My State of 2019 – Social Media

A couple of years ago I gave up Facebook. I was not enjoying my time there, and I didn’t like their business practices. Fast forward to the end of 2019 and I’m trying to figure out how Twitter and Instagram, the two social media platforms I routinely use, are going to keep playing a role in my life moving into 2020.

Twitter

Social media has been a tough spot for me in 2019, especially Twitter. I really have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. There is truly a lot of valuable information to be had there. I love using it to keep up with weather forecasts and information, using it as a support tool (the support I’ve received from Comcast there has been fantastic), and keeping up with various companies I have an interest in. But we all know about the dark side of Twitter, and that has been the toughest part for me in 2019.

I simply don’t like the types of nonsense Twitter allows on their platform. Their claim that censoring content is of freedom of speech issue is tenuous. Twitter is a corporation, not the Federal government. By censoring content they are not inhibiting anyone’s freedom of speech. It is in the best interest of the public to take care of clearly inappropriate content and make sure that people keep things civil. So far their track record in those areas has been middling at best.

All of that said I’m just not sure what role Twitter is going to play in my life in 2020. It most certainly provides value. But I’ve “quit Twitter” multiple times in the past. I think the path forward is to use it as an information source and steer clear of participating in most conversations. There are a couple of people there I like interacting with but I think ultimately the plan for Twitter is going to be “listen, don’t talk”.

Instagram

I hate to admit it, but I absolutely adore Instagram. I have a very narrow focus there and I love posting my own photos. It is so unlike Twitter, at least in the way I see it on a daily basis. On one hand part of me wants to “quit Instagram” for various reasons. Yes, it’s owned by Facebook. Yes, it is exploitative in many ways. These things bother me and give me thoughts about leaving the platform. On the other hand it is a wonderful outlet for creativity and expression. It’s also become my preferred way to keep in touch with people. I just don’t have an answer right now for Instagram.

Going forward…

In my introduction I wrote that my theme for 2020 was going to be “stability” and that I was going to take the opportunity on a quarterly basis to review these areas of my life and reevaluate them. I think for both of these platforms I’ll have to take a close look in March at how I’ve been using them. If they are too distracting it might be useful to use some of the tools that the Mac and iOS provide for placing limits on myself and how I use them. I just don’t want to make the knee-jerk reaction I have in the past, which is to “quit” and then come slinking back with my tail between my legs. It’s much better to be open and honest with myself about how much value these platforms are providing in my life and move forward based on that.

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