A Social Media Diet

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Super popular organizing consultant — with even her own show on Netflix — Marie Kondo asks, “What sparks joy?” Anything else, you should strongly consider getting rid of. That’s her advice as she helps families organize their life. The same applies to social media. With that, I’m making changes.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Increasingly, I’ve grown sick of the often noisy, toxic and even deadly world of Facebook. It’s not going to be easy. Facebook has done a masterful job of wrapping its tentacles around the social fabric of our lives. Luckily, I’m not addicted. I barely used it before, often just to link to my blog post and spending 5 extra minutes responding to questions. Now, I don’t even link my posts. I’m down to maybe 5 minutes a week from my pervious 30.

Drink and Click and some other photography oriented events post to Facebook. I’ll keep my account, just to get those notifications.

Twitter is basically gone too, though I used it even less than Facebook. Years ago I followed two friends on Twitter and I couldn’t even recognize their personality. Rational in person, the tone of their tweets were unrecognizable and disappointing. I unfollowed them because I didn’t want to lose respect for them. What do you expect from a platform that works in 140 character chunks? It rewards snark and pithy — not a healthy way to communicate. Hey, at least they now upgraded to 280 character tweets.

The downside, of course, is that some of my friends get to my blog posts via Facebook and Twitter. That’s what these companies count on. They so dominate a market that it forces everyone to join or be left behind — at least that’s the fear, uncertainty and doubt that they spread. That’s the risk I have to take. But, I do offer an alternative.

I’m creating a monthly atmtx photo Newsletter. For anyone interested in my blog, but doesn’t want daily emails when I post, the newsletter might be perfect for you. I’ll feature the best of my posts, old and new as well as original content. It’s a convenient way to keep up with my photos, stories, travel, and gear with minimal added noise. I hope you like it.

Signup for the Newsletter

7 thoughts on “A Social Media Diet

  1. Good for you. I ditched social media for the most part some time back. Facebook is still there, barely. To me it is mainly a calendar to keep tabs on the music scene and other interests. I don’t have Facebook on my phone anymore but check it from my notebook usually once a day, in no more time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee, mainly to check notifications. I use their Local app for events to avoid the toxic stream of Facebook itself as much as possible. All other social media has been long since purged. Internet time is kept minimal with usage mostly restricted to recommendations by trusted friends, podcasts, and books I read. Blog interests are curated into the Feedly app, safely away from the temptations of a multi-tabbed browser. Minimizing social media and Internet in general helps me find all kinds of time in my hectic work/school schedule. Stepping away from the stream reveals time for exercise, quality reading, writing, and meditation. Maybe a little photography once in a while.

    1. Hi Mike, I admire your disciplined approach and it makes sense, especially given your busy schedule. I probably have more time than you, but it still doesn’t mean I should waste it on Facebook. There are more productive and educational things to do.

      Cutting out social media is similar to what I did with TV. I hardly watch any of it. I’ve completely cut out TV news long ago. Life is much better with the constant drumbeat of bad and exaggerated news.

      People ask me, how I have the time to do a blog post every day. Well, without much TV or social media, you have time for other things. Photography and blogging are creative outlets that, in theory, makes one grow. It’s certainly not a mindless activity.

  2. Two very good ideas. Count me in for the newsletter.
    My experience with Facebook was similar, only more so. I used it to keep up with only two people – one of those had abandoned email correspondence in order to interract with a larger audience.
    Over the years Facebook twice became the conduit for an email contacts raid. In one case, the entire donor list of a public radio station was swiped and used to spam “Cheap Viagra” offers over my name.
    I quit Facebook altogether last year because of the deluge of malevolent political content being served up. Cancelled my subscription to the local newspaper (still feeling guilty) to protest its unmoderated online comments which had devolved into a vile cesspool of alt-right, KKK-influenced gibberish.
    Facebook and Twitter have had enormous positive impacts at times, but on balance have changed into delivery systems for poison.

    1. Like any technology, social media can be used for good or evil. But, the service is only as good as the organization running it. And, it’s evident that Facebook has a different set of principles from me. The leader molds the company, and from the start Facebook never cared about the public. Of course, we’ve all heard that the public is the product. Let’s use every physiological trick in the book to addict users.

      Unfortunately, Facebook and your local newspaper are suffering from similar pressures. What do we do or what do we allow that can increase traffic. More eyeballs mean more money.

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