Plus One

Well, I had re-activated my Twitter account for eleven days after a couple of important news stories seemingly got by me, as in, some really major things happened and because I had no social media and hadn’t turned on the television news for a couple of days, I had no idea. Part of the answer is in that. How much stuff would most people not know anything about were it not for social media? I’m not advocating being uninformed, but the fact is that if you wouldn’t know about it without social media, it probably isn’t actually having an effect on your daily life. But here’s the other thing that happened, there were several newsworthy events about which I was unable to find accurate information, anywhere on the web, because there were too many conflicting reports and too much spin. Interestingly enough, if that kind of thing continues it will bring us back around to, “You had to be there.”ย  As in, actually, physically, present. The truth, the facts, were indiscernible based on the information available because there were too many different stories coming from too many different sources with too many conflicting agendas, and that’s called propaganda, and I don’t dig that. Is social media raising awareness of anything? I think the answer to that would depend on who you asked.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but I just thought to check how many people, statistically, are using social media? According to Pew Research Center (what Pew Research Center is) the percentage of adults in the United States using Facebook is 69%, and 51% of them are still checking the site several times a day. The percentage of adults in the United States using Twitter is a mere 22%, and 58% of that 22% check into Twitter less than once a day. That means 78% of the adult population in the United States isn’t using Twitter. Well, I guess that’s 78% plus one, now, again. If you feel like “everyone” is on social media, well, everyone isn’t. Here are some stats. Stats.

Here’s a story about Twitter losing monthly users.

Bottom line, I got back on there for a minute, I took a good look around again and it didn’t feel any less-gross to me then it did when I decided to delete my account to begin with. I am an introvert. I’m not particularly social as it is. Social media just isn’t for me, I mean, that’s it really. I think what is beginning to happen is that the wonderful, cool, amazing, people who originally joined social media to share their art forms with others who were on there to share their work and art, those folks are getting burned out on all the garbage on social media. I can tell you that in the beginning days of social media, Myspace, and the beginning of Facebook, political and religious discussions were largely absent from the forum. People got on social media to escape reality, to look at funny videos, to check out cool music that was new to them, to check out literature and art, to laugh, to socialize, to actually interact with others in a positive, happy, fun, way. There isn’t a social media platform anywhere now that isn’t polluted somehow or involved in some controversy or another. Tune it out? I tried that. Unless you keep your “circle” really small, there’s no way to avoid some kind of nonsense or another. I guess I find that to be ultimately pretty disappointing, which is probably why I’ve talked about it so much, I wish that weren’t the case, but it is. Social media used to provide a relatively safe escape from “the real world” and there was this sweet time when a few people seemed to get that. The irony, now people are going outside, turning off their phones, to escape social media.

I make no promises, dear readers, but I’ll do my level best not to really revisit this topic. I gave Twitter another try thinking it could be useful for something or other, but if anything, the vibe on Twitter has worsened. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking, “If Twitter were a party, it’s one I’d leave right now.” This decision has been thoroughly vetted, this we know. I have my pages. I’m on Goodreads and Tumblr. That will have to do.

TS