Social media has grown from a means to stay in touch with old friends into something many can’t live without. More and more people are dropping television, and getting news from social media. As I spent increasing amounts of time on Facebook and Twitter, I wondered, “What am I getting out of this? Is this worth the time it takes to catch up on everything? Do I really need to see this drama queen’s posts for the third time today?”
The answers for me are “Not much, if anything; No; NO.” I reconsidered my usage of social media, and in doing so, streamlined my time on social media platforms.
Main Social Media Sites: Facebook & Twitter
Ed Latimore sums up how I’ve felt about social media for some time.
[UPDATE: I am no longer on Facebook. That said, the following content remains relevant]
If it weren’t for these following reasons, I wouldn’t have Facebook anymore…
- I have a fan page for this site.
- I’m a member of various professional groups, and I don’t want to lose access.
- Unfortunately, it’s still the easiest way to get in touch with old friends. It’s much easier to keep track than with emails.
Like Ed said, social media is based on who you choose to associate with. For me, Facebook is the place to be if you want to read complaints about sportzball team names (REDSKINS, anybody?), “cishet” white men, and Donald Trump. Since most of my Facebook connections are left-wing millennials, those are the posts that get the most “likes.”
“Likes” are given often for humorous content, but posts that express “safe/correct” opinions (i.e. leftist) tend to rack up the validation points. Since I don’t fit in with that crowd, I don’t see the value in it. Now that I’m creating an online presence, it admittedly helps to see people paying attention to what I’m writing.
I enjoy Twitter much more than Facebook. I can engage in trolling that would get me chewed out on Facebook by humorless scolds. You have the option of following people who provide valuable content, people who post cat pictures, or both. Due to Twitter’s nature, it’s easier to follow major events as they happen. If you go to my Twitter page, you will see all of the above on display.
Like Ed Latimore said, instead of following people from your past, you can follow people who you want to be like. You can do away with “status envy” by ignoring your married/pregnant “friends” that you met at a frat party once. Instead, you can pay attention to people who have made something of themselves, and are willing to help you do the same.
PRO TIP: If you use Tweetdeck, you can place the accounts you follow (or don’t follow) into specific lists, and place those list columns side by side. It makes Twitter so much easier to use (especially if you have multiple accounts), that I can’t go back to basic desktop or mobile Twitter.
Lesser Social Media Sites: Google Plus and Reddit
No one really uses Google Plus, but I post my articles there since it allegedly aids search rankings. If you like my content, then add me to one of your circles.
I used to use Reddit quite a bit. Problem is, I wasted time viewing fluff content like cat pictures and celebrity interviews. I usually don’t check beyond the first page of an individual subreddit, for purposes of time. Hell, the only two I regularly check are /r/The_Donald and /r/KotakuInAction (the Gamergate hub).
I actually made my own domreddit (actually called a subreddit, but Dom > Sub) where I post my articles. It felt pointless at first, but here is my rationale as it stands now…
- “Own your name.” I reserved my site name on Reddit so no one else can have control of it.
- I have just two subscribers to my domreddit. However, numerous visits to my site came from /r/all/new.
- Having my own domreddit can serve as a CSS project for an up-and-coming developer.
[UPDATE: The Reddit page is now private, and I will no longer be posting there]
Social media is what you make it. You decide your social media experience by surrounding yourself with certain people. For me, Twitter is best, since few of my real-life friends share my ideas and mindset toward life. They’re decent people, but they make little effort to consider the validity of non-mainstream thought. However, some of these former classmates and peers have cut contact with me over my incorrect opinions. I’m okay with that, since they are slaves to spoon-fed media narratives and ideas.
Links to my social media pages are below in the footer. However, social media companies frown on people like me, so I may not have a presence on those sites forever. In order to stay up to date on the latest content, your best option is to sign up for my email list directly below.