About a month ago people started contacting me out of the blue. They all told me they missed me on social media. It was weird, that about 5 people that I haven’t interacted with in months or years suddenly reached out to me over the course of a week or so. I didn’t ask why; I was kind of afraid to know the answer. The social pressure to be normative and get back on social media is already there any time I get online, anywhere, for any reason. That’s my personal social dilemma.
There Are Other Ways
I get most of the online content I consume through an RSS feed aggregator. It doesn’t show me things I didn’t ask for. People I choose to follow don’t suddenly go missing unless they’re legitimately not posting. Things are presented chronologically. There’s no interference from algorithms. The only ads I see are to get a better plan with the RSS aggregator that offers more features, which seems like a fair thing to hit me up for. None of this creates the illusion of a connection between content creator and content consumer, though.
Some of the marketing, publishing, and writing feeds I keep pitching the necessity of having a social media presence. Years and years of data tell me that, for my business, this is not true. Few people will step off of Facebook or Twitter to visit my blog and read a post. A barely non-zero number of sales have ever been generated by my social media presence, even when I had accounts with thousands of followers.
Still, in spite of several attempts and massive amounts of evidence, elements of doubt continue to be introduced. What if it’s not social media? What if I’m just doing it wrong?
A Toe in the (Toxic) Water
After reading several newer pieces on using social media for business, I started syndicating my company blog posts to Twitter. I began to interact with people there, for just a few minutes a day. Then I started syndicating these blog posts to my personal account, although I haven’t really spoken up or commented on anything there.
A couple of weeks later, and I have some preliminary results from this experiment. As expected, there has been no boost in sales or traffic. I am, however, more anxious, angry, and unhappy than I was prior to resuming contact with these toxic environments.
The Social Dilemma
Yesterday I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix. It’s a bit superficial and cheesy, but think it could be eye-opening to a lot of people. If you’re like me, i.e. you’ve been paying attention, there’s nothing new here. Social media is manipulative, it’s bad for you, and it’s destroying civilization as we know it. That’s not hyperbole. There are facts upon facts upon facts to support it.
Of course, it won’t make any difference. Everyone has their own facts now, and we don’t live in anything like a shared, common reality. People who are already inclined and understand and agree with this film, will. Those who don’t find it to be in their best interests will deny that there’s anything to it, and dismiss it as stupid or propaganda.
I need to go blow up my social media accounts again.
My Personal Social Dilemma
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