Who Needs Social Media?

Obviously the question in the title above is what this post is all about. Here is the definition of social media from Wikipedia. The biggies are obviouslly Facebook,Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, with many other a little further down the line.

Obviously these companies want us to believe that we need them to do almost everything essential to life itself. We HAVE to plug into their product to keep control of our lives.

  • Make friends
  • Build relationships
  • Be actively related to politics
  • To hail a cab
  • To catch a bus
  • To shop
  • To understand the world.

But is any of that really true? It wasn’t but a few years ago that we had other methods of doing all those things. I know I am going to sound like an old person here but I think many of the older ways were better than using social media. Getting down to the root of this matter, maybe the more important question is do we need what these founders of social media are doing to our lives.

We don’t need:

  • to make increased corporate or government surveillance of our lives easier.
  • to make unanswerable harassment possible without consequences of the harasser.
  • to make stalking easier.
  • to pollute our democratic processes with lies and distortions found on these sites.
  • to be exposed to all the false anti-science garbage.
  • to make the “Us vs Them” divide any wider.

Maybe we need to look back at the days before these social media giants controlled so much of our lives and maybe take a step back to change things.

If we simply didn’t use the current social media outlets I’m sure others would sprout up that would change many of the con’s above. I know all these guys are currently multi-billion dollar companies who have a stranglehold on how we interact with each other in the 21st century, but that doesn’t necessarily have to the the case.

I am generally not an advocate of burning things down in order to make improvements but that seems to be about the only method that will eliminate the problems above. The $5 billion fine on Google is a start but it needs to be backed up by a strong consumer boycott to affect change in this area.

What do you think?

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.

About Your Enemies… and Reconciliation

2018-08-12_11-45-54It seems that at least for the last twenty months or so I have enemies who rant against my view of the world.  They come at me with a “love it or leave it mentality.  How dare I say some of the things I do.  Will those who spew out all the hate via social media eventually destroy themselves as the quote here indicates?

Hate is a self-consuming thing. It will eat you alive if you wallow in it too long and that seems to be what so many of the current ranters are doing They troll the Internet looking for places to strike. If it happens to you the question is will you return tit for tat or will you take the proverbial high road? From a personal standpoint my first reaction is to attack my attacker, but in most cases I just let them rant with no reaction from me. All I end up doing to delete their comment before it shows up on the blog.  If I engage them they just stay around longer as they know they have an audience.

Moving to a higher level with this thought, it was not that many years ago that I believed that I didn’t have any enemies, at least as I defined that word then.  Yes, I frequently view the world differently from others but that was just a difference of opinion between us, it didn’t make us enemies. Now those differences seem to have become points of serious contention for some and the difference between friend and enemy.

Why do so many now need to villanize anyone who thinks outside their tunnel vision view of the world?  Will the rigid Us vs Them mentality preclude any possibility of reconciliation between us?  That seems to be the question for our current times.  I pray this is a trend and not the new standard.  What do you think?

 

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?

Instagram, Here I Come..

I will admit up front here that I have no idea of why the so-called social media is addictive to so many people, especially our younger generations.  But then again due to my Asperger’s characteristics I am not really attuned to much of any form of social interactions. 🙂 But that doesn’t keep me for chiming in on this issue.

Growing up in the 1950s and 60s I was never aware of much social pressure in my life. I tended to live inside my own bubble and was just not that affected by what others thought of me. I did have trouble making friends, especially the female type but I took that as being just the way it was for me. Like most teenager males in the 1960s I was into cars even if I could not afford one of them.  Even today, show me a picture of a car made in the 1960s and I can likely identify its make, model, and year.

Getting back to the subject at hand, from what I understand social media plays a very big part of a teenager’s status now days. If they don’t have high enough “friend” counts they are evidently scorned by their peers. I know that even as a seventy year old I frequently get “friend” requests from very young people who I don’t know.  Some will do anything to get their friend count up. From my limited research I have found that Facebook is by far has the largest membership but others are catching up.  Here are the top five:

2017-09-03_11-50-21

I do check in with Facebook almost daily but until now I have not done much with the other four sites.  YouTube occasionally pops up on my radar screen when I want to learn how to do a particular thing. Because of our political times I won’t get within a mile of Twitter.  That leaves Instagram as next on my “conquer” list.

From what I understand Instagram was bought out by Facebook in 2012 and when that happened it catapulted to 150 million monthly users. Now I will admit that I really don’t understand its purpose? So many claim to be so overstressed by all the things they have to do in a day but still millions find the time to take, upload, and publish Instagram photos that supposedly their friends and neighbors will want to immediately see.

Maybe that overstressed population is just us old people, that is people over 30 or so. 🙂 Getting back on subject I have decided to make my presence know on Instagram. I don’t want to be accused of being behind the times. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I am currently just not convinced that a picture without some explaining text is of much value.  It just seems too frivolous to me right now. But I am willing to learn.

I have had an Instagram account for at least a couple of years now but until recently it has laid dormant. I recently polished it off and even published (or whatever you call it) a few pictures for practice.  I know you are supposed to take and immediately publish a picture but I kind of like the idea of going into my Lightroom albums and publishing from there so that will likely be my modus operandi.  If I put a comment on a picture about getting the full story from my blog maybe I will get more views there. Maybe that is my purpose for Instagram.

Instagram here I come..

https://www.instagram.com/rjscorner_myviewoftheworld/