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Josh64

Social Media

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What's your opinion of social media in 2021? What platfroms do/don't you use and do you think it has gotten better/worse in recent years?

I deactivated my Facebook account about a month ago now and feel better for it, though granted the automatic muscle memory of tapping the icon every time I opened my phone took a bit of getting used to. I think with the pandemic and ever stranger algorithms I'd just finally realised that I was getting nothing out of it other than suggested posts or articles that almost seemed purposely pushed onto my timeline as a way to wind me up - passive aggressive racism, hot brexit takes, covid deniers - It was as though Facebook knew everything I believed in and purposely fed me the opposite content to get me riled up and participate in heated arguments, though I may be looking too far into it.

Alas, I wasn't able to get rid of Messenger as I need it for work chats and it is my primary form of contact with my wider friendship base as I intentionally had a new number when I got my current phone and new Twitter/Igers a year or two ago to cut down the every mounting number of people I had that I no longer really knew, or was so tangentially related to that it felt weird sharing my personal life with them. 

I feel as though a lot of what is going on at the minute is also a direct cause of social media mismanagement and the result of us as a society kinda having it thrown upon us without any prior experience. I'm almost certain had Covid happened in 2005 everyone would be a lot more compliant with the rules and less likely to follow any old conspiracy theory that old Linda and John from down the road decided is more reliable information than that of health professionals and scientists. 

I do see how it's not all black and white though, I'm also well aware that social media has got many people through the last year and helped them deal with isolation - I also know first hand from setting my nan up with an ipad and facebook a few years ago that it really helped her feel a lot more involved in all of our lives when she could scroll through every day and see what we'd been up to. 

I just wonder what measures should be taken to protect things on social media and what steps Facebook should be required to make without overstepping the mark of freedom of speech/information. 

Twitter is also a completely different beast than it was a few years ago, it used to feel like such a warm and secure secluded bubble, curated of Nintendo lovers, celebrities I love etc etc but now, despite that still being the makeup of who I follow, I constantly get suggested trending topics, liked tweets or seemingly completely random popular tweets which just sully the whole experience. For example, a few days ago a video popped up on twitter because it was popular and I proceeded to see a middle aged couple arguing over shovelling snow with their neighbour and the neighbour then reach into his pocket and shoot them to death. I guess this is just content now?? 

Alas, I DO still enjoy Twitter when I don't view random cctv murders on there, but it's quickly becoming just as toxic as Facebook for me. 

I don't plan to completely shut myself off from social media though as I think in 2021 you can't really do that without isolating yourself too much, and that was proved yesterday when I recieved the sad news on messenger that my old college tutor had passed away. We all got on really well with hiim but as it's been a minute since college I only have that circle of friends on Messenger and I would have been sad to have randomly found out a few weeks later about the news, so there are still plenty of benefits to being connected.

 

I don't know, I'm waffling, I'd just like to know your opinions on social media and if you're still a regular user/thinking of cutting down. Social media addiction could be a whole other topic to delve into but I feel like I've already typed enough for the initial post lol.

 

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Facebook is the main communication tool I use for both friends and family. I don't get any news or anything through it (just really bad looking Kickstarter adverts to laugh at), just posts from family and friends.

 

Twitter I muted certain terms, ubnfollowed a lot of celebrities and adblocked the "Discover" and "Trending" segments. It's mainly for video game and Star Trek related stuff. I now try to just block people instead of getting into stupid arguments.

 

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I got rid of Facebook in 2017, VKontakte in 2018, Twitter last year, and finally Instagram a couple of weeks ago. I'm 100% social media free right now.

Instagram was the hardest one for me as I'd been on the platform for almost 10 years and it was a good way of looking through personal memories. I set it up when I went to Russia in 2012 and had some great photos from my first year there. However, over the past couple of years (since FB took over basically) it had become really, really shit. It started with the News Feed being changed to a FB style one with nothing being shown in order, littered with ads and "suggested posts" that I didn't give two shits about. The final nail in the coffin for me was when the "shop" become one of the five quick link buttons at the bottom of the app. Absolute garbage. The "suggested posts" in the search function were all idiotic TikToks which is a completely different platform of which I have never had interest in. In 2014 it was great, free of ads and free of clowns trying to make money. 

Deleting social media is pretty tough. It feels like you're kinda stepping away from the real world in a way and moving back into some sort of void, deprived of meaningful contact. That said, it is wonderful for your state of mind. You genuinely feel so much better when you're not spending minutes or more a day reading content that does nothing but rile you up or make you mildly annoyed. 

I spend a lot more time here as a result, where long-from communication is encouraged and appreciated, I also spend a lot more time actually listening to podcasts when commuting rather than flicking through social media with one on in the background. The most important thing though, is that I actually started speaking to people. I text and call family and friends more regularly than I did before as I don't have a window into their world which I can simply throw a meaningless like to. For example, when I deleted Instagram, one of my old mates from Uni, who I haven't spoken to in years, sent me a "u ok hun?" style message and we ended up texting for 3 hours. I actually found out how he's doing and how his relationship of 8 years had recently ended. I would never have know that just from Instagram. I'm buying him a beer when I go home and gonna spend a couple of days in his country house in sunny Scarborough! I don't think that would have happened had we just continued to 'exist' as friends on social media. 

I really want to get rid of my YouTube account too, but that's proving more difficult. I've unsubbed from a lot of content over the past year or two. Anything that I feel isn't giving me meaningful content, playing off politics or simply chasing the algorithm. A lot of my favourite content creators are shifting to new platforms or setting up their own websites. It's not ideal, and means you have to move around the Internet a lot, and it's particularly bad on mobile devices. There is definitely convenience when it comes to having everything in one place, but if you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain. Any social media or video platform I choose to be a part of in the future will be a paid one. There's a reason all these services are free.  

Social media does absolutely nothing for us. Get rid of it all, I guarantee life will improve. 

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The problem with social media is that it affords everyone a platform to broadcast their mostly ill educated views and it inevitably degenerates into either a slanging match or a pissing contest.

And it started off as such a nice idea too. I agree, get rid of it all. 

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Completely agree with the above two posts. The world would be a much better place without social media. Less fun at times, absolutely, but it's tearing society apart.

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This is strange that this has come up as it's something I've thought about too. In 2016, when I started my fitness blog, I absolutely loved Instagram. It was full of other people going through exactly the same thing I was with their journeys. It used to be such an awesome community with people sharing their tips and hints and their workouts. More importantly, to me, it was for people of ALL shapes and sizes and I was living my best fitness life!

Compare that to now, however, and it's an absolute joke. It's no longer full of people building each other up. I realise how the next part will sound but please, I mean no offence.

Whenever I visit Instagram, all I see is dudes with six-packs or women with curvy waists and they're like "do this and you'll be like me" and they eat and drink fruit smoothies and stuff. Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that if that's how you want to live life but the people who I knew, the people who ate normally and did calorie-counting eating and exercising, who worked out with no six-pack or curvy waists on show for thirst traps...they're gone. Also, it's full of toxic negative people on both ends of the spectrum. The HAES (Health At Every Size) movement is becoming a joke now too, excluding people because they're "not fat enough to appreciate the struggles" or because they hate the word 'fat' but use it themselves is laughable. Don't even get me started on the slimming clubbers!...yeesh, never have a (respectable but) different opinion or experience to them.

I want out but the only thing that has kept me there is the fact that there are still people within my followers who actually message me on it and ask for my help and I'm more than happy to give it to them. That and also the fact I don't know how to save all of my posts. After all, it was my diary for five years and I would love to blog but I can never find a decent blog service for me to do that.

 

As for Twitter, I totally agree with @Josh64. It used to be full of gaming love and appreciation but it's started to get quite heavily political. I deactivated my personal Twitter account. I've taken a break from social media because I was sick of seeing stuff about Covid-19 and it took a big toll on my mental health. I've got an app on Instagram for the laptop, which I'm using to make posts on my fitness one but I'd love to up and leave. Would anybody even know how to save my posts on a file or something?

Edited by Beast
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I was never appealed by Facebook. I got an account for the first time in 2013 when I went to Germany, and kept it exclusively to keep in touch with the people I met there. Even later on, the messenger stayed useful for future acquaintances, and even when I was looking for housing at one point.

But the main page, the "media" aspect of it? Hate it. It did nothing but give me snippets of other people's lives without us actually interacting. Browsing through it would legitimately ruin my day at times. So I stopped logging in, even if my profile is still there, and I occasionally use Messenger.

For similar reasons, I never got Twitter or Instagram (or anything remotely similar, like TikTok or whatever). I have a Youtube account by virtue of having Gmail, but never used it. I also have Whatsapp, which is a messaging service, but some people I know annoyingly share every pic/video they receive, which brings it close to social media. But hopefully it won't cross the line too soon.

So yeah, stay off the Social Media, kids. Build the live relationships of yours that actually work both ways.

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I gave up on Facebook years ago. I still have an account and look at least once a day but I never post anything on there. 

Twitter I use a fair bit and it's where I made most of the friends I now know. I'm trying to engage less with random discussions on there. Sometimes you can disagree on something but still remain civil but more often than not it's just angry shouting so... But still, it's a useful platform.

I went on an Instagram purge a while ago and cut it down to mostly people I actually know and some artists I like so now my feed is only a post or two long before it gets into the "maybe these?" posts to try and increase engagement. 

I guess all of them are just about curating who you follow and as time has gone on I've cut them all down to something more manageable.

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I last posted on Facebook two years ago, Twitter I have no idea when and I am “active” on instagram but probably post only a few times a year.

At some point last year I realized that there was generally nothing good about facebook and it just acts as an echo chamber for people to self-reinforce their own insane point of view. It’s become a mirror for what happens in politics in that people only want to hear things they agree with and will not budge their opinions no matter how much the evidence is against it. I think it was the thoughts on BLM certain childhood “friends” were posting that eventually made me suspend my account.

I still use Reddit as I think in the right subs it’s actually a great place to get info on whatever topic you might have an interest in. Aside from that and posting here I’ve pretty much given up on all of these sites. I don’t need to see the life highlights of people I don’t care about and certainly don’t need my views to be manipulated by a clever algorithm of content. 

Social media is something amazing that we’ve pretty much managed to turn into the worst part of our society. If someone would take facebook back to what it was around 2008 or so (before the marketing took over basically) I’d gladly pay for it.

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I only use social media as a tool to promote what we're doing on our YouTube Channel, Twitter, FaceBook, Reddit and Instagram.  Worst part of the job is copying and pasting to the numerous FaceBook Nintendo Groups.

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Facebook for me is a way i keep in contact with some friends.  I don't actively post much these days, maybe a tag on an activity i'm doing or post some pictures.  But, i don't really go on a lot compared to a couple of years ago.  I feel better for it overall.  It does help that i block/unfollow people who bring the mood down.

Twitter, i can't remember the last time i posted anything on that platform (i tell a lie, last actual tweet was in December.  It's mostly retweets since).  I mostly use it for keeping up to date with the latest gaming news, any breaking news going on in the world or reading live tweets of a show as it's airing.  Quite a few comments are toxic, most recently comments made about the late Captain Sir Tom Moore.  Some of them comments were vile to say the least.

Instagram, it's linked to Facebook so i tend to post pictures/videos through this avenue which go onto Facebook.  Don't really browse it much.

Reddit's not bad, if you follow the right channels and avoid the wrong ones.  Otherwise you'll get something that really isn't to taste.  Something more toxic than Twitter and Facebook combined, and stuff heading down the 4chan route.

Mostly keep YouTube around for entertainment, i follow a few cookery channels and tend to do my fitness from videos posted on this.  So it's helping me in a positive way, one of the few platforms that do if i'm honest.

Social media when used right is a great tool to keep in contact with friends/family.  When used wrong, it's one of the worst platforms which brings out the worst in people.

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I've(as ever :p) got a LOT of opinions on this subject but I'm gonna read all the posts and construct something myself. I did post a piece in the Trump thread about facebook tho that I think is quite telling with kinda what you were saying about content - and hints how/why it is driven, or ignored as a problem, which ofc as always...money, basically. As we all know. I think us kids of the pop-up days realise how profitable ads and pushed content are I don't think many these days do as much.

https://m.marketscreener.com/quote/stock/FACEBOOK-INC-10547141/news/Facebook-Knew-Calls-for-Violence-Plagued-Groups-Now-Plans-Overhaul-32321243/

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I remember my first real use of social media back with 'Friends Reunited' in the UK. Initially I felt really happy that I could find out how everyone who I went to school, college, university were doing and then I compared that with what I was doing and I felt incredibly depressed with it all. I guess that experience has shaped my overall view of social media. Rule 4 'compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today' is a good rule for me to live by.

I'm on various platforms but I rarely post because it just doesn't interest me. I'm still interested in the link between prolonged social media use and depression. The goal of social media is for the user to be on their platform for as long as possible (seek validation from others), get dopamine hit and to come back regularly. It sounds a bit like a drug really and if that is the case try going without it for a week and see what happens.

Not sure how social media platforms can really police themselves without the government stepping in but then again most politicians don't really understand the full issue. 

Social Media Depression - YouTube

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Has anyone watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix?

It's a documentary featuring interviews with a lot of the people who helped design the social networks in the past, and basically how they regret what it's become.

It's a pretty depressing watch.

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22 minutes ago, bob said:

Has anyone watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix?

This is a great watch and I’d recommend anyone using social media platforms to watch it as an introduction to what is happening when you’re on those platforms.

It’s not just social media that has all of these things either, it’s exactly how most free to play games are designed too and manipulating a persons actions is key to them operating as intended. Really made myself and many of my colleagues take a step back and wonder if it’s really something we want to be doing. There’s just so much money available in doing these things that someone will always take advantage of it.

I can’t remember the exact way they word it but I think the key takeaway for me was that the product they are selling is the ability to manipulate peoples individual view points by a small amount but on such a large scale you can make things like Trump/Brexit happen without anyone really noticing what you’re doing. That’s the really scary thing.

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