Social immedia

A bit behind the curve, I forced myself to visit Reddit for the first time last week and am finally getting around to elaborating on a thought that has been developing over the past year.

reddit the future

About four months ago, I had enough of Facebook.  As I mentioned somewhere, I only joined Facebook in 2010, after having resisted it for quite awhile, because a family member refused to share photographs anywhere else.  Once I joined, being the sociable creature I am, naturally I developed my own community and had about 400 or so ‘friends’ in short order.  Most of these were family, colleagues, high school and college classmates, a couple of people from grad school and some random peeps I picked up along the way.  It is easy to network on Facebook.

At first I really got into the spirit of it by posting links and discussing subjects that matter to me.  For the most part this went well, but I found if I stuck to my causes a fairly contentious exchange might develop, depending on the topic.  After awhile, I realized that I was dreading finding out what antithetical and antediluvian views some members of my posse held.  It is amazing how Facebook reveals things about friends and family that you would likely never find out otherwise. I am sure I have already said, the final straw has been finding out how many of them love guns and don’t care about animals. So, I only occasionally visit and post at Facebook.

But there are so many other sites where I have a presence that I find I have run out of time and patience for them. Since 1996, when I bravely created my first website with an archaic program called “Webauthor”, I have done dozens of websites.  I had fun doing all the original artwork and copy (and even sound)  for various purposes. It included a vanity site that was so hard to update, I eventually shut it down.  I joined Twitter the first year when it was taking off.  Somehow I have accumulated a lot of followers (and I follow a lot of people there, mostly political) but I seldom feel like tweeting.  Not much I can say in 144 characters or whatever, being verbose myself ;-).

media

I also joined Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and a couple of others that I have so rarely even visited, that I now have even forgotten what they were.

Once you join any of these, inevitably you also become a discussion group member.  I have a bunch of those and I get their notifications, but hardly ever read them.  Occasionally I jump in on a topic and post a comment and often get a lot of flack for my non-conventional and outspoken ideas. Then I have to make myself a loose promise to ‘berth’ them.  I find that if I don’t and engage in the back and forth that I am sometimes unable to resist, I waste a great deal of time, never convince the sparring partner of my position and come away thoroughly annoyed with them and the site.  So much better if I don’t even go there!  Trolls abound on all these things — and please forgive me for even characterizing anyone in that disparaging way but I think the concept is really apt, across the board.  There are people who say things purely to bait others into arguing with them, even if they truly stand behind their provocative statements.

keep calm

But I think even more than Twitter and all the rest of these, Reddit shows me the direction in which we are headed. We will be pinged non-stop via smaller and smaller devices with more and more demands for immediate responses.

I should point out that, since I am at a computer so much of the time, and have tablets and laptops and airbooks and netbooks, I resisted getting a smart phone for a long time. Once I did, naturally I grew frustrated with its limitations and had to keep upgrading.  I just got a new 4G phone and am still not able to figure out a lot of it, even though I have had it for a couple of weeks.  I always grow to love my older devices so getting something new is a mixed bag. I guess I’m not totally down with change :-).

What bothers me is the idea that we are headed toward faster and shorter communication.  I am not saying being succinct and getting to the point is a bad thing. For most writing, short sentences are powerful. My problem is, social media are supposed to be informal and free-range.  My left-brain thoughts are rarely so clipped! (Could you tell?) My time is though.  How can I possibly keep up with all the newest media sites and have time for anything else, like reading the long, labyrinthine 19th century novel that is supposed to help me be a nicer person, LOL?

tempus fugit

I think I mentioned that I am planning to focus primarily on this blog, pushing all other social sites to the bottom of my checklist.  That is not just because I sort of got bored or annoyed with the other sites, but really because I simply don’t have enough spare time.  I have learned that we are all suffering from what is being called “time famine” and should streamline our activities so we can achieve “time affluence”. Interesting!

What I like about writing this blog (and the fact that I decided to try posting every day) is that I can put my thoughts out and get responses from brand new people (who I didn’t know at my other sites, necessarily) who have stumbled on it and decided to read or follow.  That low key approach is the one I prefer in everything.  I am not particularly pushy (nor retiring) by nature so I don’t intend to promote this blog, my ideas, worry about whether any thought goes viral, or if somehow I can retire on something someone finds here.

Looking at the book Reddit’s boy wonder Ohanian just published, one key point resonates with me. Ohanian believes the future belongs to creative people, not businessmen.  The idea that entrepreneurship can be decoupled from a sales transaction model that has dominated modern economics for the past 150 years, appeals to me.

creativity

I did not start this blog to sell something or persuade anyone to agree with me.  Nor do I write to provoke controversy and argument (although it is fine when that occurs, I consider it natural for people to react, especially when I am putting out strong opinions).  My conception of this blog is as a form of creative expression and that has intrinsic value in and of itself.  In fact, all my outlets, from singing to painting to knitting, gardening and baking are more about seeing my skills come to life than seeking attention or approval.

That said, I truly appreciate the people who take the time to stop and stay, and comment.  Being part of a community is integral to human social needs and having the ability to develop a social network as far flung as the corners of the internet is a valuable modern perk.  The frantic pace of Reddit, is a bridge too far for me.  I think I will just concentrate on one place at a time and hopefully sustain my enthusiasm for the long haul. Here I will just spin my thoughts out into the ethers and alllow them to hang there socializing in and of themselves in perpetuity.

Images: rapbroker.com,mashable.com,keepcalmomatic.co.uk,xname.cc,medium.com

POST A DAY 2013

9 Comments on “Social immedia

  1. I admire your decision and your approach – to social media and to your commitment to the freedom of creative expression that blogging affords. Not only is everyone unique, but we are multi-faceted, With a blog, we can speak to diverse interests and ideas. Readers can be informed, entertained, inspired, provoked – or a mixture of these.

    You are a talented writer, Beth, and a thoughtful, informed person, and I enjoy reading what you write. Thank you and bless you to keep on doing it!

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    • Thank you for the kind words, Vera, and likewise. I do like this community the best, so far and try to make time each day to read what other people are thinking about. It is a challenge to get one’s thoughts down on paper, sanely and I am working on it (and being parsimonious, LOL). 🙂

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  2. I am totally with you on this. I started my page with the intention of having a creative outlet and finding a community of like-minded people (which has happened), so the number of views and all that isn’t- and never will be- the focus.

    Although I also have accounts in all kinds of other social media platforms, this one is most definitely suiting me best- in large part because real dialogue is possible in this forum (unlike those that create a back-and-forth of limited characters- the continuity and depth of thought is too hard for me to sustain in places like Twitter or Tumblr).

    Creative expression is incredibly important, and I very much appreciate that which you continue to share with us here.

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    • My thanks to you for corroborating these ideas. We are truly being overwhelmed with both information and opportunity and so have to choose wisely. I am sure there is a lot I am missing but I just have to. I try to focus on the people with whom I feel a compatibility and whose posts intrigue or teach me. There is no point in my arguing with people anyway — who am I to judge or be so certain? As long as someone has a good heart, I cut them a lot of slack as I hope they do me! Thank you for taking the time to read, let alone comment. 🙂

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  3. I’ve been writing for a handful of years. But been on wordpress for 4 years. I joined facebook and had over 200 friends some I knew most I did not. I then removed people I did not know and now will only add people I talk to or I know otherwise forget it. I think I have 36 friends over there and that suits me just fine. I tried Twitter when it first launched but hated it right away and removed my account the same day I signed up.

    Same with linkedn did not like it much. And have kept with Facebook forever but at times wish i could just remove myself but I have friends from all over the place as well photo’s that are stored on facebook that I don’t have on my pc.

    Writing gives me an outlet to express how I’m feeling and I find it very therapeutic. If I happen to help someone as I share thats even better and if people get nothing out of it that is fine to because at the end of the day I’m writing for myself.

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    • That’s how I view it too. I haven’t unfriended anyone at FB lately – I do any time there is an obvious post that means that person is engaged in practices or ideas that I find abusive. I am just leaving it as is and only pop over occasionally to make sure my page hasn’t been hijacked somehow, LOL.

      Your observation that WP posts can be therapeutic is so smart. One of the benefits we have when we put our thoughts on paper, is releasing them — positive or negative, they then have less emotional charge for us (even if they have some other affect on people who read the posts). My aim is to both get my ideas on paper and out the door, so to speak, so I can come back to them later and maybe mine them for newer ideas. Or, simply to share with people some things I am learning or doing or problems I have run in to or solved.

      In a way, a blog and its followers is like a focus group, without any formal structure that comes with actual FGs. As long as we all take care of each other’s sensitivities, it is a force for good, in my opinion.

      So, let me take this long-winded comment’s occasion to say, if I am (or have been) insensitive, it is inadvertent and not with malicious intent. Point it out and forgive me! 🙂

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  4. I have a lot of friends who are Pinterest-crazy, and my observation is that they are very crafty and enjoy ‘projects.’ That is so far from me, it’s not even funny, and it explains why I’ve never been able to get into it. In fact just yesterday I considered deleting my acount, then forgot. Twitter confused the hell out of me, as did Tumblr. Like you and others here, that’s about when I came back to my blog and decided to start blogging (again, for me). I actually like the fact that a blog doesn’t get the attention a Twitter account might; I don’t want that much attention anyway. Facebook I do enjoy, but I constantly whittle down my friends list, do NOT get political, and primarily share photos there with family.

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  5. Oh yeah, def. In fact, I just got hacked at Pinterest literally this week and they froze one of my boards, exercise I think. Fine with me. I NEVer go there. I am not a crafter. Closest I come is knitting, which I learned from my nanny when I was really little and enables me to make gifts while I watch the tube. I often go into Michaels and stare at all the little trinkets and pieces that are used to make paper crafts, wondering how I could turn them into stocking stuffers, LOL. I have seen clever crafts, but — and forgive me crafters, I am ignorant in this regard — I always think that if they are done right, they look machine made and if they aren’t they look amateurish, so why would I do that? (I am willing to be schooled, here). My big mistake on FB was posting my positions on things like veganism and progressivism. Shouldna done it. But now the prob is not what I post, but what I see family and friends post. That is what I am berthing. 🙂

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