Social Media 2018

2 minute read

(I’m on vacation this week, so will try to post something here every day. The new blog tech has a nice Android app, so I can easily post from my tablet.)

I haven’t been using much social media in a while. Uninstalled both Facebook and Twitter from my phone and tablet last fall, and wasn’t using Facebook for a while before that. My stress level dropped significantly, as did my ‘refresh Twitter over and over’ time wasting.

Since I’m not on Twitter I’m not as instantly aware of everything going on, but I check the Google News app a few times per day. So eventually current events trickle through, and I don’t have to deal with everyone’s added opinions and pile-ons and outrage-on-repeat, not to mention false alarms and people just making things up.

I was on Google+ pretty early on, and had high hopes, even pointing commenting for some of this blog’s posts there. But it remained too clunky for most people. When Google tried to force G+ for YouTube commenting and then walked it back that was pretty much it’s death knell in my opinion, though apparently it’s still going. Maybe I should check what’s there at some point.

The only network I still check daily is Instagram, because accounts I follow there tend to post things that improve my mood instead of bringing it down. I think it helps that most comments are hidden by default.

I’m also trying Vero, which is new, but not sure if it will amount to anything. So far not many people there.

Oh, and I maintain my LinkedIn profile, because someday I may need a new job. That’s mostly just a matter of accepting or (more frequently) refusing connection requests every couple of weeks.

I deleted my Goodreads account a few days ago, when I found out they’d been purchased by Amazon in 2013. I don’t have a huge issue with the ownership per se, but it’s too sketchy that they don’t disclose it anywhere on the site. Also they seem to sometimes treat people (authors, reviewers) badly for unclear reasons, which I’m not interested in supporting.

I don’t really have much to say about the recent Facebook excitement. Many years ago someone (can’t remember who) said to me “if you’re getting a free service and you can’t figure out why, the service is you.” - meaning the company is collecting data about your activity and selling it to other companies.

It doesn’t surprise me that Facebook is providing access to user data or selling it or anything else. You should expect a social network that’s not charging you anything (even with ads) is tracking everything you do, across any site you use their login and other places if you’re not being aggressive about privacy blocks, and using that behavior data however they can to make as much money as possible.

Their priority is not protecting you, you’re the commodity they’re selling, not the customer.

I’ve had Firefox’s new tracking protection feature enabled all the time since it was released. As an added bonus to not being tracked, pages are also faster because all the tracking code isn’t even loaded from the blocked sites. Better and better. 🚀

So, yeah - social media. I’ll use what doesn’t increase my stress. 😊