Cutting The Commercial Cord

Photo purchased from Shutterstock

Recently the dynamics on commercial social media have become…a tad weird. So yesterday, after one too many hacking episodes, privacy scares, and encounters with online trolls, I took the plunge and deactivated my Facebook account. I’ll miss the ease of staying in touch with certain folks (and of course I’ll miss “Yoga with Baby Goats” and other video gems), but it was long past time to cut my ties with advertising-supported social media.

I started feeling conflicted about commercial social media as far back as 2013, when I wrote “Is Social Media Developing a Personality Disorder?” Five years later, the answer (for me, anyway) is an emphatic “Yes.”

Here at TKZ we made a firm decision at the outset not to go down the commercial advertising route. It’s wonderful that out little corner of the cyber sphere continues to serve as a little oasis of calm amidst the winds of the social media Furies.

I’ll miss seeing everyone on Facebook, of course. And I’ll really miss getting my daily dose of baby goats.

How about you? Is anyone else rethinking their relationship to social media these days?

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12 thoughts on “Cutting The Commercial Cord

  1. I s’pose I consider myself on antisocial media ~ no Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts~ from what I’ve seen and heard, it can become so overarching addictive and time consuming ~ heck, I barely have time for my e-mail…

    • I knew it had become an addiction when I realized how hard it was going to be to gold “cold turkey” without FB. I admire folks like you who stayed out of that realm completely! Thanks for dropping in for a visit today!

  2. I don’t have a FB account. I’ve been thinking over the past few years that I’m really missing out, and if I really want to be a novelist I NEED to have a FB account, but then I read about experiences like yours, and I figure I’m not missing out so much.

    Yoga with baby goats, I thought you were kidding until I did a quick Google search. Good heavens!

    • It’s a weird, wacky FB world out there, Priscilla! But you haven’t missed a thing of importance. And by never having had a FB account, your personal data is likely much, much safer!

  3. I am seriously considering leaving Facebook even though it’s currently the way I keep in touch with my real-life friends.

    One site to consider is civ.works, started by George Polisner, the guy who resigned from Oracle when its CEO offered to help Trump’s transition team. If you are an activist in any way (i.e., if you care about politics), civ.works is a viable option. They don’t sell your data, they don’t have ads, and I haven’t yet seen a single Russian plant or troll there. It costs less than a Starbucks coffee per month, but is well worth it. (George is not paying me to plug civ.works.)

    But now I have to figure out (or remember) how I kept in touch with friends before social media. How quickly we forget

    • One idea that just occurred to me is to start a yahoo group. I belong to two such groups, one with some writer friends and the other for expats living in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico.

      You have to apply to become a member, and I believe yahoo groups are private, although I don’t know how secure they are from hacking.

      As for the news I’ll miss, I don’t think I’ll miss much news because I subscribe to several newspapers (Canadian, American and British) and can watch my favorite cable news channels on my computer.

      Does anyone else feel as though they’re abandoning friends if they decide to leave Facebook?

      • I sent out a text message to lots of folks before I deactivated my account, because you’re right, Sheryl, that it has become an important way people stay connected. On Twitter, someone I follow (who was harassed incessantly by trolls trying to undermine his messages) started a paid subscription on Twitter. It’s troll free and the conversation there is wonderfully peaceful and respectful. I don’t know how he set that up, but I think we’re going to see a mass movement to paid subscriptions for venues we truly value.

  4. I have all the social media accounts for the sole purpose of acquiring these accounts with my name on them. I don’t use them (Not entirely true, my blog pushes posts to Facebook and Twitter).

    I’ve been saying for the past year that were going to see a huge trend of people swinging away from social media in the next five years. If you read some of the studies coming out now in how it is affecting us psychologically, emotionally, and socially, it’s apparent it’s not the greatest.

    I turned off all notifications and unfollowed everyone on all my accounts just over a year ago and I have never been happier, more focused, or more productive. Best decision of my life

  5. OMG, Kathryn! This farm is about an hour drive from my house. How’d I miss baby goat yoga? I’m in!

    This past fall and winter, I’ve been less active on Facebook than ever before. The rants and “unfriend me if” posts get to be a bit wearing after a while. My solution is to mingle with my favorite peeps and keep scrolling by the naysayers. I totally understand your decision. Somedays, I dread hitting social media, and it’s then that I block out the world.

  6. Kathryn, I applaud your action. Authors are told, sometimes in no uncertain terms, that they need to be active on all forms of social media in order to maintain and broaden their “platforms.” Whereas some people have what they describe as a “love-hate” relationship with these entities, I have a “hate-tolerate” one. I’ll be interested in how this finally shakes out.
    Maybe this is another one of the changes in publishing that’s going to take place–we’ve already had so many that I’m dizzy. As my hero, O-C detective Adrian Monk used to say, “I don’t mind change. I just don’t like to be around when it happens.”

  7. Kathryn, wishing you improved quality of life, reduced stress, and increased productivity now that you’re free of the social media monkey on your back!

    “Here at TKZ we made a firm decision at the outset not to go down the commercial advertising route. It’s wonderful that out little corner of the cyber sphere continues to serve as a little oasis of calm amidst the winds of the social media Furies.”

    A big AMEN to that wise decision.

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