Today I want to talk about 4 social media myths- "friends/followers", "likes", 'community" and "safe". Over the past several months I systematically purged social media from my life after over a decade of committed use! Goodbye facebook, instagram and twitter.
Today's disclaimer: As a registered Independent and libertarian leaning citizen I fully support social media platforms as private companies can do what they wish within the rule of law. But I can dump them! If you don't like anything I write or say here and cannot comment or add to the discussion with your perspective as an adult feel free to unfollow, leave and go. So let's jump right in-
Myth #1- FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS
Social media firms thrive on myths! This may be the largest one... the myth that we have real friends on social media. Certainly your actual real world friends may also be your friends on social media... but for me the great majority of my friends list were not anything close to "friends" while some were straight up bots or trolls. Upon close review of my friends list on Facebook I found a number of duplicate accounts. These are almost unrecognizable from the true accounts and feed to who I will never know!
Underlying this myth is the feeling that we are loved, popular and relevant on a larger scale than our daily real world life provides... all based on the number of friends and followers we amass on these platforms. Or that we have an actual close relationship with these so called "friends"? Conservatively speaking the average person has twice as many friends online as they do in real life.
Think about this... if something tragic happened in your life... how many on your social media friends list would come visit, call, bring you food or do anything real world? Or even know (if the event was not posted)? We all behave totally different with our "online friends" than we ever do in person too! We easily jump into divisive positions with people who in real life we would be most pleasant around! Trolls and social media algorithms promote this behavior... it is the fuel of "clicks" and we all suffer. While they make $$$.
Before I departed social media I cranked up this website and alerted all my "friends" prior to my exodus... I had over 1,500 facebook "friends", around 1,000 IG followers along with around 300 Twitter followers. Before leaving social media I made sure all of these "friends" had the link to my new website (multiple posts, story posts, etc over about a 3 week period). Take a guess how many actually subscribed/joined this new format..... 37. In total I did receive about 90 unique visits and email addresses in this transition period... but actual subscribers was 37. So let's say my total social media friends number was around 1,500 (since there is overlap between platforms where friends followed me on several places)... this means around 2.4% of those "friends" were really following me!
I could go on and on... but let me drill right down to the real danger of this mythical friend base! Making friends on social media is tantamount to eating cotton candy! It tastes amazing and melts in your mouth... but it robs you of real nutrients by falsely providing momentary satiety and displacing your intake of more nutritious foods. In other words chasing friends and followers online INSTEAD of growing real world relationships is a hugely detrimental diversion! Also too often online drama negatively impacts our real world relationships. Things are taken out of context and assumptions are made. A posted picture of a loving couple may in reality be a terrible real world relationship... social media tends to be superficial, shallow and cheap....And anything but REAL.
Myth #2 LIKES
"Likes" are the crack cocaine of social media.... the dopamine trigger! Again for the most part these are cheap and superficial. They trigger the dopamine release in the brain and make us constantly come back to the platform to see who has seen our post... who has liked our picture or who agrees with our rhetoric. We also get this feeling we have an actual platform and are making an actual real world difference! Just look at all the virtue signaling we have seen online in 2020!
Again this is not real! And that is the danger it brings... causing us to believe we are liked or not liked and are making an actual difference with our idiotic rhetoric, virtue signaling etc. Along with this it creates a false measure of what "happy" or "success" looks like... we see the perfect people, the perfect looks, life, toys, travel destinations and then look around at our "real" lives and can't help but feel shorted! A total sabotage to what the average American should feel- GRATITUDE. If we don't get likes or can't come close to how that "influencer" is living... we cannot be grateful.
Remember even the most flea bag dump of a motel looks glamorous online!
In the real world... giving and receiving real likes and having real experiences gratitude comes easily! But replace this with an artificial online pursuit of the same thing and you create a recipe for depression, entitlement, contentment and false feelings all around.
And recognize this... these social media platforms have algorithms to make sure what you "like" is fed to you and vice versa with your posts. It's a complete, absolute set-up! Cue the dopamine! Keep em hooked!
In the real world doing something virtuous is actually virtuous! Ever notice how the virtue signals online would in reality be totally idiotic in your daily life?! Would you walk up to an actual person on the street and virtue signal??? Of course not... if you did that person would certainly make moves to get away from you quickly! Similarly would the poses and duck lips made for a viral social media post have the same effect should you cast them towards a st