I have come to the conclusion that I am burnt out on social media.
Now, I love me some social media. I love talking to people and having conversations. I love catching up on the latest hashtags on shows like #thestrain and pop culture moments. I also like that sites like Twitter can bring about social movements really quickly and get real time information out there. And I like keeping up with my friend’s lives on the FB.
FB is doing things like using images of users in their ads and not letting people have code-names or private pseudonyms. That’s even to the point that a friend of mine, a woman with a Native American last name, was told her profile was locked until she proved it was a name. A real name.
And a writer who just left Twitter posted this amazing piece about how women are attacked online once they start getting big platforms, calling Twitter a “hate amplifier.” Which, if you get that kind of treatment, then you’d really understand the need for the code names. I’ve seen a lot of fights on Twitter. Gang-ups, attacks, counter-attacks, snark, horrible misunderstandings and plain old trolling. I have participated in some of those things and I’m not proud of it. I probably will again.
But I’ve found myself in a kind of trap. I get most of my news from FB and Twitter. My feed is filled with activists and citizen journalists who share really important works. How do I keep up with the news without getting bogged down in the arguments? How do I build my own presence online and off without feeling saturated with negativity and hopelessness (something I wind up prone to after reading post after post about Ebola, race issues, gender wars, bad sexual behavior, economic collapse and thousands of walruses stranded).
I know I should diversify my feed, or perhaps just eliminate who I follow. I also would like to get into more focused conversations about topics.
For a few weeks, I’m going to try to post more here-short posts, longer articles, snippets of things. How I’m feeling. Emotional posts, even. And I’d prefer to take comments here and discuss away from FB. We’ll see if that works. I don’t know if it will. My own site-counters show few hits. I think most people read my stuff via FB and comment there.
Regardless, I need some headspace or a new way of doing things online. So I’m experimenting. Suggestions welcome.