#takeonnews: Accuracy and Integrity

Even though I have a Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest account, and have recently sworn off Facebook, I have a hard time getting the jest of social media sites in general. Yes, I’ll agree that even having a blog is somewhat a part of the social media craze, although I personally think of my blog as more of a snail-slow phone call to the ones who read my posts. Is that social media too? Okay, it is, but not like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and all those other sites that have people staring at their phones constantly. My blog doesn’t have a “stream”. People who are subscribed to my blog are getting notified once a week about a new post written. This is nothing like the three-minute chatter at social media sites.

What is it that I’m not understanding?

I don’t think any of these sites are designed for conversation, let alone meaningful dialogue. I think of them as sites where I can do what I think of as a “shout out”. For example, “Come read my latest post on my blog.” Another example, “I just bought a new house.” Yet, I know many people use these sites for much more than that and most of it is pretty lame.

Is it they don’t have enough going on in their lives so they occupy their time writing on the stream of a social media site? Are they lonely in need of friends?

My life isn’t chalked full of things to do. I don’t have very many friends either. Nevertheless, I can’t see how spending hours on a social media site is going to make me feel my life is richer or that I have more friends. If I want to do more with my life, I’ll start volunteering my time at one of the local charities. If I get lonely, I’ll do the same thing, volunteer my time so I can meet more people. Sitting on the sofa with an iPhone or tablet writing in a stream where I really don’t know anyone isn’t going to cut it.

So, why have I sworn off Facebook?

The first thing I noticed about the stream at Facebook when I first joined several years ago was the worthless dribble many of the members were writing. Being a newbie at the site, I assumed I just needed time to understand what people were doing. Now, years later, I still think most of what I’ve read on Facebook is shallow and meaningless. I mean, who needs to know if your puppy stopped needing papers on the floor at night? Chances are if the puppy could understand what was being written, it would bite the owner because of embarrassment. The only people who would be interested in something like this are the friends and family that person sees face to face each day. There isn’t any necessity, and probably very little desire, to have this information in cyberspace.

The second aspect of Facebook’s stream I realized a few years later was the drama that goes on between family members and friends while exchanging their babble on the site. I have watched families and friends break up on the Facebook site for the flimsiest of reasons. In fact, I’m not sure if they should be called reasons at all. Situations usually don’t get out of hand this way when there are face-to-face conversations because amends are made right on the spot without anyone getting any “wrong ideas”.

Now, with the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, being in the spotlight for the misuse of data, disasters with privacy issues, and lack of accuracy and integrity at the site, I felt that this was the straw to break the camel’s back. I don’t have any big dark secrets in my life but I do value my privacy and I don’t want to lose it. I’m told by authors on the internet that I need to put myself out there on social media sites like Facebook in order to be successful as a writer. I know, to a certain extent they’re right. However, I will not jeopardize my privacy for fame and/or money. To me, these are more or less shallow dreams that don’t measure up.

§

Yes, I know that what I already have on Facebook is there to stay. At least that’s the way it sits right now. Maybe, at the end of this investigation the FBI is conducting, I will have the opportunity to delete my data at Facebook.

I think about leaving Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest on occasion. As long as these three sites respect me though, I’m staying with them. [Yes, sometimes dribble is a good thing.]

“An open Facebook page is simply a psychiatric dry erase board that screams, “Look at me. I am insecure. I need your reaction to what I am doing, but you’re not cool enough to be my friend. Therefore, I will just pray you see this because the approval of God is not all I need.”
Shannon L. Alder

 

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17 Replies to “#takeonnews: Accuracy and Integrity”

  1. I am in agreement with you on this, Glynis. I don’t even have nor do I want a smartphone. I have an “old fashioned” track phone on which I do not text nor will I read a text anyone sends me. It follows me out the door only because there are no longer any pay phones.

    I Facebook so I can see photos of family and friends who live out of the area. No Pinterest account, no Twitter, no YouTube, no Instagram, no one can follow me. I read actual books because I don’t one more device in my hand for a few hours each day. I subscribe to a newspaper and magazines of interest because the articles are in depth and allow me to consider all sides before I make up my mind about a situation.

    I put my effort into my blog on which I spend a great deal of time thinking and rewriting before I send a post into the universe. I have few followers and fewer who are loyal about commenting, but I consider each of them a true friend.

    We have become a shallow society, propelling ourselves with glib comments about serious issues and sides drawn on banners instead of respectful discussions with all stakeholders. I refuse to be absorbed by it.

    I’ve always been an outsider. Proud of my independence and happy to give a hand when needed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t think I was the only one who was having a hard time keeping the social media craze out of my life but I have thought I was one of the very few. My cell phone sits in a drawer in need of one of those cards you get at the grocery store. I really don’t need it because I never go out alone and the person I go out in the community with has a cell phone.

      I’ve got a Google+ account because I’m in a writing group there. I couldn’t find one in this dinky town so I went for one online. I have Pinterest because I sometimes use a photo from the site on my blog. I have Twitter because I promote my blog posts there.

      Like you, I feel our society has become shallow. I also think we’ve become lazy too. I don’t think society today even has the gumption to stand up for what’s right anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, I’m not exactly a huge Facebook fan and sometimes what you read there is downright petty. It’s a good way to connect and stay in touch, though and for introverts this might be the best way of communicating. But nothing beats face-to-face interaction in my opinion. By putting yourself out and your life out there online publicly, so many things can go wrong. With blogging, I strive to keep my work and personal life separate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sometimes write about personal issues on my blog but when writing about loves ones, I make it all on the positive side because I don’t want to mess with their privacy. Even at that though, I know I’m taking a small risk.

      I like Twitter, mostly because of the word limit, which is now 280. This limit helps keep the drama out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I stick with Facebook because it’s a way to stay in touch with some people that I don’t see on a regular basis, and some people that I rarely see outside of a work setting. In that sense, I enjoy seeing their new puppy. When they drift off into to-much-information, I just skip over the post. I don’t post a lot on Facebook, the occasional photo or an article I enjoyed and think others might also. I set up a separate FB page for my blog. Some people follow my blog from there, but I stopped promoting my blog in my personal FB timeline. When I was mentioning it there, I felt like I had to have a lot of posts around it, to dilute the impression that all I cared about was my blog. Since I don’t want to share that much on Facebook, I just stopped mentioning blog posts.

    I enjoy twitter. I discover a lot about the industry in which I work, from colleagues who post, I follow sports teams that are out of my area and I follow some people whose thoughts and musings I enjoy reading. Again, I don’t post a lot, but I’m more active there than anywhere else. When I had a technical blog, I worked hard to promote it on Twitter. It worked, but it took to much effort,

    I think all of these platforms can become too important in our lives, just like real places. I know people who seem somewhat addicted to their gym, or their church. Yes, it’s real life and real people, but sometimes, the conversations can be just as shallow. I think it’s more about seeking a meaningful experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree, Dan. These sites have gotten too important for some people. They’re missing out on real life because of these platforms.

      Google+ and Twitter are my “shout outs”. I rarely write very much on either site but they are a way to get new posts recognized or find out about events.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am on a mission to delete all of my pages on my profile so I just have my profile. That is not personal, just for writing.

    When I heard over FB about a family member’s death, I knew it was too much. That’s ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I deleted my Facebook account after I learned that they were sifting through my browser history and rummaging through files (cookies) on my computer that were not related to Facebook.

    I learned about this from an article in the on-line technical site Gizmodo then being the techie geek that I am, I built a test – and sure enough, they were doing it.

    That is so far out of bounds.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I deleted my account – but you better believe that Facebook will keep my data and keep on collecting data on me, and everyone else, even if they are not a member. I just don’t want to be associated with them anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I found this post and the following comments very interesting, Glynis. So often you write about something I’ve been thinking about. I, too, have been told that if I want to market my writing I need to have a strong presence on all of the social media sites, but I am not interested. For one thing, I think if I were busily chattering on social media all the time I’d never have time to write. Also I’m really not all that interested in most of what others have to say and can’t imagine they would be interested in my life and thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, your comment made me grin. I think exactly as you on this subject. Could it be that where we have spent most of our time [the Rocky Mountains] has made us so independent and self-contained? And to tell the truth, I like being this way. 🙄

      Like

  7. I have a hard time with social media and I know it’s a need for indie authors to interact and get their work out there but I see it as meaningless time spent. I have all those accounts like you and rarely use them. When I first signed up I was on them a lot because that’s what the ‘experts’ say you have to do, but it doesn’t work, well not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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