It’s been almost two years since I quit Facebook. It was only supposed to be a break that lasted a month, but the more time went by, the less I wanted to go back. I confess, I am sometimes tempted still. I miss connecting with people I only had relationships through that network. I miss seeing pictures of their kids and their dogs and their birthday cakes. I don’t miss the glut of information (and misinformation) or even the silly and/or distracting nonsense that gets crammed down your throat. I certainly don’t miss the overwrought reactions to that sort of thing.
I do other social networks, but they’re different. Instagram, my main social presence, is mostly visual. I hang out there when I want to just absorb beauty and inspiration, without having to think about it too much. I’ve started to connect a little with the writer community there, but it’s pretty low key. It’s all about the pictures.
I’m on Twitter, too, but it can only hold my attention for about three minutes at a time. There’s a very active writing community there, but from what I’ve seen it’s mostly people asking random questions that hundreds of other people feel compelled to respond to. It doesn’t feel like connecting. It feels like everyone shouting out, hoping to get some little crumb of the attention pie.
For purely random surfing, I use Tumblr. Granted, this gives me a very skewed perspective of Internet life, as that site has a pretty narrow audience. But it does help me keep keyed in to the sorts of things my daughters are thinking and talking about. Plus, there’s generally a lot of fun content, without quite so much serious lecturing as comes through on Twitter.
Anyway, that’s where I stand on the social front this day. I prefer private communications — I belong to great Slack community that is small, but warm and friendly and supportive. Maybe it’s not doing much for building a platform or a brand, but it’s honest, and that’s worth so much more.