PODCAST EP 58 SUPPLEMENT: THE FACEBOOK CONUNDRUM

by - September 18, 2018




Social media a burden and a curse. From the early blogging days of Myspace (you can read my old posts in an ongoing series every Monday) to Facebook and Twitter, I have had a love/hate with social media. At first, I didn't understand why people were blogging and started writing just to see if anyone would read my rambling. Much like this postings on this website, blogging helped get thoughts out of my head and helped process emotions instead of lashing out at people.

Myspace was a perfectly fine way to keep up with friends. When I first signed up for Facebook, it was to be the more professional social media contact. Friends on Myspace, work contacts on Facebook and never the two shall meet. Or so I thought. For whatever reason, the Myspace empire started to crumble and everyone and their (literally) mother joined Facebook.

At first, Facebook was a decent way to interact with friends and family that were spread throughout the world. Over the last few years though, Facebook, in my view, has been more a famine of intellect  than a feast of information. Even before the 2016 election and all the purported #FakeNews being spread on the site, Facebook was losing it's appeal. Part of that is due to what Tom Harness and I discussed on Positive Cynicism Ep 58. The manipulation and selective reality of one's social media presence.

I realized the events and thoughts I was posting on Facebook served only to make my life appear great. If I went to a concert, sporting event, theme park or anything that looked fun and would make others envious they weren't there, it went online.  Sitting in front of the TV eating Taco Bell for the fourth time that week, well, that didn't need to be shared with anyone. I realize, I'm not the only one who does this. It's probably the main reason social media now exists. Like reality shows that exploit the narcissistic scripted lifestyles of rich people, Facebook can be manipulated to create a slanted view of reality.

Alternate realities are only part of the issue I have with Facebook. The other issue is the non-bragging information being posted. How much authentic talk is being shared? Maybe it's just my feed (if that's the case, then I really need to re-evaluate the people I associate with) but it seems over the last few years, there's less and less original thoughts and more and more sharing of articles or lists from the internet. Instead of posting a list of someone else's Top Ten Nic Cage movies, give me your list and lets discuss. What are the road trips across America you've taken or want to take? I don't care what the staff reporter for AAA thinks are the trips I need to take. I want to hear your opinion. And then of course, there's all the political articles which back up preconceived opinions posted with little discourse other than "I totally agree."

I know I should be utilizing Facebook in an effort to grow my brand and promote Positive Cynicism. I'm also aware this posting is more Cynicism and less Positive. I just don't find joy in the social media platform. As I mentioned to Tom on the podcast, I have decided to deactivate my Facebook account at the end of October. Using it until then to raise money for St. Jude as the fundraiser for my first half-marathon. Once that's done, unless something changes, I will exit the Facebook world for the foreseeable future.

In the words of The Clash, "should I stay or should I go?"

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