ... It becomes very convoluted when Russian infiltrators create fake profiles that look like the real thing in order to pit one group against the other, as has absolutely been done.

    My objection is no longer with the personal distasteful behavior of individuals on social media, but the way that we are duped into thinking that it's one thing when it's clearly something altogether different. Facebook isn't a platform for "bringing people together." It's a data mining field, and a vast one at that. (I'm even questioning my interaction here. I'll just go home and put on my tinfoil hat before too long.)


    Watch the video above and share your thoughts if so inclined. Would love to discuss further.

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    By the way, lpink - I find it refreshing that you admit to unfriending your own DH. It's such a fallacy to assume that because a couple is, well - a COUPLE - that they share a commonality when it comes to politics, religion, etc. My DH is much more conservative than I, and we are still learning to relate to one another respectfully and in kindness in spite of our different ideologies. This reminds me of something our minister said recently when he pointed out an elderly couple in the congregation (with their blessing, of course) to illlustrate his point. He said that they are the polar opposite in opinion when it comes to matters related to the LGBTQ community, and yet they are still clearly devoted, connected, respectful, and considerate of one another - which speaks volumes of what it truly means to love. I thought that was so sweet. (And relatable!)

  • yeonassky
    5 years ago

    I don't do Facebook. Merely because I don't really connect well with people in general. It feels disingenuous to me to put on a face that isn't really mine. In other words to act cheery when I'm generally speaking not a truly cheery person. Also I am not good at competing against other people's have more kind of thinking. I am not very competitive in general.

    I do read at hot topics Etc however as I really think we need to know people so we can plan our approach to things educationally and socially. People who express anger and fear and rage and outrage towards other cultures are a warning bell for us. We need to know about it so we can give their children or even them options in thinking and acting. Open conversation is still the only way and of course it won't work for everyone.

  • l pinkmountain
    5 years ago

    Well if you look at what the fake accounts on FB were doing in the election, they were just posting negative rumor type things on both sides. They were "fake" in that the people were pretending to be groups that they were not, but do we really care or parse where our memes come from? I try but a lot of it is ubiquitous. The fact that folks got caught up in posting it says more about human nature than FB being responsible. Smear campaigns are as old as the hills. But the issue is, if you have your phone with you and are on social media 24/7, then just the atmosphere it creates in your life will influence you. The memes mostly stoked divisions, fear and hate in the populace, for both parties actually. This is an age old technique. Just repeat things in the background and folk will pick up on it as truth, whether they are paying much attention or not. Repeat a lie something like 19 times and folks will think it is the truth. So if you see it 19 times on a pamphlet, hear it in the halls of your high school, or have it pop up on your phone, it's pretty much the same as far as being bad. The difference is how intense and long lasting it is when it is on a device that you are attached to all day long. That's why I am torn. I want the pluses of having my device for positive communication, but want to weed out the negative.

    This is something my husband and I disagree on, I try to stamp out saying toxic things and having toxic thoughts and hearing toxic sounds that I don't want to influence my life in toxic ways. Hubs says, "oh come on, it's just a movie, or it's just a joke or it's just a tv show, etc." He denies being negatively influenced by watching and hearing angry people argue all day on TV. Hubs and I are basically on the same page with big political issues but not on the same page about how to speak and act and what kinds of atmosphere to immerse oneself in. I think that's because hubs grew up in a toxic home and then had a toxic first marriage. He learned to wall himself off from his surroundings. It's difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. Particularly if the dog doesn't want to learn. So a lot of the time I have to say, "Go ahead and listen or get involved in that, but leave me out of it." He does a lot of positive things too, so far the scale is far down on the positive end, although sometimes it wobbles. My best friend has a similar issue in her long marriage, she says, "Politically and socially we totally agree. But how to load the dishwasher, how often to clean the car, what time to leave for an event, and a thousand other daily tasks we disagree vehemently on." They have contrasting personal styles as do my husband and I, introvert/extrovert, etc. But then he's a contrarian and if I say he's one way, no matter what it is, he will deny it. He often argues he likes something one day and doesn't like it the next, I can't keep track sometimes!

    Deny or not, the marketers know a lot about how it works, the FB data miners were sophisticated enough to mine and parse information from FB accounts to figure out who was vulnerable to what messages. No different than FB figuring out which ads to show you or tv advertisers knowing who is watching what shows so they can sell air time to companies to advertise. The only difference is that FB did not pay very much attention to what folks were doing with what they sold them. Candidates want to speak with constituent groups and get their message out to them. But what about folks who want to poison the well? Negative campaigns work, spreading insinuating and biased disinformation works. That's the real kicker for me, how do I watch tv, use my phone and even pump gas for heaven's sake and not be bombarded by this stuff? How do I keep the good and weed out the bad? Every time I turn around, some type of haranguing media is on somewhere . . . The tv station doesn't refuse to air a political add because it is biased does it? And yet most people loathe having to listen to that stuff . . . and yet is persists because it works . . . agh!

  • IdaClaire
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I consider it a very good thing that we loathe it. When we begin to accept it and ingest it (mostly because we can't escape it), then I think we're in great danger. I'm becoming very prickly in my opinions about what is broadcast to me. I only want a weather and traffic report, so why must I endure the effin' viral video of the day (that was clearly made to garner social media likes) while I'm waiting between segments? It makes me angry that this is what we are becoming / have become. Like most other people, I would imagine, I don't know where to go for unbiased news coverage. Or simply NEWS coverage, as it all seems to be idiotic fluff and opinion.

  • misforminkGW
    5 years ago

    At the gas pumps is where That really gets me. I do not want to be ‘informed’ and have stuff ‘on’ all the time. I look forward to my daily quiet time.

    Speaking of fb, I didn’t realize the scams that go on there. My grandma has been victim of scams more than once even though everyone tries to guide her and explain and reexplain. She has way too many ’friends’ on fb (basically anyone) and someone created fake account pretending to be her cousin. Made up a story she was in trouble then asked for a money order ....

  • 3katz4me
    5 years ago

    I'm with you Ida - picky about what is broadcast to me. Social media in my opinion is so much blather I quit spending any time on it long ago and frankly never could really see the point of it. News is no longer factual news - it's highly biased opinions and useless fluff. Radio, internet - inundated with ads. I only subject myself to the minimum amount of this stuff that I need to function in day to day life. I never watch network TV except we have the morning news on to hear what's going on in our city and we cut the cord on cable many years ago.

    The more I'm subjected to useless blather and ads the more quickly I stop watching, using or listening to that source. I keep coming here because I feel like I learn about other people's perspectives, people help me out with advice and we have some stimulating discussions such as this one. At least in this particular forum it's not blather. The discussion side has become blather in my opinion.

  • teeda
    5 years ago

    Interesting article in today's NYT. A major new study conducted by Stanford and NYU found, among other things, that many people who quit social media experience the following fairly immediate consequences : More in-person time with friends and family. Less political knowledge, but also less partisan fever. A small bump in one's daily moods and life satisfaction. And for the average Facebook user, an extra hour a day of downtime. . .This is Your Brain Off Facebook

  • pennydesign
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I can't believe they spend good money on some studies...

  • Feathers11
    5 years ago

    Teeda, I read that article, too. Studies of social media use are still a bit hairy it seems and researchers are figuring out how to measure it.