It's Easy to Eschew Social Media

created Sep 20, 2018

In 2018, I wish that I had cataloged the number of times that I have read a story from a media org where the journalist makes the authoritative claim that people can't quit using social media. Here's another such instance.

Yet the media rely heavily on social media silos for referral traffic because their online business models rely heavily on digital ad impressions.

From the story:

Twitter, as everyone knows, is Hell. Its most hellish aspect is a twofold, self-reinforcing contradiction: you know that you could leave at any time and you know that you will not. (Its pleasures, in this sense, are largely masochistic.) My relationship with the Web site, which has, for years now, been the platform most deeply embedded in my daily -- hourly, minutely -- routine, has come to feel increasingly perverse. It mostly seems to offer a relentless confirmation that everything is both as awful as possible and somehow getting worse. And everyone else on Twitter appears to feel the same way.

Whoa. Maybe that writer needs to seek therapy.

Related Hacker News discussion. Excerpts from the top comment:

" you know that you could leave at any time and you know that you will not."

I have no problem.

The press needs to take more responsibility for this as they are the primary enablers of Twitter.

Tweets are presented all the time in articles as expression of legitimate opinion, and often used as the basis for some kind of rally bad straw-man argument the author wants to make.

I have a test Twitter account that I rarely use to test IndieWeb concepts. I don't use Twitter to follow anyone. I don't need Twitter.

Occasionally, I access the twitter feeds of Tony Grossi, a Cleveland Browns beat reporter, and Ryan Wichman, a local TV meteorologist.

For a while back in the spring and early summer, I viewed the Instagram pages of some artists, but Instagram's website, like most of the silos, uses an infuriating web design. It fails to function without JavaScript. I'm constantly presented with an annoying banner about logging into Instagram. I stopped monitoring those artists, unless they post to their own website.

Even if only a tiny percentage of artists, crafters, and makers from around the world post occasionally to their own websites, that will still be too much content for me to view.

If an artist only posts content on social media, I will be fine with ignoring that artist because more than enough other artists maintain their own personal websites.

I'm not missing out on anything by not using social media.

I consume information and communicate with people through the following means.

I'm aware of the many events that occur throughout the year, and either I don't have the time, the availability, or the desire to attend everything.

Another HN comment:

The only people I know with twitter accounts are journalists. One friend in particular has a hard time understanding how you can function without twitter.

That's easy to answer: other interests.

After billions of years, our Earth day remains approximately 24 hours long. For me, I need or like to have six to seven hours of sleep each night. I exercise for about an hour nearly every day. I have hobbies that I could dedicate more time to if I used the web less. Chores, errands, work, family concerns, fun family time, time with friends, volunteering, etc. all demand our time.

Watching TV and reading social media may be two of the biggest time-wasters.

I have a lot of room for improvement in the time management area. I read too many web articles. I need to spend more time studying the non-fiction reference books that I own that cover my many interests. I need to make more things, such as watercolor paintings, crochet projects, and computer programming projects. I'd like to return to playing the mountain dulcimer. I should volunteer more.

I enjoy the web, but at least I can say that I'm not addicted to social media.

My message board toledotalk.com, Hacker News, and the IndieWeb IRC chat rooms are the only websites that I visit for the comments. I visit other websites for the articles or blog posts.