Social Media Slump

Before I get into my diatribe about social media, I just want to let y’all know I’m over twenty thousand words into the WIP. This pleases me, as it’s been a while since I’ve written something I wanted to continue. So… good news! 🙂 I’ll finish this one.

Also: I was having a health problem the last couple months, and only recently have I been told the chances of it being serious are negligible. I’m waiting on one more test result, but things look very good at this point. YAY!

And now… on to the rant. Heh.

__________

I’ve had some problems with social media the last few months. Much of my distaste for it revolves around the presidential election; I’m fed up with the GOP candidates and the nonsense that comes out of their mouths, and I’m not altogether fond of Hillary, either. She keeps playing the gender card (“I’m a woman, therefore….”) and downplaying how much of her money comes from Wall Street and Big Banks or adroitly avoiding the subject altogether. I know who I’m voting for. I don’t need to hear anymore of this stuff.

It’s not just the continuing garbage from the right, either. Today on G+, a comment I made was misunderstood, and instead of asking me a simple question to clarify, I was thrown out of the community and blocked by two posters who called me names first.

This upset me, because it’s indicative of how people interact these days, never giving someone else the benefit of the doubt but assuming instantly they are guilty of whatever they think you’ve done or said. And because I was blocked, I didn’t have the chance to clarify my comment. That really pissed me off. Sentenced and executed, just like that.

My favorite place to be these days is on Facebook. Yeah, I know how odd that sounds, given our problems with FB, but I can carefully control who sees what I post and whom I talk to. I only rarely post publicly, so curious passersby don’t generally notice me, hence I don’t get a lot of nastiness from strangers, like I do on G+.

G+. I love it and I hate it. I can control things there to a certain degree, as well, but a lot of posts are public, and that attracts trolls. I really don’t want to hear what an idiot I am because I’m atheist, or how I’m going to hell because I don’t believe in their deity. Meh.

So I made some changes there. I cleaned out my circles, dumping people I didn’t know or who’d never talked to me. I also moved some people around, putting them into different, more appropriate circles. And I changed the setting on anything I post so it only goes to my circles and isn’t public.

Unlike on FB, where I originate a lot of material, I’m primarily known over there as a commenter. Those comments facilitate conversation, which makes me a valuable commodity in social media. Usually what I write is clear and easily understood, but based on what happened today, apparently not always. Even as well as I write, things are sometimes misconstrued. Imagine how difficult it is for the average person to try to make themselves understood to strangers online!

All that being said, I’m still tiring of social media in faster cycles. I used to be able to go months before I had to close the tabs for a few days. Now it’s weeks. Also, I don’t get anything done when FB, Twitter, and G+ are open in the browser. It’s taking me forever to write the WIP.

Social media is a distraction. I know it. Every time I get stuck, I turn to it rather than forcing myself to face the problem head-on, work it through, and finish the scene so I can move on. I’ve been doing this more and more lately, and it’s really starting to bother me.

In an attempt to make some progress on the new book, I’m forcing myself to ignore social media more often and for longer periods. Like any addiction, this will be difficult. 😉 Because it is an addiction. For someone who’s always taken pride in not letting himself become dependent on anything (cigarettes, liquor, drugs, etc.), why should I now let social media start calling the shots?

Not gonna happen.

__________

Transgression

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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11 Responses to Social Media Slump

  1. I understand what you’re saying. I get tired of arguments. You know my religious beliefs, and I know yours and respect them. But when someone rants about religion, it makes me want to unfriend them. That’s hard to do when it’s the husband of someone you admire.

    As to the election, I was in favor of Hillary, and if she wins the nomination, I’ll vote for her. I’d rather Sanders wins, but I’m not going to not vote if she wins. A non-vote is a vote for the GOP.

  2. Helena Stone says:

    First of all (and since it’s what you started with too), YAY for the WIP. I can’t wait to see what you’re working on and I have no doubt it will once again be a story to delight my reader’s heart. As for social media, I completely get what you’re saying. It is all too easy to be misunderstood when you comment on a post and it’s a shame more people haven’t figured out that it pays to ask someone what exactly they meant before going on the attack.

    I don’t spend a lot of time on G+, in fact there are days/weeks when I completely forget I even have an account there. Most of my time is spend on Facebook and in general I enjoy myself there. The (American) election stuff doesn’t upset so much as bemuse me. There clearly is a world of difference between America and Europe and as far as I can tell those differences are getting bigger rather than smaller. But, those bigger discussions in general don’t get to me. It is the personal attacks (both veiled and glaringly obvious) which make me very uncomfortable and sad. More often than not I force myself to scroll past them because jumping into those threads doesn’t benefit anyone, I’ve discovered.

    Social media, for me, are a balancing act. As much as I come across posts and ideas I’d rather not see, I can’t imagine my life without the friends I made and look forward to ‘seeing’ on Facebook any more. I hope you’ll find the right balance for you soon.

    • “Balance” is definitely needed. There are days when I find myself obsessively reading G+, searching searching searching, but I’m not sure what I’m looking for. And then I realize my mind is racing and I’m trying to find something to slow it down, make it stop. An overactive brain is why I often get up in the middle of the night and get online.

      I’m starting to wonder if social media is what created that state of being. I’ve always been interested in things, even obsessive sometimes, but I rarely lost sleep over it.

      I do know, when I’m outside, whether it’s walking or on the scooter or driving with the windows down, I feel more centered and happy. As much as I enjoy the internet, I suspect it’s effect on me isn’t always good.

  3. Jaycee Edward says:

    Yay for the WIP – I can tell you’re enjoying this one! And an even bigger YAY for the good news on the health front. I’ll be glad when you get that behind you. This is the one time the distraction of social media comes in handy. I’ve certainly used it this past year to distract my mind from the stress of real life issues. That said, I found my general timeline is anything BUT a place to escape. Seems like there’s more negativity there than in real life. I tend to avoid my general timeline now and spend the majority of my time in closed or secret groups where the conversation is more controlled. One, in particular is very small and I “know” the people in it so I can feel free to say what I want without risk of it being misunderstood. I personally, don’t know how I would’ve coped with things this year without them. (That and PMing with you guys.). As for sleeping, you’re absolutely correct. We’ve been dealing with sleep issues with the grand-teen and her doctor told her about a study that showed that social media use within a few hours of bedtime totally disrupts the brains natural process of “shutting down” for the day. It stimulates areas of the brain that normally would be inactive and that, in turn, interferes with the brain centers that call for serotonin production. Hence why I see so many little green lights at 2:00 am. 😉

    • Well, crap! I guess I need to make some changes as to the time I access the ‘net then. I generally take a look before going to bed, but maybe I shouldn’t. Thanks for the info. Knowledge is power, as they say.

      Still in recovery from the procedure, but briefly went out today to take mail to the local drop, then swung by the lake house to see how R was doing. He and a friend are removing all the tile in the house–four+ rooms of it. What a dust storm! Ugh. I didn’t stay long. Neither are wearing masks and should be. 😦

  4. A.M.B. says:

    Happy New Year and Congrats on your WIP!
    I’m sick of social media too. I don’t use FB at all anymore except to update distant relatives on my kids, and I’ve never gotten sucked into G+. My favorite places to be are WordPress and Twitter, not that I have much time for either these days.

    • Happy New Year to you, too. 🙂

      I get my news from G+, but most of my friends are on FB. Twitter I almost never use, and of course I’m on WP. Heh.But social media is like being at a party. Sometimes it’s a lot of fun and I wish it would never end. Other times, I wish I was at home with a good book and the dog. Lately, I want the book and dog more than the merriment.

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