Antisocial Media

I’m sure I cannot be alone in being unable to decide what I want my relationship with social media to be. One minute I determine I want as little to do with it as possible, then the next I’m commenting on Twitter posts and posting my own. It seems I simply cannot make up my own mind. I list all the positives – getting my work ‘out there’, networking, discovering interesting posts, finding new music and books, then list all the negatives – spending far too much time on there, getting distracted by stuff that doesn’t really interest me or, worse still, makes me cross and encourages me to engage negatively, and determine that yes, I’m going to limit my engagement with said social media to certain times, or types of interactions, but all too quickly I’m wasting hours on there.

So I then determine to have a break from it. Much easier, as it happens, and I enjoy having days when I don’t even open the computer. But sooner or later, for one reason or another, I’m back on there again.

In many ways, I would like to completely withdraw from it, but worry I would lose contact with many people I want to stay in touch with. Because this is the way things work now, I wouldn’t get to learn of so much new writing or music. I’d miss articles I very much want to read. In the past, I’ve written about my books and made sales that way, and should I ever get my act together enough to finish one of my current projects, would like to do so again.

But to many problems, of course, there is no perfect solution. I know I need more willpower, but even so I can never quite make up my mind exactly what I want out of social media. On different days I probably want different things, since on different days different sides of my personality come to the fore. One day I’m reading through my feed looking for posts on standing stones and myths, on another I’m looking at poetry magazines or music. Like all of us, perhaps, to a degree.

I’m not expecting anyone to come up with an answer to this, but if you also find it difficult to strike a balance between endless online trawling and complete cold turkey, just know that you are not alone!

46 thoughts on “Antisocial Media

  1. Hi Mick, this was an interesting read for me. I have a different approach to social media. I have 2 hours a day I use for blogging. I enjoy blogging and I follow and engage with about 60 bloggers on a continuous basis. Other social media,I fit in during my day when I have a few minutes of dead time, like when I’m queuing or waiting for a meeting to start. I don’t veer from this schedule and it works for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can relate, Mick. And yes, I also think that we need more willpower of our own for that.

    I was tired of hitting ‘likes’ on Facebook posts and I joined Twitter thinking I would only engage in conversations that are meaningful to me but not hit ‘likes’ as I would do on Facebook. And I think I’ve been able to do that (to control my urge to hit likes whenever I see something that trigger my emotions). If I see something funny, I laugh and scroll down without reacting; if I see something that seems useful to me later, I bookmark it and scroll down; if I see links that I like to explore/read about, I click and read that but not react on twitter (just like on this post of yours, hehe).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bear Humphreys

    Hi Mick, yep, very similar here. I nuked my Twitter account – sorry, you were a follower, I know – because of similar feelings about the unnecessary negativity and anger I was exposing myself, often first thing, and mentally carrying that stuff into my day. Then I opened a fresh one a few weeks later, because there were a few amusing accounts that I missed that mainly operate on there.

    But I have implemented a ‘no Twitter or news websites before midday’ rule on myself, which has resulted in my days being noticeably more positive and productive overall. In fact, I most often find myself not actually bothering with opening either that day at all. It’s amazing how much space for positive thinking and acting you recover by removing the pointless distractions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe I should close mine and start a new one as well – start afresh. But I’m sure I’d just drift back into those old habits. A nothing before Midday rule might work for me, although I’ve tried variations on it before and drifted back quite quickly. In fact, a piece of advice I was given when I started writing, before even I had my blog, was to never go onto the internet before lunchtime. I wish I could stick to that, but there’s always a reason…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have no social media involvement apart from my blogs and Twitter; I’ve never even registered for Instagram, Pinterest, etc., and I left Facebook after about six weeks of watching and not posting. I stay on Twitter for weather sites. Especially during storms and hurricane season, it’s the easiest way to keep up with the National Weather Service, traffic sites, flood info, and various meteorologists I trust.

    The problem with Twitter is that whenever I visit, all of those suggestions on the right side of the page invite clicks, and most of them lead straight into one of Dante’s circles of hell: filled with conflict, negativity, and pot-stirring. I try never to click in — I should know better! — but if I do, I click out lickety-split, and look for a mental palate cleanser somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Mick, I can so relate to your hot and cold feelings about social media. There are days when I just want to disconnect forever, and days when I am engaged and deriving value from the information and connections. I think rather than seeing it as an either/or equation, I’m trying to look at social media (including emails) as a polarity to be managed. Depending on my moods, circumstances, and immediate concerns, I will try to give it the attention that feels appropriate for that day. That said, I have been trying to disconnect from email and social media for several hours each day, to reduce the distractions that sometimes derail me. I usually check in first thing in the morning, tackle what needs tackling, and then try to disconnect by mid-morning and ’til mid-afternoon (my most productive hours). I’m not always successful, but I think my brain is happier and maybe more creative when it has fewer disruptions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s that hot and cold reaction to social media, isn’t it? It would be much easier if every single day I decided I hated it, then I could just disengage for good. But sometimes it works well and is enjoyable. A balancing act.

      I just don’t seem very good at that balancing.

      Like

  6. Social media can only get you addicted until you find something else more addictive.. trust me, this happened with me..
    there was a time i spend a lot of time in WordPress.. but after that i landed on Twitter and later i was more into Twitter than wp.. and then again after some months i landed on trading.. well , of course it is not a social media thing.. but now this is the thing in which I’m deeply addicted.. and from here i dont want to move on.. it has become my profession with passion.. the job which I’m doing in full spirits..as if i have reached where im supposed to be..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Its all about the world market.. and global economy..most of the countries would be having their own specific websites. In India it is NSE (National Stock Exchange).
        Well, its very risky and adventurous at the same time..

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It is hard to disconnect. I find twitter reacts to news earlier than other media and since I live in an area known for wildfires and earthquakes, it can be quite helpful. But as a marketing tool or as a way to connect with people, I think its best days have come and gone. Too many trolls out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Setting aside the time sink potential of Twitter, I can’t say I’ve ever heard anything about the platform that has enticed me. WordPress at least seems to have manners. Facebook I limit to extended family, but even that isn’t something I spend a lot of time on. I admit to spending too much time reading Quora, but don’t engage.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Social media is a mixed blessing! I only do Facebook (on a limited basis) and WordPress, and even that takes a lot of time. But I find I’m not ready to complete give them up because I do like being in contact with old friends and new friends from around the world. Twitter, I believe, is a waste of time, and I have no need for instagram. I guess the secret is to be very intentional about the amount of time we spend online!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel similarly about social media, Mick. I do have a Twitter account, but there are only notifications of my recent posts on there. My Instagram account has even less, and I only have a family group on Facebook. I could probably live without Instagram, although with Twitter, I’m not so sure as it often has breaking news. I do agree with you, however, that, on the whole, social media can be a real time waster. These days, I spend most of my time writing or catching up with blogs on WP. Perhaps, I should limit my WP time to mornings only when my concentration is at its best. I keep meaning to make more time to read (I have several books on my to-read pile most of the time). I find reading at home too distracting, so I often go to the library in town, where I’m not distracted by social media, the radio, TV, my cat, etc., etc. Hope you and your family are well.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You’re right, Mick, most of us have a love/hate relationship with social media. I usually start off a day intending to answer messages and RT or post things of interest. But, inevitably, I become distracted with the many aspects of life that interest, irritate, annoy, or distress me and feel that need to interact. I’ve tried many different strategies to counter this. But the only one that works is absence from the arena, I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the only one that works for me, Stuart. Strangely, though, in the couple of days since I wrote this post I’ve been on Twitter far less and have come to a few decisions on how I want to use WordPress in future. Like a lot of problems, it seems that just talking about it has helped.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Your post caught my attention Mick because I too have definitely been having a love/hate relationship with social media lately. On the one hand it’s great for my blog, and yet on the other, there’s this constant feeling that my life is not as exacting as some others, or perhaps is exciting in a different way (because it is). I don’t think this new ‘cancel culture’ helps, because not only are you now trying to appear cool but you’re also trying to appear relevant and not offensive, instead of being authentically you. I use social media begrudgingly for the blog, but it’s definitely not something that I’m enthusiastic about! A great post and thank you for the smile 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, Helen. I completely agree that, certainly on Twitter, it is easy to look at the live feed and think your life is dull and uninteresting as a result. It’s good at that point to remind yourself you followed X because they were a specialist in their field and the subject interests you and you followed Y because they are a great artist you admire. Consequently their posts are inevitably going to be full of things you think are way out of your league, but it doesn’t matter.

      As far as cancel culture is concerned, yes, unless you want to be piled on by a whole load of trolls it’s wise to be careful. Equally, I think it’s good to avoid offending people unnecessarily, anyway, so I do try to steer clear of controversial subjects. That’s not really why I’m on there anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I completely agree Mick. I think Instagram is similar, but then we forget how much these images are manipulated, even before any are taken. We judge others and we judge ourselves and think that we’re falling behind, but really what we get to see is only ever a perfect frame, and even then that image is usually carefully edited before we can see it.

    You are so right regarding trolls too. I made the mistake of commenting once, during the violent protests here in Bristol, and I can safely say that I will never do that again. Unless you’re ready and willing to do battle with someone that you will probably never meet then it’s much better and safer to stay out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Unfortunately it took me an unhealthy relationship to learn that one, but you are right. Once my former partner make a joke about me realising my worth, I just as quickly realised that I was worth a lot more. It’s unfortunate though that we don’t have these epiphanies in more joyous times.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Take it easy Mick. Do what you like for a day and see at the end of the day how you feel. If you are not happy you can try something else. I have tried this. I find WP a better choice than others since we get more chance to interact with like minded people.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Antisocial Media – MobsterTiger

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