I’ve been Facebooking a lot less these days. I know that the plan was for them to show me a lot more posts from my people and fewer things I don’t care about, but I’m not seeing it. Plus I’ve noticed a distinct shift in the types of things I’m seeing: Negative posts from family and friends fill my timeline and horrific, sensationalized stories flood my news feed.
So I’ve stopped checking the news on FB, and only peek in on my timeline once or so each day. I also restrict my Twitter and Instagram checks to one or two per day now. (Not that I post any less. But I’ve always considered my social media posts as a digital form of talking to myself. If I entertain anyone by doing so, that’s a bonus.) However, I’ve come to have a greater appreciation for the news in this brave new world, so I have found other ways to keep up. My two favorites are The Skimm and NextDraft — both highly informative and entertaining, and bonus points for managing to avoid bombarding me with political propaganda and stories about dead babies. (In the interest of full disclosure, if ten of you sign up for Skimm using that link, I’ll get a t-shirt or something.)
Now I just need to sort out my social media. Because I still want to keep up with everyone. But FB is such an annoying harbinger of doom lately, Twitter is a pit of harpies, Insta’s overflowing with ads and “related posts” I don’t care about, and I’m apparently too old to fully grok Snapchat. I really wanted the 43t reboot to be the end-all, be-all, but it’s not taking off.
It’s not that I don’t care how everyone else is doing. I’m just frustrated with my current means of doing so. I used to get emails. Texts. IMs — on AIM, and before that, AOL. (On dial-up.) And way back in the day, people called me on my cordless phone with the telescoping antenna. Or even ::gasp:: stopped by for a visit, or invited me out somewhere. Seems like nobody does stuff like that anymore. If you want to know how someone’s doing, you must follow them on these sites. And the sites are a cesspool of negativity and capitalism, stupid quizzes and clickbait.
So I’ll continue to project my signal into the darkness. And I guess I’ll keep peeking in on everyone from time to time. But it’d be nice to skip the sites and get an email. Or a beverage.
Even I tire of my hermitude from time to time.