Giving Up Social Media?

No, I am not one of those old people who is against everything invented in the last 20 years. Nor am I a person who spends the typical 2 hours a day clicking through my social media accounts. I am a user but only to a very limited degree. But, maybe even that is going to change.

I certainly understand the importance of having instant communications between a diversity of people across the world. They say Facebook has brought people together. It has billions of users so that must be the case.

My problem with social media is that there is so much bilge clogging up the system to make it extremely difficult to uncover its good side. Too many people ranting about this or that. Too many depressed people because they don’t have high enough “friends” counts.

I also see where many psychologists and such say social media is responsible for much of the epidemic of loneliness, especially among the younger generations. Too many young people spend so much time interacting with social media and rarely actually talk with other people. Let’s face it social Media is probably doing more harm than good in these recent years. It has sadly become an addiction to far too many of us.

I see there are groups now that want to just shut down Facebook, rather than try to break that massive monopoly up. I know every generation has its own problems that the older folks say is ruining it. But, is that more a reality now than it has been in the past?

Getting back to the personal level, I haven’t looked at any of my social media accounts in almost a month. I get a few notification in my mail feeds but they are quickly deleted. I am seriously considering deleting my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. I think my life would be more joyful without them.

Let me know what you think about removing ourselves from the social media world?

About Loneliness

Loneliness is something I feel I am an authority on, at least as a layman. There are several reasons for that, some of which I will get into later. The topic of loneliness was brought to my attention again by the CBS Sunday Morning show I just watched. It said that almost half of us feel lonely much of the time, and as the quote below shows the more you are attached to social media the more likely you are to be lonely.

So, why would someone with 3,000 Facebook friends feel lonely? “One is this idea of social comparison,” said Dr. Primack. “People are able to take 300, 400 pictures of themselves and post that one that makes them look like they are that much more thin or that much more attractive or that much more successful. The impression from the outside can easily be on social media, ‘Wow, I can’t measure up with my very normal life.’

Source: CBS Sunday Morning

I have had that feeling about Facebook too. So many pages lead you to believe that you are the only one without an exciting life. I.E. you are the only one who is lonely. It is ironic that something tagged as “social media” is perhaps a primary cause for loneliness, especially among teenagers! They are one of the primary groups to have epidemic loneliness.

I have always been a loner, I was forty before I actually had my first serious relationship. I always used to say “Loneliness is being alone and not wanting to be.” I think that was a rationalization that helped me cope with the fact that I just couldn’t seem to seriously connect with those around me I’m still not very good at that, but at least, through life’s experiences, I have taken the edge off of it.

Of course, another source of my loneliness is being deaf. I’m sure that is the primary source for my particular brand of loneliness. I always say that I am not particularly lonely when I am by myself; I am the loneliest when I am in a group of people. I see all the interactions going on around me but don’t have a clue as to how to join in.

The third reason for my particular brand of loneliness is my wife. She is pretty much a recluse. She gets her joy from her daily activities and they don’t really include anyone but her. I love her and understand that is the way she is, particularly now that she is approaching eighty years.

So, with these three strikes, loneliness is a guaranteed part of my life. I think that is one of the reasons why I blog every day. I want the connection however trivial it might be. I cope pretty well with my loneliness but it looks like many, particularly those who are in earlier stages of life, aren’t doing as well.

Finishing off this post, I want to go back to the Sunday Morning show. We in the US are not the only ones who are lonely but we are likely the leader of the herd. Britain has deemed loneliness serious enough to warrant a Minister of Loneliness, whose job it is to find ways to combat it in their citizens. I don’t know about loneliness but I think we could do some really quick improvements in our country’s severe depression with a quick change in the Oval Office. It would help me beyond words.

My Battle With FaceBook

I suspect some of my readers remember that I have been having a battle with FaceBook. When I log in I get this long list of “Friend Recommendations” that are mostly very scantily clad young females with strange names. I used to “X” them out but that did no good, they would be back the next time I logged in.

I was considering just dropping Facebook but that is my only source for keeping up with some of my long ago friends. I complained to FaceBook on several occasions but never got a reply. And then I got an idea…

My profile describes me as a 70+-year-old male, what if I changed that? What I did was to now proclaim I am female and that worked! Within a couple of days the young undressed female friends recommendations stopped. Now I am getting mostly older fully clothed females as possible friends and all the ads on the right side of the page are for women’s shoes and such. If that is the price I must pay then so be it.

I know FaceBook is famous for selling their member database to anyone with enough money. I also know the erotica is big business. Maybe that is how it happened? Another possibility is that one of my current “friends” is an erotica buff with all those girls as part of his mammoth friends list. I did eliminate a few of my old high school classmates who are now MAGA folks as I was tired of their daily post about the great job their hero is doing.

Either way, I’m glad that won the battle. You can call me Ms. Walters if you want, I really don’t care ūüôā

Explaining Our Times…

Ok, I admit that I have been retired from the workforce for almost two decades now, so aside from what I read I am pretty much ignorant of it. When I left the workforce the mantra was “Do more with less”. Many of my coworkers were being laid off and I was told that I had to do their jobs in addition to my own.¬† I couldn’t imagine a more stressful situation today.

When I came across this article by¬†By¬†Ruth Whippman in the New York Times it helped me to have more empathy for today’s middle-class workers.¬†¬†Ms. Whippman is the author of ‚ÄúAmerica the Anxious: Why Our Search for Happiness Is Driving Us Crazy and How to Find It for Real.‚ÄĚ I think I will pick up an e-copy of her book to understand it more. Here are the snippets from the article I want to concentrate on:

In this cutthroat human marketplace, we are worth only as much as the sum of our metrics, so checking those metrics can become obsessive. What‚Äôs my Amazon ranking? How many likes? How many retweets? How many followers? (The word ‚Äúfollowers‚ÄĚ is in itself a clear indicator of something psychologically unhealthy going on ‚ÄĒ the standard term for the people we now spend the bulk of our time with sounds less like a functioning human relationship than the P.R. materials of the Branch Davidians.)…

This is the future, and research suggests that it‚Äôs a rat race that is already taking a severe toll on our psyches. A 2017 study suggests that this trend toward increasingly market-driven human interaction is making us paranoid, jittery, self-critical and judgmental.

Source: New York Times Nov 24, 2018

One of the two main points of this article is that more and more companies are outsourcing their work. They no longer employ their own workforce but instead contract it out. 

The second point is that our social media has become critical to our future success. We need to show that we are popular and influential in order to get that “perfect” job. If our “likes” aren’t high enough it will raise suspicion. Being told that finding that perfect job is now totally our responsibility. That alone is tons of pressure for so many young people.¬† It’s no wonder that the suicide rate among this young group is so high!

I’m going to stop here with this particular post. But I suspect that I will be revisiting this topic in more detail after I have read the author’s book.

I Don’t Have Many Friends — By Choice..

Maybe I should explain the title some more before I continue with the post.¬† Yes, because of my Aspie traits and my isolation as a deaf senior citizen I don’t have as many friends as I had when I was in the corporate world. That is a fact that can’t be denied but it is not the point of this post.

The point I am trying to make is that by Facebook standards my friends list is pretty abysmal.¬† I think at last count I had about 40 “friends”. Some of them I don’t “follow” because they post multiple times daily about the most mundane things in their life and even though I am a 24/7 senior I don’t have, or maybe I won’t take the time to even browse through those posts.¬† Of those 40 friends I think their average friend count is over 200.

2017-10-12_12-05-50.pngIt is not because I am not able to have more “friends”, Lord knows I get multiple requests weekly from people I have no idea who they are. Maybe they read a post here at RJsCorner and want me to know what they are doing?¬† But I suspect most of them found me when I made a comment on Facebook one place or another.¬† Their purpose for asking me is simply to increase their count so as to impress their friends.

I’m probably going to come off as an old fogie here but I think social media is a fad not worth following, at least to the degree that many do. We all say our days are so hectic that we have no time for family things. But then the stats show that people spend multiple hours daily interacting with social media.¬† Maybe it’s time for many to go cold turkey from social media for a few days to spend time on other things? Maybe its absence would show them that it doesn’t add much value to their lives?

Follow Me On Facebook or Feedly

Snippet Banner¬† 2017-02-28_10-27-01A quick snippet here to give you a couple of different ways to follow my daily posts on RJsCorner. If you are a regular Facebook viewer you can now see my post there. Just click on the”Facebook Connect” block on the right edge of this post and hit the “Follow” button on the Facebook page.

If you use Feedly, another way to make it easier to read me is to put me on your Feedly list. It is a great app that I use daily. ¬†Just copy the URL¬†here and then go to Feedly search box and paste it there and then click “Search” and then “Follow” on the subsequent page.

Facebook in 2030? 5 billion users, says Zuck

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All CEOs including Facebooks’ Mark Zukerberg are paid the big bucks to be dreamers. They all have to have a vision of where their company dominates all the competition in the years ahead. Of course there are only a meager few who actually get it right. The rest take their millions and walk away and another dreamer takes over.¬† I think Zuck really understands that by 2030 which is fourteen years away something else will likely replace Facebook as THE social site of the age. Fourteen years is an eternity when it come to technological change.

But I want to get a little more personal with this post and tell you what I don’t like about Facebook.¬† I have been getting on site daily for some time now but it is getting on my nerves. I know that Facebook like any other corporation HAS to grow. If they don’t they lose favor with Wall Street. How they do that is what is important.

I admit that I like to keep up with some of my friends via Facebook. Even if I don’t see them face-to-face much anymore it is nice to see what they are up to in their daily lives. The Walters clan, if it even deserves to be called that, have never been to connected with each other. I have two brothers and a deceased sister as siblings. The last time I saw them in person was in 2002 when I made a trip south to visit them. They for the most part never seemed interested in connecting on any serious level so they have never reciprocated with a visit north. But still it is nice to see some of their daily interactions with their immediate families.

As I said I enjoy keeping up, even on a trivial level, with my friends and relatives but lately it seems that I must also keep up with any comments or interactions with people they “like”. For some of my friends that means dozens more daily reads. I like my friends but I don’t necessarily care to know who all their friends are.¬† Simply stated it is just taking too much time to parse through what I don’t care to see in order to keep up with them.¬† I will shamefully admit that I have “unfollowed” several in order to keep my Facebook viewing to a manageable level.

I know that kids spend hours each day on what I consider frivolous social media interactions but I just don’t see the point in knowing why my BFF had for breakfast this morning and don’t really care what their friends had!

Zuck may eventually have to subtract one from his  7 billion human count estimate.

What The World Needs Now Is a Lot Less Spite….

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

No, not just for some but for everyone

I love the song lyrics above. They give me hope that someday, probably in the very distant future the world will turn to love but we got a long ways to go before that can even remotely become reality. In the interim I am just praying that the world has a little less spite tomorrow than it does today. Spite is such a destructive thing to humanity. It is hateful rhetoric that we need a lot less of.

I want to make sure that we are on the same page so I will give you an official definition of that word here:

spite         noun

feeling¬†a¬†need¬†to¬†see¬†others¬†suffer¬†‚§Ľ
syn: malice, maliciousness, spitefulness, venom
malevolence¬†by¬†virtue¬†of¬†being¬†malicious¬†orspiteful¬†or¬†nasty¬†‚§Ľ
syn: cattiness, bitchiness, spitefulness, nastiness
verb 1

hurt¬†the¬†feelings¬†of¬†‚§Ľ
syn: hurt, wound, injure, bruise, offend

The Face of SpiteThe picture here is from a display panel at the Brown vs Board of Education historic site. The look on the young girls face behind the African-American entering a once segregated school is the ultimate spite in my mind. There is nothing in the world productive about spite. It only has a totally malicious, often hateful, purpose.

I ran across an invisible face of spite recently when I accepted a friend request from someone I remotely knew from my high school days. When his Facebook postings¬†came up the next day he was passing on¬†a cartoon with the final¬†frame calling President Obama a “shit head”. ¬†When I commented that I wonder if calling the first dark-skinned president a shit head was intentional or just Freudian. He said he just thought it was funny and did not hate the president.

But this brought out one of his other “friends” screaming spite in a diatribe about how the president was evil and the worst person in the history of the world. I enjoy debating people who have different political or philosophical outlooks on life but I have learned from experience that is not possible to do that with people who scream so¬†loud. They are not about to hear anything but their own rants or maybe reinforcement of their¬†prejudices. ¬†Sadly I am discovering¬†too many of my previous high school classmates in this mode. I wonder what happened to them in the intervening years to cause such¬†anger toward anyone? I wonder if that young girl in the picture who is now in her 60s or 70s ever mellowed out? I pray that she did…

What the world needs now is a lot less spite, then maybe we can move on to¬†a little love….

Fifty Years From Now…

2015-03-07_11-49-09Recently¬†someone requested that I be¬†his¬†new “friend” on Facebook. I’m not sure I even know him but I think he is a sibling of one of my high school classmates. One thing that Facebook is good at is to give you a long lists of ¬†“friends of your friends” to entice to add more. I guess they get more revenue that way but I don’t know for sure. ¬†Anyway I went ahead and accepted the request and within a day or two that person’s Facebook page appeared on my screen. The first post was him passing along someone else’s post. It was a comic book type spread that ended up with a not very gracious picture of the president and calling him a “shit head”.

I quickly, maybe too quickly, commented that I wonder if he called the first president of color a shit head was intentional or Freudian? That started a fairly long discussion with a my new friend and some of his friends. My new friend says he just thought it was funny and didn’t hate anyone¬†but some of his other “friends” came on with vitriol attacks of the president screaming YES he is a shit head.

I bring up this conversation for a secondary reason and that is about the legacy people are leaving with their Facebook pages and many other Internet sources. Do they realize that what they post will be readily available to their grandkids, great grandkids, and great great grandkids? Do they realize that their words are permanently etched for others to see?

Being a retired Information Technology guy¬†I know that Google, or whatever replaces it fifty years from now, will be thousands of times more powerful than it is today. All my new friends’¬†heirs, or anyone else for that manner will have to do is Google his¬†name and they will find that he¬†personally condoned a verbal personal attack of a president of his¬†country. Does my new friend realize that everything he¬†pens on the Internet today will form a legacy of just who he is for posterity.

I’m sure my new “friend” is a decent enough fellow who I would probably like in person if I ever got to know him in person. But this first encounter has soured me to even making that a possibility. I don’t know, maybe he just watches too much Fox News and¬†therefore¬†thinks it is ok to casually trash another person’s character because it is funny? Fox News certainly makes billion of bucks doing just that everyday. ¬†Now I am not saying here that it is not ok to disagree¬†with someone’s actions, especially our public figures. I do my share of that but I try¬†never attack someone’s character with cheap, malicious, and especially racist words. If I ever do I hope someone will quickly call me to task like I called my new friend to task.

I turned off the “Follow” feature of Facebook for my new “friend” so I guess I will never really know him. I just hope he becomes more¬†sensitive to others and be more careful what he does¬†on his Facebook page.

About Me & FaceBook….

2014-11-15_08-17-42After yesterday’s post about people resisting change and not adopting the latest technology I thought I would take the opposite route today. Today¬†I am going to talk about¬†Facebook by giving you a view of¬†my personal habits there. How is that for yin/yang??

Unlike so many, I have not made it a¬†life’s goal¬†to grow my “friends” list to any gargantuan level. ¬†Some I follow there have hundreds of “friends”, some even have thousands! I think mine is currently almost¬†fifty and several¬†of those are institutions not people. I know that is pathetic by most¬†standards for that site. ¬†Who has only fifty friends and some of them not even people??

Another thing about Facebook that I simply don’t get are all the games you can play. I admit up front that I am just not a game player and have never tried them or even know how to access them but I do get it seems daily someone wanting me to play this game or that with them. I do dabble occasionally with some¬†free Euchre and¬†Pinochle apps when I am thoroughly bored and am too lazy to do anything else. ¬†It passes the time…

I do get onto Facebook at least a couple of times a day. I visit the Will Rogers page frequently there and a couple of others just to see what is going on. A local town council member is very active on Facebook so I count on him to keep me up on what is happening in our small town politics (thanks Anton).  A few family members and past friends also get a glance once in a while.

Facebook is a valuable medium as long as you don’t get obsessed with it. It seems¬†most people complain about how busy and hectic their lives are but millions ¬†spend way too much time in social media sites. You can’t seem to walk into any place where people congregate without seeing as least a few kids, and some not so kids, Facebooking. Yeah, I understand it is a verb now. ¬†Maybe if they put down their cell phone once in a while life would seem considerably slower for them. Maybe their hectic lives wouldn’t seem so hectic. That is the opinion of this old but tech savvy senior citizen. ¬†Since I stream my two most active¬†blog sites to Facebook I guess I better check my Facebook page now to see the reactions to this post, I don’t want to lose any friends over my reckless words here …. ūüôā

Writing My Material….

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An important part of my daily read is the Will Rogers Facebook page as shown above. It, along with the half-dozen books about him on my bookshelf give me a lifetime of material for this blog at RJsCorner.

Will inspires me for his wit, wisdom, and humor. But maybe even more so for his endurance as he put out thousands of¬† “posts” of his day.

Will inspires me with his method of delivery.¬† One of his most famous quotes is “All I know is what I read in the newspaper” and then he would proceed to put his spin on the story. The vast majority of my posts start out as a quote from what I read around the Internet. I then expand on it with my own interpretation.

Will inspires me with his calm patience. I get attacked on occasion for what I say.¬† I, like him, try to keep the attitude of “I never met a man I didn’t like” and deal with those upset yahoos with calmness and a sense of humor. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Will inspired me with his writing style. Kind of laid back and nothing too formal. My header above has one of my favorite quotes from him.¬† I try to do the best I can and don’t take life too serious. Even that gets me in trouble once in a while as people just take what I say here too serious when I mean it to be tongue-in-cheek.

Will inspires me….

 

 

If You’re Not Paying For It……..

Source:¬†Facebook isn’t free ‚Äď USATODAY.com.

The best way I’ve ever heard Facebook’s business model described is simple: “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” What makes Facebook so valuable is that you, your friends, and everyone else who uses the site are sitting ducks for marketers out to exploit your information to sell you things.

This article is about FaceBook but could be about many things in the world today. The saying “If you are not paying for it you are not the customer.” goes beyond this one particular company but it is also very appropriate to Facebook. Facebook’s real customers are the ones who pay them for the info you put on you page. Let’s face it (pun intended) that Facebook and Google make their millions by selling info about each of us.

I am not a conspiracy type guy so I am not one to put an evil face ¬†(pun intended again ūüėČ ) on either of these companies. They both provide a worthwhile service. ¬†Being able to keep up with long time friends and being able to find info on just about anything with just a few keystrokes has changed our basic way of life in the twenty-first century. ¬†I can’t imagine what is coming next in this area.

But we must also realize they both of these companies know what side of the bread the butter is on. I know that after I “googled” about getting a new car there suddenly appeared dozens of emails from the various car manufactures. I became quite a bit of work to parse through all of that and rightly put it in the virtual trash. ¬†Since I am not a frequent user of Facebook, I seldom post anything and only get on the site a couple of times a week, I can’t say much about them.

The Thing about Facebook‚Ķ

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There has been a lot of press lately about how Facebook was used during the Egyptian protests lately. Showing its affect on democratic reform definitely put a positive spin on this social network. But then I go to my Facebook homepage and I see something entirely different. There are no great social causes being espoused there. Of the 50 or so ‚Äúfriends‚ÄĚ I have there are a few organizations who try to promote common causes but not many.

I do want to admit up front that I am not very active in Facebook. I post occasionally just to let people know that I am still here. But I seem to be the exception rather than the rule.  For the most part the never ending status messages go something like this:

  • ‚ÄúJust had a cup of coffee and it was really good. Now it is off to work‚ÄĚ.
  • ‚ÄúI watched TV tonight with my boys. Nothing much on‚ÄĚ
  • ‚ÄúWhy do I feel so sad?‚ÄĚ

If I opened myself up all these types of messages I would surely get hundreds of them per day.¬† One of the best features on Facebook is the ‚ÄúHide‚ÄĚ button. It allow me to not have to see particular posters daily comments. I hide the more frequent ‚Äúfluffers‚ÄĚ as I call them. I admit that 90% of my ‚Äúfriends are in the ‚ÄúHide‚ÄĚ category.¬†It would be nice to know the ‚Äúreal‚ÄĚ news from my friends; I don‚Äôt get that because there is no button to eliminate fluff while allowing substance. Maybe Facebook can work on that feature.

It seems for every status message as above there are half a dozen comments attached to them. People today often talk about how they are so busy there is no time for things like family time or such.¬† But they do have time to scroll through hundreds of mundane messages from their friends and then comment on many of them.¬† If they spent as much time becoming aware of the social and moral issues of today, instead of blindly following their favorite “talking head”, their time would be much better spent and “our” democracy would be stronger.

So, here I am seeing how Facebook was critical to the formation of the democratic movement in Egypt and at the same time totally frivolous in my own backyard?

But what do I know