While Mike and I were traveling I needed to be on social media. Mostly I needed to be on so that family and friends and my parents could make sure we were safe and doing well. We did everything from Pinterest, to Twitter, to LinkedIn and yes, even Facebook while we were away and they served their purpose.
I was however never in love with any of these social media channels and I found facebook to be my least favorite one. When I learned that you could un-follow someone’s posts without actually un-friending them I realized it was all a fake numbers game and I set out to see how many people were actually even reading my posts. The number wasn’t as high as my follow number suggested so I un-friended everyone who had un-followed me. I mean if none of these people were even going to see or read my posts why on earth was I reading all of their posts I wondered? And if you can tune out someone exactly how is this social behavior?
All of these supposed social media channels are therefore nothing more than media outlets. People want higher and higher follow numbers but they do not necessarily want to connect with anyone or have a dialogue on anything meaningful or even share anything useful with anyone else. There isn’t anything social about any of them.
The other down side to all this social media sharing is where I began to learn how so many of the people I once considered good friends were completely misguided in their political and social views. Foolishly I thought that since we were friends in grammar school or high school we should still be connected today. It was through their postings on their social media channels that I learned that many of them had not evolved in their thinking and many of them were just not the sort of people I would want to associate with. I realized we just didn’t have anything to talk about. Learning so much about some of these people only saddened me more.
Since the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections I have noticed an incredibly high number of postings (by people whom I assumed had high IQ’s) being posted without first fact checking the post. Some of the stories they posted were misleading while others were downright lies. This made me sit and wonder, didn’t anyone fact check anything before they posted? I think you know the answer to this.
Realizing that all of these people were just exercising their right to free speech, and thinking ahead to the 2014 mid-term elections and the even more horrific thought about the 2016 national election still to come, I came to the larger realization that I too had free speech rights and I could do with my social media as I chose. And so I chose to hit the delete key. I wish I had done it months ago.
Someone on LinkedIn recently asked everyone what they planned to do the second they retired. There were a ton of answers like sleep in, take longer vacations, play with the grandchildren more, but the response that drew the largest number of ‘likes’ was the man who answered, “stop doing social media”.
What do I do with all my new-found free time now that I have deleted my facebook account? I’m reading more books, I’m writing more stories, I’m cooking and experimenting in the kitchen once again, I’m connecting with more fellow bloggers, and I’m taking longer walks.
Oh, yeah…, and I’m smiling more.