No more shouting at the wind: why I deleted social media from my phone
Posted by Jamie Insalaco
In the early days of social media, we jumped from one network to the next. What was once new hotness became old and busted (I’m keeping it 2018 with my Men in Black reference), and we moved on to the next one like an angsty teen. From Myspace to Friendster to Google Buzz (and probably a bunch of other ones I’ve forgotten), Social Media has now been around for over a decade. Then, as platforms evolved and we settled in to The New Normal of Facebook Twitter and Instagram (oh Google Plus, you hang in there!), I’ve tried to engage, but it hasn’t gone so well.
In my personal experience, Facebook is the official website of finding out which of your old friends from high school are racist, are open to living under a fascist dictatorship (“We should postpone the next election until all the illegal voting stops!”) and/or can’t seem to make an inference (“I know this story sounds far-fetched, but the website my new friend Sergei linked to looks so real!”) as well as what they had for dinner last night. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Before Mark Zuckerberg had to testify in front of Congress because a foreign intelligence agency used his business to muck with American democracy, the folks at Facebook development realize they could track us (and gather information for its advertising platform) much better with an app rather than the simple convenience of a mobile site, so Facebook started asking you to download the messenger app, the Facebook app and whatever the hell else. For some reason, the fact that I could simply switch to desktop mode on my phone’s mobile browser and circumvent their nonsense really annoyed me, and my minimal use a Facebook dwindled to non-existent.
Yes, the photos of people’s dinner got old quickly, but that was a far cry compared with what was to come. You know what I’m talking about: the negative behavior feedback loops, the tracking, the fake news story links, the advertising, and so on. And Facebook’s not the only one.
Instagram seemed like the answer. I like taking pictures, I like looking at pictures and the fact that you can view and share them electronically means there’s no hard copy to produce and store. This seemed like the perfect option for me, but again, I just got bored with the content and annoyed with my own photos. I started to feel like I was taking pictures for Instagram instead of myself and that was the end of that.
Initially, I thought this was just me on another quest to find a social media network that fit. I left Facebook for Twitter and then Twitter for Instagram, but then wandered back to Twitter. Just the other day, somebody responded to an innocuous reply with the usual vitriolic nonsense and I was fed up. I deleted the Twitter app and haven’t looked back.
In the end, I didn’t delete any of my social media accounts, I just stopped using them and deleted the links and apps from my phone. This website automatically drops notifications for each post, so since I don’t have to post anything manually, that will continue, but that’s pretty much it. Social networking can be a valuable Communications tool and a lot of fun for many, but right now, it seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth in every possible sense – at least for me. There’s the many sins these companies have committed, a lack of interesting content and the fact that it seems as though there is little going on to change this other than the costly Facebook apology commercial airing on cable television.
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About Jamie InsalacoJamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com
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