social media

are potentially useful.

Most of the “social” part – emo­ti­cons and all – may be a seri­ous waste of our time, and are for the most part designed to be exactly that. How­ever, with a selec­tion of news, busi­ness, and more trust­worthy sources on our lists, and well-working filters – soft­ware-based and mentally – to keep out most “ads”, “hypes” and “fake news”, we may at times get some­thing use­ful out of some of these social media chan­nels the inter­net flows over with.

Many do of course need their daily doses of social chatter, especi­ally now that fear of COVID-19 has intro­duced res­tric­tions to real social contact in so many socie­ties around the world. Funny and/​or nice social media posts may do wonders for the mental con­di­tions of lonely souls. Smiles and laughter are good for us all, even if no-one is around except on those screens.

Social media users do other­wise come in all shapes and sizes.
Some are tot­ally addicted to social media … many to such a degree that one may ques­tion their state of mind.
Some col­lect “friends” on social media as if their very lives depended on having the highest pos­sible number of such internet con­nec­tions, and others again belong to the “selfie” cul­tures and do not seem to be able to stop taking and sharing new selfies in order to collect more and more likes.

As long as people do not let those screens take totally over for real-life social con­tact, they may do as they please as far as I'm con­cer­ned. I am a little bit con­cer­ned about the over­all health of those social (and other) media though.

engaging? maybe, maybe not…

Having and/or acquiring views on this and that, does not mean one has to engage in dis­cus­sions about or share any of it on social media. Observing, and build­ing opin­ions about what mat­ters to you, and then pass on most or all of it as if it was not even there, is per­fectly accep­table behavior on social media and the web as a whole.

Not that everyone agrees with the above or play by the same rules. Some simply can­not stem their urge to stir the pot and pro­voke reac­tions, and will keep on poking others to get what they're after – atten­tion. Such people can be quite irri­tating, but only become problems for those who choose to take verbal attacks personal, and react to trol­ling by responding. If there ever was a way to waste time…

“Opinions” are like those bodyparts most civilized people prefer not to mention by name: we all have them. There are more “personal opinions” than users on social media, as most present one set of opinions in the public sphere, and reserve another set of opinions, and language to go with them, for when they feel they are pro­tec­ted by a mimimum degree of privacy on-line. That no degree of privacy exists any­where on the internet, is a simple fact that seems to have been lost on too many social media users. Some clearly need a refresh in civil­ized com­muni­ca­tion, and to (re)learn that out­bursts of improper lang­uage do not make people take one's state­ments more serious – rather the opposite.

Additionally, most have a set of opinions they won't share with anyone on or off line, and often may not even formu­late in honest and mean­ing­ful terms to them­selves for fear of what they'll end up with. Maybe a good thing remote mind­reading isn't a reality yet. We all have some­thing we do not want to share with others, and at least for now we have that option.

Whether I personally like, dislike, am indif­ferent, or simply choose to ignore what­ever that pops up on social media or else­where, is really nobody's busi­ness but mine. I may or may not share my personal reac­tions with others, and feel no obli­ga­tions or par­ti­cu­lar urges either way.

presence not important

Presence on sosial media is not something I pri­ori­tize. No plans or pur­poses for being there … more like a kind of side­show, as I never­the­less have to stay con­nected to the very same inter­net we all use for just about every­thing these days.
Having the latest tech­no­logy and solu­tions within easy reach when needed, does it for me. A life­time with access to, and user of, what has been at the very edge of com­muni­ca­tion solu­tions at any given time since decades before the world wide web became a reality, have taught me that it makes no sense to become depen­dent on any of it. Before we know it some­thing else, better or worse than what we had, will be pre­sen­ted on the market and call for our atten­tion. And the rat-race con­tinues…

That I leave my smart­phones, tablets and other port­able devices turned off for weeks, may say some­thing about my (lack of) interest in arti­fi­cial dis­trac­tions and being easy to reach 24/7. The growing availability of IoT solutions is also of pretty limited interess, as only a se­lec­ted few units/​func­tions can be made secure enough to meet my demands, and even fewer provide any­thing of value that can not be made to work better with strictly local solu­tions of my own design.
E-mails, old-fasion phone­calls and snail-mails, are much pre­fer­red over message-services, and devices with “proper” (reason­able large high-reso­lu­tion) screens are pre­fer­red for on-line surfing/​reading. I also see no need to waste time on watching long videos showing nothing but talking heads, when it is clear that a few lines of text would have sufficed to get the message through.

Social media provide con­ven­ient chan­nels for staying in touch with distant friends, people I share interests with, and busi­ness con­nec­tions, and some pieces of info, news, slander and views get picked up and/​or are searched for along the way to these points of contact.
Yes, most is a serious waste of time, but on rare occa­sions some­thing of value shows up on my screens and makes me glad I did not skip on on-line screen-time this time.

So, all in all I do find social net­works poten­ti­ally useful … when I can find time.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 28.oct.2020
last rev: 05.nov.2020

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