Why am I on social media?
If you ask me, I don’t know why I am on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Linkedin and on Facebook and a few other sites.
My blog and my website need some exposure, additional exposure, because not everybody is on WordPress. That might be one reason
Am I on social media because the widgets make my website look better? That is true to some extent.
Am I there because social medial make me socially engaged? No, that is not always true. They sometimes make me feel worse, more upset and more isolated. In fact, they frequently make me feel physically bad, too. That is, in the most direct meaning of this word. I find that many articles promote doubtful information, as well as push people to inadequate decisions.
There was a time at the dawn of social media activity when they were truly social. They were about real friendships and real lives.
“Social” cover for selling anything
It did not take too long for the socializing part to transition into advertising and selling features until social media became mainly about selling: opinions, propaganda, products, brands and trends.
As such, social media are the biggest consumerism promoter ever. Our task is actually straight the opposite: decrease junk, avoid consuming useless and harmful things and stay away from products that we never needed in the first place. Social media makes us believe that we will be considered a decent, happy and worthy person only when we have have all the attributes which are advertised.
Social media will impose trendy pictures, trendy products, trendy people and trendy opinions on you. I have even seen: health trends. Is there anything else as healthy and unhealthy? Does that mean that sometimes only mental health matters, but some other time: skin disorders, digestive, nervous or cardiovascular system?
I do not agree with trends. I suppose, trends disagree with me.
Consumerism is killing every one of us by taking away the air we breathe and turning it into polluted smog, it is taking away the clean drinking water and causing soil damage, it is making you into somebody who consumes what you never needed and what makes you sick and poor.
Internet selling is based on positive attitude, lack of education and greed. Greed is the biggest driving force of any so-called economic growth.
Is it economic growth or destruction of the planet in reality? If we did not interfere so badly with anything that the Earth has to offer us for free: natural air and water recycling and purification, clean and nutrient-rich soil, natural food that helps us staying fit and healthy, we would be fine. However, everything must be sacrificed for the economic growth which ironically leads us into more and more debt and disasters.
Offers and missed posts
While Facebook wants me to sign up for all kinds of services or products, I never see what my best friends and relatives have been up to. Facebook will persistently invite me to buy products and services which I do not require, which I am absolutely not interested in and which I do not need or like. That is all based on their algorithms and my likes which I place here and there.
The page I initially created as a Fan page, has transitioned into business page, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted that. I can see it is helpful, however, I have limited time and therefore, I most likely cannot reach the exposure I am expected to.
Facebook makes one pay
The thing I really have to wonder about is as follows: Facebook makes absolutely no distinction between a single person’s business (hence, they invite me to join my team, which would be I am joining me), and so they want to charge me the promotion fee for anything I put on that page. Huge businesses which have hundreds of employees and specific media managers and other executives can certainly use a specific budget for that. I think there should be a chance to show that one is working alone, maybe part time or something similar.
They make me compete with sites like Wayfair.com or Artfulhome.com and similar that sell art prints while I am selling only originals.
Dear Facebook! I am just a single person, who creates art, does painting, promotes, writes about art and teaches it also, and I need to cook, clean, do daily chores, do medical research and writing to support living, and every day has only 24 hours. If I wanted to be successful on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook advertising, I would not only need a lot of money to promote every post, every picture, every article and every event, but also a lot of time.
My taste disagrees with trends
I do not spend hours scrolling through trends or looking for viral videos. They are not trendy for me most often because my taste often disagrees with them. I disagree with dumbing the population more and using bad and harmful products for such purpose. I am against the noise everywhere. We need a break from music, a break from shows that do not teach anything, that have no content and make no sense, but stand out due to bad acting and simply bad screenplays.
Facebook does not represent me as a person correctly and it does not allow me to become socially more involved. If I do not promote everything and comment on everything, I am practically non-existent.
It is time we turn to critical thinking and sort out our preferences. The narrow-minded and to more consumption leading and directed I-need-it-all thinking has caused enough trouble. Enough is enough.
We have to stop being sheep to such a huge extent.
Social media pressure
I have come to conclusion that instead of allowing one to be true and honest, social media imposes on me their message. Their message is not always my message. It can be quite contrary, in fact.
So, Facebook when there is going to be time when I see everything I choose based on what I prefer as opposed to posts that have been directed to me depending on my age, gender and previous likes?
I once clicked on Artfulhome.com image because I was reading about some artist. They would not let me free afterwards. Wherever I go, the Artful home is trying to sell me something. The same about the flight: I booked it already. I booked it a while ago. Wherever I look, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo mail or any other site, there are Flighthub advertisements. I did not even use the Flighthub.
If I click on a gardening image, Facebook will only put gardening posts in front of me. If I click on shoes or cosmetic product: that is all I am going to see for quite a while, until I do not spam that product everywhere.
I have moods, I have good days and bad days, I have curiosity, I have preferences and I have interests, and they do not match the Facebook algorithms. I am a human who is changing, who has personal opinions and, most importantly, who has a very personal taste.
Misleading social media
Twitter sends me trends and trendy tweets, as well as, lies about people who followed me because they did not. That is to cause a counter-reaction and feeling that I am actively using Twitter. I am not. The tweets are all automated and it looks nice in the widget area of my website, that’s all.
Pinterest does the same, they let me know that somebody pinned an image which I never put on any of my boards, Pinterest also has picked out topics for me. Well, Pinterest, don’t do that. I do have my own brain and my own opinions. That is already too much care, way too much care. If I looked at an old barn yesterday, it does not mean I want to look at old barns for the next few years. If I looked up a spinach recipe today, it does not mean I will be eating only spinach for a few months.
Facebook means a lot of wasted time for me. I would click on like when I am seeing a few posts of people who I have never met, but who I know distantly from the blogging community. I would leave a comment here and there if the post makes sense. Well, Facebook will show me posts only created by these people for quite a while, and, no, it will not show me what my daughter has been up to.
I am finding all the social media very superficial, very ignorant because they try to make me feel meaningless. Just compare yourself with influencers! Go ahead, compare!
Well, I am not going to compare me with nobody. I do not care about lots of products just because I find them useless. I don’t literally care about powders, liquids, pills, gels, creams and other things which are advertised as miraculous. These miracles last only as long as there is a decent research done, and it proves rather the harming, not healing effects of this product.
Social media should take a huge blame for poisoning and making people sick with bad quality, never tested products because while they do not endorse them, they make one see these products and the fake promises which come with such products.
There is a lot of pressure from the social media. A lot. The pressure wants you to subordinate the main mood and the main tone. If you do not, you are not a decent person. Why? There are guys who have nothing better to do: they use any chance to attack somebody. I posted once a comment that gluten-free products have absolutely no effect on people who do not have a celiac disease which is 100% scientifically true, yet, much denied fact because they want you to spend more on gluten-free and more processed products and imagine that you feel better. Somebody did not read it; they just noticed the first line and totally attacked me: what was I thinking because people who have celiac disease would be at such a disadvantage, etc. That was not at all what I was saying. They did not read, but they felt they had to attack me. So, it goes. One will understand only what they want to.
Social media and socializing
Do I see social media as a great socializing opportunity? To some extent, it is a place where to advertise. However, it is not a place where to find somebody or something. I want to see all variety of topics, all the multi-faceted life, everything which I might or might not like instead of “topics picked out for me”. Social media, you don’t know me, you do not want to know me and you do not believe I have my own brain which allows me making my own decisions that are based on my own experience, education and preferences.
I wish social media started trusting me instead of limiting my choices and free speech.
P.S. I had written this post already when I accidentally saw an interview with the high-tech insider Jaron Lanier on CNBC. It was about his book: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. This interview absolutely echoed what I do agree with. Too much advantage taking, definitely!
Link to article about him and his book: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/30/ten-arguments-deleting-your-social-media-accounts-right-now-jaron-lanier
22 thoughts on “How social are social media and how they get you”
Facebook is reductionistic.
It makes even smart people seem trite and superficial.
It is this zuckerberg formula.
You sign on. Bing! You are now a zuccherite.
Mister z-berg, maybe wanted to do one thing first, and foremost, make tons of money for himself.
Maybe another thing he wanted to was, humiliate lots of people in the process.
Regardless of his intent, this is what he has done
Thanks Cindy! As far as I recall there was a dispute already at the start-up of Facebook. It seemed like a good place at first, it didn’t do much if you remember, but year after year it has been turning into more and more money grabbing place where there is no sign any more of any friendly features. Yes, it is all “we make money” and “you are stupid because you allow exploiting yourself”. Well, it has definitely lost its initial purpose. So have all the other sites. I believe nobody and nothing can serve everything: if it makes money and if it wants to only achieve higher profits, it cannot serve truth, honesty and do it for free just because the initial idea was social site. I think this idea is controversial anyway. Nobody wants to work for free, but pretending that you do that and expect praises for that is the worst when they totally are only profit-takers, plus, they do not mind any means, yet, play somebody innocent.
I totally agree! And as well as all the points you make, social media is such a time sink… One with no tangible rewards for the hours you waste there. I still feel like I have to have those accounts for my work, but I’m spending a lot less time maintaining them this year, and more time creating stuff… Much better! Great post! 😀
Thanks! Time sink is right. I am also keeping these accounts mostly because of work.
The only reason I have a twitter account is because of my blog, other than that I do not use social media for all the reasons you describe above mostly becuase I don’t care about what people I used to know had for breakfast
I will most likely delete Twitter soon once I am done with all more urgent things.
Good question Inese.I do so much like your holistic approach to mass media and all the social networking sites.We are all here for different reasons,and we very well know the pros and cons.
It’s sad though that there are some abusers.More or less most of us have experienced such
unacceptable and discourteous sort of attacks.Enjoy a splendid summer week ahead and keep your good work coming.
Thanks! Staying with my mom in Latvia for a while. It’s not much to do, but delicious food.
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Please edit the wrong space between my paragraphs and delete my note.Thank you 🙂
Just arrived, is it so serious? I will see what I cando.
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not at all,do as you please 🙂
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Good esay my friend…
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Thanks! I feel we need to reconsider a lot of things. It is hilarious how we are lied to and we accept that silently and willingly. How did we get there? Simple: truth is hidden so deep that all we know is more or less polished to the extent that it becomes acceptable.
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Great post Inese, you put it as it is, what possibly could myself add?
We are suckers from the beginning to participate in the whole thing! 🙂
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I know. Everybody is there for whatever reason. I am there because of Messenger which is way better than Skype for what I need to stay in touch with all my relatives across the ocean because all of them are very far away. For the blog and website: additional Facebook posts bring in no profits, no visibility and no presence since I would have to pay a lot in order to become visible. There was an artist who paid a bit more than 10,000 bucks within a few months and he said he got more sales. Does this really make sense? Maybe for those who do not have anything better to do with their money.
I regret that we have to sometimes voluntarily allow ripping off ourselves and making us such an easy target for scammers, cheaters and liars. All the Internet marketing and sales, oh my, it is a pure rip-off in the long run and Facebook is such a huge part of it. There are no more social media if we would like to summarize: everything is geared towards sales, profits and advantage taking.
I’m just a simple person with simple pleasures which is what social media is to me. I don’t take it serious, I just like to see pics of grandkids and pretty pictures and make sure family members are doing ok.
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I wasn’t talking about that part of social media which is the superficial part. Data nowadays is a sellable good, and social media are using personal data for their profits.. That is as opposed to what they are disclosing to people. If Facebook had to account for every case of private data breach, they’d probably do only that. Millions of people create content which is available to some other users in a way of nice pictures, videos, sometimes in other form. You do not have a free choice in viewing it, and more people see only material which is paid for at a higher rate. Basically, there is a big stream of money flowing beneath it, and it is certainly not remunerating anybody participating in this theatre. Therefore, one should be aware how of much of their data they are willing to sacrifice for somebody else’s profits.
The only social netowrk I’m on outside of my blog is Instagram, because that’s the only one I can stomach. I have managed to keep it very positive. Interacting with only people who have positive energy. Truly positive, not fake. NOT looking at those stupid trending videos/photos. I was on Facebook for a very short time many years ago, but deleted my account. Like you, it made me nauseated. And Twitter…what a nightmare! Didn’t last 2 days on there. It is said that in order to be a successful writer, you need a presence on facebook/twitter/etc, but I call BS. For all of the reasons you listed above. I love how you see through the mask of cultural conditioning, Inese. Hope the summer is treating you well. –Julie
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It feels you share the same honest attitude towards social media. It is very embarrassing how we have to live in the middle of fake everything, not only news. They’ve surrounded us with all these stupidities just because it is easy and profitable for huge corporations and internet providers, as well as for all the advantage takers which grow like mushrooms after rain.
I will definitely delete myself from some social media sites. I am also paying for some online art sites which are waste of time and money. I sort of need the Facebook’s so-called business page where I have “to add myself to my team, which is me” as they remind me frequently because there are actually no places where I can somehow announce my classes. Artist groups are visited by artists only and this gives me a tiny window to get into the local community as I cannot physically be present. I also use Facebook Messenger because calls to Latvia are very expensive (not like to India or China), and that allows me to call my mom, sister, daughter and grandchildren in Latvia. Skype is different and it does not work if somebody has not logged in. Facebook Messenger call is like a call, can hear it, and see whatever there is to see.
Twitter is the first to go because I am seeing how my site looks a bit crowded actually. I never ever understood why it exists, I also never wanted to be there since it makes no sense, but in order to apply to some places and so I had to make that account and it is still there.
I am in the middle of a terrible chaos, I have to move in a week, I won’t have my art gallery any more, no art display, I am not sure about classes. This need to move came very suddenly, we were not expecting it, but the landlord is sick, he has terminal cancer, so, there is no putting anything off.
I have a flight ticket to Latvia, I went into crazy debt for that, who knows how many years it will take to pay it off. It’s a long flight, flying through Poland this time, I used to go through Germany and Finland, Finnair does not have connected flights to Latvia any longer, and via Germany is longer, but via Uk is even more expensive. So, straight after we move in I have to pack and go to the airport. I did not know we would have to move so suddenly.
I am trying to maybe still sell something from the art website, I’d love to go with some cash, I stay there until Sept 8. I am worried, certainly for all the medical supplies and insulins, needles and other stuff which I need a lot for travel, I have to use it every day.
So, it is very chaotic, makes me nervous.
I have not posted anything for a long time.
I am sewing some outfits for me to wear when traveling, not that I crazy want to, but it is a bad moment simply, and I want to look in a decent way.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Sorry to hear about your chaos, Inese. Hope your visit to Latvia is a good one.
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I will spend most of the time with my mom, she is 88 this year. She lives in a small town, nothing much there, just a few stores and farmers market. I will probably see my daughter, who lives in the capital city, and also grandsons. The oldest is teaching history at a camp this summer, he is 20, and the youngest, right, he will be in that small town, too, all the way in computers. He publishes computer games, he is 15. It is mostly family who I am going to see. It is usually once a year visit if everything works out well and my health is ok to travel. We cry a lot when I go to the airport. distance is a terrible thing.
I question sometimes everything. I would love to have at least small gifts for them. I used to have nice gifts, still some 8 or 10 years ago, something special. Those were good times. So far, this year has been not good and moving costs a lot, we will have to do it without help of movers, it is out of affordability.
I posted before my concerns about how one loses everything when relocating at older age.
I hope enjoying better weather over there. Our grass is all burnt out in the recent heat waves. Was it ever hot!
Depending on where you are in the States, you are probably also seeing not that great weather. AC helps, but I did not have it in this place, so, half of July was lost fighting off the heat.
Thanks a lot for the good wishes!