It seems to me like every time I check my Facebook or Twitter feed I am being told to
I remember back when I first joined Facebook, you had your page that you could organize however you wanted. I spent hours moving around the different squares showing movies that I liked, books I was reading, photos that I loved, I even had a nifty one that showed a different Hubble space photo each day.
People would come and check out what was going on in my life if they wanted to. Nobody was forced to see anything that I had posted unless they came looking.
As Facebook gained popularity I can understand why they changed to the “Newsfeed” style that we know today, it would take me hours to check on my family members alone, far more time than any of us have to dedicate to Facebook. (Or should anyway!)
Now though, I have to scroll forever past “shares” of the same thing from eighteen different people, random ads for this or that and not-so-funny memes that I just don’t understand. Most of the time I’m so busy scrolling past the crap that I miss the one small spot where someone who I actually care about has posted a short sentence that really matters. (I actually had to go back and spend an hour searching for the baby announcement that I missed when my friend gave birth. Three weeks late offering my congratulations made me feel like an idiot, thanks Facebook!)
Twitter is, if anything, worse. When I first started with Twitter the marketing people hadn’t realized what a valuable tool it would become and my Twitter feed was full of brief updates about people’s actual lives! (I know, amazing huh?)
I started out by following a lot of celebrities and it was neat to get these tiny glimpses into their lives. The few friends that I followed would hit me with golden nuggets like “Grocery shopping, turnips on sale!” or “Car wash lineup at minimum yippee!” I always felt that it was only one step away from stalking but that didn’t stop me at all.
Now though it seems like every other tweet is an #Ad, re-tweet or plea for more followers. There is very little left that is personal, specific to one individual’s life. I miss seeing my Twitter feed full of that, now I have to search (really hard sometimes!) to find the stuff that I consider “real”, as opposed to automatically created by some computer linking thing.
I understand that people need to make a living, and that social media is now a big part of marketing but I feel that it’s getting ridiculous at this point. I don’t sit down to Twitter because I want to find a new mascara or way to make meatballs. I want to be transported into someone else’s life for a few minutes. I want to know what the weather is like in Hong Kong, how the waves are cresting in Hawaii, how much snow is left in PEI or if coffee is being served next door.
I realize that this whole rant seems counterintuitive, I use Facebook, Twitter and more social media to promote these blog posts. That’s what is expected of someone who blogs, unless, of course, they don’t care if nobody reads their posts! Unfortunately that makes me part of the problem.
I think this calls for a change. I’m not going to stop blogging, I enjoy it too much (and honestly believe that I’m a good writer!) but I am going to stop promoting myself and my blog on social media. I don’t need to shove my writing down people’s throats, if they like my Tweets or Facebook updates they can choose to check out my blog.
So there you go world, I am giving you your freedom of choice back. You can choose to keep reading my blog, or not. You can choose to “like” my Facebook page, or not. You can choose to follow me on Twitter, or not.
I know that a lot of people will think that I’m crazy and maybe I am but I really don’t like the way that so much of our lives have become susceptible to advertising. I want my boys to grow up making informed choices about what to wear, read and buy instead of feeling like the only option is the one being shouted the loudest on social media.
There will be no more shouting from my little bit of the internet, instead I will whisper about my life, my boys and my plans to write a book.