Sort of Done with Social Media


#1

So I just deactivated my Facebook account after about 6 months of non-use. I never really used Twitter since its inception, as it first struck me as a silly glorified comment section. Instagram…and everything else afterwards is simply “after my time.” I’ve never used any of them and never felt I needed to.

What I can say is I still very much enjoy Internet forums. Actually I feel like they are part of the reason for me ditching social media, since social media are such poor platforms for the types of discussions I am use to on the Internet since I started using it. Moreover they always felt like a downgrade with the added drawback of being more public.

Your thoughts?


#2

I always considered Facebook a waste of time and had no interest in it. My feelings could best be summed up as “If I really cared what you’ve been up to the last 40 years I would have kept in touch. And no, I don’t want to see a picture of what you’re having for lunch.”

That changed with the move to Mexico last month. The folks on the Puerto Penasco FB page have been a great source of information when looking for places to shop, get the car washed, etc.


#3

I never had used social media. I never understood the attraction. At the last place I worked, a bunch of co-workers used facebook and would bitch about it. I asked them why they used it and their answers, in general, were that they hated facebook, but all their friends were on it. This convinced me to never get involved with it.

I also do not do twitter or anything like that. I do have a linked in page which I rarely update. I am not sure how useful linked in is.


#4

Congrats!

I bailed on Facebook years ago when it became clear that it had a net negative effect on my habits and mood.

Twitter was a professional necessity for a long time, but then 2016 happened and I had to unplug to save any kind of sanity and conveniently no longer had a job that required Twitter.

Oh and shortly before (iirc) that, I bailed on another forum that had become toxic some time previously and I finally realized how bad it had gotten. (I was kind of a dick about it, but I sleep most nights.)

It’s not like quitting social media has fixed all the problems in my life, but it has definitely helped. I firmly believe that social media platforms as they exist today are a blight upon society.

So, yeah, we’re doomed.


#5

Your social media experience depends on how you set it up. Follow a bunch of brainless fuckwits? Guess what your feed is going to be like? Follow a group of your smart, interesting peers covering a range of topics? The experience is vastly different.

FWIW, Twitter to me is invaluable as a means of getting useful news about things that I’m interested in, covering a wide variety of topics. I also use it professionally - and effectively - to get messages out to the right people. It’s great. Facebook is… well, now that I’ve whittled my friends down to a smart subgroup it’s actually pretty good. If I make the mistake of putting up a public post, however, it can be a shitfest.

Instagram is somewhere in between, but again it took a while to find the right set of people to follow and now it’s pretty good.

I also regularly take breaks from all of it, and don’t create expectations that I will post something on a regular basis. I am at peace with it. Mostly.


#6

It’s a pretty major component of my active social life and an extremely useful and generally rewarding one at that. Unlike what seems like a good chunk of the core Qt3 user group, I’m a highly extroverted young person! ;-)

Kk, snark aside, I really do draw a lot from other people and desperately wish I had more hours in the day to keep up with everyone and engage with them more. For me, Facebook is a handy stopgap, a great communication enabler, and a fantastic organizing tool.

While the interactions around a shared meme or a hearty discussion of which kind of bbq sucks most aren’t at all a replacement for real in person interaction, they’re a nice way to stay in touch, maintain shared experiences, and laugh together, even if many mild apart. The built in chat client with FB is particularly handy. As Google slowly tries to murder Hangouts, FB Messenger is rapidly becoming the new “assumed” chat client almost everyone has, enabling quick access to more personal and meaningful communication that’s still easy to fit into busy days and nights.

And a big one for me, but FB is also a major component of my IRL social life by acting as our primary organization platform. We’ve got a weekly walking group, a monthly lunch group, our big RPG group, my annual GenCon group, my metal concert group, a “life experiences” group… The ease of event creation, rsvp tracking, and obviously the fact that you can invite almost anyone you know all in one place without needing to know email addresses or even phone numbers is huge. Again, with an extremely busy social calendar, FB is an invaluable resource for keeping track and finding times to get together.

This week, I’ll have had a Productivity Night with my two closest friends, a board games night (replacing a planned D&D game cuz some folks were sick or overworked and just needed something to lower stress), a regular rpg night, a good friend’s 25th b-day BYO pizza party, and a session of the big Mouse Guard semi organized play rpg group, almost all of which has been organized or at least advertised via FB and Messenger.

Like krok said, following people you actually like and get along with and want to read the updates of day to day is an enormous part of what makes it great, and I’m lucky to know a lot of amazing people I love keeping up with and who enjoy following my own adventures. Teachers, historical interpreters, artists, writers, local musicians, game designers, old friends and new ones…the people in my life are awesome, positive, and engaging, and FB is the thread that runs between all of us.

Mere email or phone calls couldn’t replace so much of that. Social media rocks, man.


#7

My feeling is that even when one carefully curates one’s feed to people that post interesting and smart things and don’t do what Facebook constantly bothers you to do (i.e. friend thousands of random strangers with some tangential tie to your actual friendbase), Facebook’s design is fucking terrible and undercuts any sort of meaningful interaction like crazy. (I didn’t love Google+ but it was at least better. If only anyone had used it.) I think about the only iteration of “social media” I’ve seen whose design I can stand at all is Discord, and I’m not entirely sure that counts. I still think forums are, overall, way more useful for having ongoing conversations and being able to refer back to them in any sort of meaningful way, but apparently kids these days don’t care about that.


#8

I really mostly use it just to track bands and concert venues.


#9

This is so true. When I first started using Facebook I would accept friend requests from pretty much everyone provided I had any kind of connection to them. Old high school friends, former co-workers, parents from sports teams my kids played on, etc… Everyone seemed to have like 500 Facebook friends, and I was quickly catching up to them.

But my feed was a mess, and filled with a lot of really stupid and borderline offensive shit content. It came to a head when a guy I grew up with who had been my best friend for a decade as a kid/teenager went Full Trumptard in the summer of 2016. The resulting back and forth ended with me defriending him, and coming to the realization that I really only wanted Facebook as a means of keeping up with people I genuinely care about, not every fucking nitwit that I have ever crossed paths with. I quietly started defriending and unfollowing people, and now my Facebook feed consists of about 50 people who are mainly family, close friends, a few coworkers and old friends, etc., but all are people I get along with well and honestly care about, many of whom I can’t regularly get together with face to face. It’s changed the way I view and use Facebook. Most of my feed is stuff I actually want to see, and on the rare occasion I do post something it’s usually about my kids or something happening in my life that I want the people I care about to know. I also belong to a couple of groups like our neighborhood HOA that are very informative on things I need to know, so that helps add value as well.

I like Twitter, but it feels like it’s grown into a cesspool of hot takes and pile ons, especially since the 2016 election. Instagram is useless to me since I’m not at all narcissistic and have no desire to take pictures of myself, my food or the places I go every day.

My favorite social media has been around for two decades or more…internet forums. Places like QT3 are the only place I feel like I can fully communicate what I want to say, and that people respond in kind. I really enjoy the community here, maybe because it’s somewhat of an echo chamber of people much like me in many ways, but maybe also because it’s a community of people who understand how to communicate in a mature, thoughtful and interesting manner.

You people rock. Never stop being awesome. ;-)


#10

FWIW I totally get the utility of Facebook as a communication platform. I happen to benefit from my wife using it and letting me know anything relevant.


#11

I guess you get out what you put in. I don’t do Twitter or Instagram. I have a FB account but I never post and don’t look at it much. Sometimes it’s satisfying to see what an old acquaintance is up to but that’s about it. Qt3 is my social media.


#12

Addendums to above thoughts:

Quite a few of my more introverted, shy, or just generally not-hyper-social friends have said in various ways that digital communications, especially indirect ones, are often less stressful and draining for them, so I also view social media as a handy way to have interactions with those friends that aren’t as big of a strain for them to deal with (recognizing that Max Level Extroversion 9000 can be a bit much for anyone).

There’s also the big annual High School Friends Cabin Party group that I do one of my big annual “catering” runs for, plus the annual Blizzcon party (yet more food-by-Mando), a monthly boardgames meeting group I’m a part of. . .

And finally, I do absolutely agree that Facebook isn’t a great place for substantive, sustained, long-form conversation with several people. Forums really are the pinnacle of that particular art form, and that’s exactly the reason I’m so active here in addition to my IRL and more modern social media commitments. The ephemeralness of social media is in many ways my least-favorite part of it. I’m a big old nostalgia whore, so I love going back through old discussions and chats with people, which is generally very hard to do on, say, FB (oh, where is that post about milkshakes where my buddy and I came up with an on-the-spot improvisation of “Milkshake” to make it about Starcraft in the comments from, I dunno, six years ago? Oh, there’s literally no way to ever find that again? Cool!).


#13

I used to like Facebook for awhile, until I got creeped out with all the privacy stuff. I now only log in to check messages. That said, I can definitely see the value with something like Armando’s uses of it.

It has made me closer to some of my friends. Others, not so much, turns out my best friend from 15 years ago is now a hardcore anti-vaccine person constantly posting about it. Missed out on a lot of important things happening in peoples lives because facebook decided to flood my feed with that sort of stuff and memes instead of stories about people I cared about.

I am a little concerned with the younger folks. Many don’t seem to care about the privacy stuff at all. Some of the 20 somethings I’ve known seem to use it as a replacement for any other type of social interaction.


#14

I remember quite a few years back I posted about deleting my Facebook account and some Qt3 member (sorry, the details escape me) just went off on me, as if I had attacked him and the concept of Facebook. I’ve never really understood this whole internalizing thing people can work up, I guess that’s how you get console wars and school rivalries and crap like that. But I determined that Facebook, for whatever good it provides some people, just felt like a waste of time for me. So, I bailed and I don’t miss it. More power to those of you who enjoy it. Let’s just go our separate ways on this one.


#15

GODDAMMIT POGUE YOU WILL ATTEND MY MONTHLY FRIENDSHIP LUNCHES AND SO HELP ME DARWIN YOU WILL ENJOY THEM


#16

I have largely quit Facebook, but remain active on Twitter. Twitter lets me filter out stuff I don’t want to see, and I can group people into lists. That makes it easier.


#17

Sorry, all such requests must be directed to my manager of social affairs, Chemistry Cat.

omg_o_1038289


#18

I should note that it’s not that I perceive no value to what Facebook does (though I think the big uses it sees are largely valueless), but that its design actively gets in the way of… pretty well everything, tbh. If someone came along with a service that did the productive bits of Facebook, could get people to actually use it, and had a sensible design that facilitated rather than interfered, I would switch in a heartbeat. I might even like it.


#19

I am a social person and used Facebook for a long time (I also put a lot of time into it daily for following my friends), but I quit it when I noticed that I was no longer getting anything meaningful from my friends group, it was pretty much 100% advertising and promoted posts.

Facebook stopped being social media and started being advertiser media, so I dropped it. Once the world/my friends catch on, I’ll switch to whatever the new thing ends up being.


#20

Never used Facebook, use Instagram exclusively to ogle pretty girls in bikinis, and use Twitter primarily for news, almost never post anything.