Social Or Unsocial Media?

Is it Social or Unsocial Media? I’m not sure.

Truth is, I’m awkward with social media. When I meet people and they reach out to connect on Facebook and then never interact, that seems weird to me. Or, if I reach out to them and they don’t follow back, that seems weird to me. Especially if they’ve said, “Are you on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Let’s connect!” It would be very easy to eschew social media all together. Alas…

I recently took an 8 months hiatus from Facebook, or what I called My Time of Sanity Restoration and Liberation Campaign. If you’ve followed along with my posts the last few years, you know I’ve struggled with this issue a lot. So much so, that I’m sick of hearing myself complain about it! Ha–now that’s bad! Here are a couple of old posts concerning my problems with social media. Feb. 2018  and Nov. 2018
But, last week I bit the bullet and pushed the button to reactivate my Facebook page. Why? I went to my family reunion and had an aha! moment. There are so many beautiful children in our family (and yours and everyone’s). Many had grown up. Cousins were talking about recent experiences–good and bad–and I had missed out on many of them. Oh, I hear plenty that I need to. I do keep in touch with my family for important updates and big news. But, I missed a lot of the everyday events, the little things, the things we share quickly on social media and don’t think anymore about. Especially photos. I realized I missed those quotidian moments. I’m not suggesting that we only keep up with family and friends on media platforms. I am suggesting it’s a convenient and easy way to do so. 

I did learn some things during My Time of Sanity Restoration, though. I learned that the people who want to keep you in their lives, will do so whether you are on Facebook or not. I learned some folks make the extra effort to stay in touch regardless of how it’s done. I learned some folks are just too busy raising babies, living a life, working hard, and surviving that life to make much extra effort. I get it. Been there, done that. I have friends and family who rarely interact with me on Facebook but who text me almost daily and call regularly. I can’t figure out those dynamics at all sometimes. So I won’t try.

In short, I missed some people–family, friends, bookstore updates (stop judging).

When I signed back on to Facebook the first thing I did was unlike thousands of pages. Did I need to LIKE every yoga studio in the US? Nope. Every museum? Nope. Every bookstore? Watch it–them’s fighting words. I unfriended people I really didn’t know. I unfriended people when I realized they had several accounts for several different kinds of friends. Actually, anyone with multiple accounts had to go. I unfriended people who I met once and then they ignored me. Or maybe I ignored them? I hope not, but it’s possible. AND I unfriended people who insisted on racist, homophobic, rude, political, mysoginistic rhetoric. Done with all of that. My Facebook is MY place. As Tyler Perry’s Medea says to a bad-mannered teenager, “I know you ain’t coming up in MY DAMN HOUSE and disrespecting me!” (I think I’m remembering that correctly…) I feel the same way. I also will be very discerning in adding new people. After all, (yes…) it’s my house.

I’m still not a big fan of Facebook. I don’t trust it. I think it is shady AF (always wanted to write that in a blog post! Score!). It still scares me.
I plan to watch The Great Hack movie on Netflix. Maybe you will want to, too? Here’s a link:
The Great Hack
I am already aware of Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 US Elections and Brexit. It sickens me. I know I’ll learn more. It will sicken me more.

AND YET, I also think Facebook is the best way right now to keep up with old friends and faraway family. Or one best way, I guess.

All of that to say I’m back in a relationship with Facebook, and It’s Complicated.

 


43 thoughts on “Social Or Unsocial Media?

  1. I’ve cleaned up my account too. I’m still working on it. I get way too many recommended pages. It’s my lifeline to family and many friends and there’s also my author page. It’s also easier to use messenger for communications. Daughter has limited calling and we sometimes video with messenger. I used to never use technology on Sundays and I do now use it less. I may be more dedicated to that. Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a work in progress, isn’t it? I think using it less is the key. I’m not on it much and I’m going to try and be judicious in my posts: is it necessary to post this? What if I just don’t? I want to use it more consciously AND a lot less! Thanks, Lisa!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t trust Facebook either, Cheryl, but I still have an account and an author page. If I wasn’t writing, I probably wouldn’t have either. I refuse to use the messenger, to me, they may as well put a tap on my personal phone. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems to be more important to have a professional page than a personal page in some instances. I have writing friends who get their sales and feedback mostly through FB. It’s a good way to connect with readers and potential readers.

      Like

  3. I’m with you. My house, my rules. I clean my “house ” twice a month. Way I see it is if you don’t like my “house,” don’t visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely understand your dilemma here Cheryl. And it seems like you may have found a way to manage things. I still have a personal page on fb. I used it yesterday to pass on news of Greenpeace activists climbing/scaling the tallest building in our capital to draw attention to the activities of oil conglomerate OMV’s activities off our coast and in Antarctica. (It was an heroic effort and took longer than expected but they made it) That’s the only way I use that platform now – to pass on political/environmental info. Plus I use messenger to connect with family and friends. I don’t like facebook. I think it is immoral on all fronts. Blogging is the only place I’m active these days and that is under constant consideration. I think I’m turning into a hermit 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. WordPress is by far my favorite communication medium. Or is it also social media? Hmmm… And maybe it’s a good idea to have some of us on Facebook spreading important and true information. There sure is enough of the other kind! I like sharing posts related to nature and the environment, too. Does it make a difference? Who knows, but in some small way I’m doing my part. Can I be a hermit with you? 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you already know I am anti-FB and for many reasons including that I love to connect with others personally, and I value my time.

    But, you make a good point as to why you have returned to FB. I only wish there was a different, friendlier, and more trustworthy platform for people like you who want it simply to stay connected with friends and family.

    Personally, I find FB too controlling — both in spreading hate and in becoming the thought police, and that they are the vehicle for ruining too many lives. I often wish the masses would stop supporting destructive companies such as FB. Money is their sole motivator and perhaps the only motivation they have to change.

    As I often say, “Don’t jump in if you don’t want to jump out.” I’ve gotten along fine all these years without FB, social media and a smart phone and haven’t missed anything of value. Actually, life is much more stress-free this way.

    Best of wishes to you for maintaining a sense of manageability and balance with FB. It certainly seems like your exploration has been a good lesson in discernment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, definitely don’t jump in. I often say I wish I never would’ve bought a smart phone. Now, it’s become such a valuable tool for my writing and journalism. Or at least a convenient tool. And yes, I have explored and will continue to explore the role all social media, and technology, plays in my life.

      Like

  6. wonderful being free to enjoy life, Cheryl, being among the wonders right before our eyes,
    away of such bottomless & enslaving social media! i wish those who use it are safe and well.
    perhaps 10 years ago I signed up using inaccurate personal data, then never used fbook. Have no
    idea what the password is. wishing you a happy day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Uffdah, I know what you mean. My author page…well. I’m just accepting that will be a spamming, like-every-page mess. My personal page, though, is strictly for what you say–sharing updates and photos of my kids with kith and kin.Just about anyone we care about lives a fair distance away, so FB has been the best way to keep in touch.
    Frontline did a great investigative piece on Facebook last fall, if you’re interested!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jean Lee. I think the use of social media may present a unique problem to writers. We are supposed to have our work out there! I have a blog page that is mostly used just for when I post here. I have a tiny FB audience. My personal page is small, too. And that’s perfectly fine—kith and kin:)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve had my own hate-hate relationship with FB for a long time. And I also complained about it quite a bit on my blog. My biggest problem was certain family members. There were quite a few heated exchanges on FB during and after the 2016 election, some of which made me take a step back in confidence that “blood is thicker than water.” I started just “hiding” people and then had to wonder what the point was being connected when I didn’t even want to see their posts. I tried to take the good with the bad, but it just got too much. I only took a month off (I created another account so I could still manage my FB page), but when I returned I unfriended the vast majority of “friends,” including all my cousins. I didn’t want to play favorites. I was invited to a writing accountability group and that is the main reason I’m ever on FB now. Occasionally, a nephew or a long-distance friend post photos that I’m happy to see, but really, the quality of my social media life has improved since I restricted who I spend time with on FB. I’m glad you’ve found your happy medium (no pun intended). You’re right: FB is your house and if people are going to be rude, then you don’t have to let them in 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes to all of this, Marie! I wonder why I’m “friends” with someone when I don’t want to see their mean posts! And some people only post mean stuff. It’s just the way it is. And I’ve seen that from both sides of the aisle (one more often that the other…). I have several family members who are diehard crazy fans of what’s-his-face, and they ended up deleted me when I called them out (in private and very heartfelt) for spreading such hatred. It actually hurt me to see someone I loved and looked up to my whole life being so full of hostility, hate, and racism. When I told them, they deleted me. Yay, I said! Stay in your lane, family! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it is heartbreaking. On my end, the family members who claim Love is everything, who share Bible verses and call themselves Christians are also the same ones who buy into The Orange One’s hateful and racist immigration policies, who profess no compassion for anyone who share different beliefs from themselves. I’ve seen family members call each other out on these things but I’m too much like Melville’s Billy Budd to trust myself with calling people out. Far as I know everyone still gets along as long as they don’t discuss politics, but I had to be the one to cut the FB ties. Too much drama. There’s always text messaging or the phone or snail mail to keep in touch. I know I’m missing stuff, but I have a large extended family. I could never keep up with all them anyway 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been going through the do I want FB or not dilemma lately. I decided to really clear out a lot of my stuff on FB and keep the writing-related posts. I feel better not having it all out there, but like the connections.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I sure do hear ya! I had to deactivate after the 2016 elections when both sides of the aisle went berserk. I inched my way back on a year later and now sneak peeks at the kinds of things you are enjoying: photos of old friends and their kids and some of their news. I still don’t care who had a long layover in STL or what Joe Schmoe had for breakfast on vacation, but I’d rather see that than the vitriol and political posturing, which I edit out as much as I can. I also gave up on posting there myself, but maybe I’ll try again someday. You seem to have a balanced and sensible approach!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You know, Cheryl, I have avoided Facebook assiduously, although it would most likely boost my Frenchie business a lot. At least so far. Maybe when I’m published … :-). Personally, I just don’t think I can keep up with one more thing, and if you’re going to use it for business, you have to, right? But if it works for you for family, I’d say it’s good for you, and especially that you did such a major clean-out! I bet that makes a difference. I’ll be checking on you … haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes—major cleanout! No regrets. And I’ll continue to do so as needed. You are so wise to to avoid it—not an easy task. I also found I kept being directed to a business or organization’s FB page during my research/writing for publication. So many people/businesses use FB for communication. I found it almost necessary to be on to keep up with local happenings/events for my work.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. When I first commenced facebook it was in order to set up a writers page and an artists page. So for that I had to have a personal page. I kept it private for about two years, thinking all sorts would happen if I didn’t. I sought out friends and family who I knew were on facebook.Then just a couple of months back I made my personal page public to see what would happen. Well, nothing happened! So far so good! I love facebook for connecting with what real friends and family are up to, now and again ‘meeting’ like minded/interesting people, and joining themed groups has been very useful in so many ways. What I hate about Facebook is all the trite stuff, the rosy lives, the LOLs, the faces which are laughing so hard they are shedding copious quantities of tears (like how often does that happen in real life?), the endless motivational quotes (shouldnt we all be wise and wonderful by now then?), the surface fluff with no conversation about anything that goes wrong (everyone’s lives are just so amazing and wonderfully happy) …so I can’t stay on it for long, Cheryl, but I like having those ‘business pages’. My blog is THE most important way for me personally to get to know people scattered across continents that I connect with. The blog is top of the list for me!!! Very interesting post, and it’s clear many are so ambivolent about social media and the conflicts it can create, whether those conflicts are between individuals or within oneself.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t have much use for Facebook – I don’t post there but I have an account and occasionally use it to look up a page, usually of an organisation or group. I know what you mean about family – it seems a shame that most announcements are made that way now. Once, my mother was kind of the keeper of the family news and she hasn’t been around for nearly ten years now so it’s easy to lose touch, but all the same Facebook is just something I can’t be bothered with 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So many groups/organizations are only on Facebook. I did find that frustrating during my hiatus. Now, I’m finding I’m not really on there much. I don’t have the app on my phone. And I don’t stay logged in on my computer. Social media can be a bother!

    Like

  15. wow. You got a lot of response on this subject. I have used FB mainly for promoting my books and for reviews on other books I’ve read and recently for my writing about my Tachyon experience. So I didn’t care who was reading my blog, but FB is not easy to use for promotion anymore. I think it’s time I, too, clean up my account. Blocking those individuals that I like but get sickened by their posts just isn’t enough anymore. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I think it’s a subject that is on our minds a lot. How do we navigate the internet and all of our social platforms. Who do we interact with? Who do we block/delete to keep our peace and sanity? Especially those individuals we used top enjoy interacting with. It’s difficult stuff! Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation, Arlene.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to cathysrealcountrygardencom Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.