Being A Social Media Outcast

The title of this piece is slightly misleading.  An outcast is someone who has been literally cast out of a tribe, a community, or an environment.  In my case, it’s a self-inflicted condition.

When the public Internet was young (circa 1993-1995) social networking, as we now refer to it, was largely unknown.  But in the early 2000s, sites like Friendster, LinkedIn and MySpace came online, and social networking began.  MySpace was eclipsed by Facebook and social networking took off.  Soon to follow were the likes of Twitter (now X) and almost everything on the Internet became “social.”  I too, jumped into the pool.

My initial foray into social media came when my daughter left for college.  I had learned she had opened an account on Facebook, and I did so also, as a means of staying in touch.

There was a lot of fascination with the concept at first.  I added “friend” after “friend,” as names were suggested to me, and they were all people I knew in the circles in which I traveled.  Truthfully, not many of them would actually meet my criteria of “friend,” but it was entertaining to see photos of places people visited, accomplishments and awards earned, and other forms of vicarious experience.

But I learned my daughter didn’t really use Facebook.  So, after the freshness wore off, I began to grow tired of the rampant narcissism.  Because after all, Facebook is first and foremost about “me.”  The majority of users, I stipulate, are always putting on their best faces and showing how wonderful and perfect their lives are.  Don’t you wish you were me?

After a while, the tone of social media began to appear shrill and strident.  “Thread drift” became the norm (I maintain that if a topic goes on, by the third “page” it has devolved into a shouting match akin to “I’m right and you’re wrong.”  Except often not as polite.  And no longer on point.

When I began this post, I had a lot of thoughts I felt I could post.  But I tend to want to keep these periodic pieces short, so as to not bore the reader.  Thus, I will wrap this up by saying this:

I’m not a social media outcast.  I’m a social media “hermit.”  And I’m quite happy to be away from the mess.

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