23 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Social Media

  1. Love: being able to be in touch with people.
    Hate: the people who think they can use it to say things they’d never say to someone’s face, the vitriol, the inaccurate information people spread as truth.

  2. Love the ability to reach people so much easier.
    Hate that so much false information is out there and most people don’t think critically to be able to see it.

  3. As Terry Odell said, the connection to others is something to love about it. Also the rapid learning ability through articles, photographs, recipes, etc., posted by those others.
    Not to love is the distraction posed by those same articles, photographs, recipes that take so much time from your day.
    The worst is, as Terry said, the vitriol and unabashed hostility openly displayed by those who, face to face, would be far more circumspect. Then there are the woe-is-me attention seekers, the chain letter time wasters, the braggarts, and the never-grew-up posters of bodily function β€œhumor.”
    Other than that….πŸ™‚

  4. Overall it’s a good thing. Best thing is that it allows me to stay in touch with family who are 2500 miles away. And there’s no way I could stay in touch with all my friends without it (back before social media was an option I sucked as a letter writer and I’ve never cared much for talking on the phone). As with reading books or newspapers or any other source of media, we’re free to pick and choose how much we use.

    I assume YouTube is considered social media–what a tremendous learning tool!

    I know it can be a pain in the neck for people to figure out how to leverage social media for their books, but it takes trial and error, just like every other aspect of writing and the writing business.

    Hate: Two things: 1) occasionally, somebody’s post stays ‘stuck’ at the top of my FB feed for days and days 2) “if you agree pass this along to X number of people” posts.

  5. Love: I’m really only on Twitter. I like following certain leaders in their field (including Jeremy Konyndyk on pandemic control) and other interesting people.

    “Hate”: trolls and nasties, of course. And the way people are sacrificing their privacy. Most important, though: I hate people sounding off about things they don’t know and retweeting things they don’t know are true.

    I love cats, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend time scrolling through multiple pictures of your cats. Enough already.

    • PS– to “know” something is very different from “strongly believing” it or “wanting it to be true.” The difference is not always easy to make out. But Socrates pointed us in the right direction. “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

      I think fiction, even genre fiction, can contribute to that. Drama should not give answer but force the reader to think.

  6. There’s so much to love about it. Staying in touch with folks and that kind of thing, obviously. Like BK said, Youtube is great. I’ve certainly saved thousands of dollars on home repairs by watching DIY guides on things like replacing a sump pump, fixing a clogged dishwasher, replacing steel doors (did that last month).
    Hate? The internet and social media have eliminated the idea of truth. This ties in with what others have already said about false information being thrown around like gospel. Everybody has their own collection of “facts” in their quivers and they’re all eager to start shooting them at one another, with accompanying salvos of personal insults.
    The truth is lost somewhere in the smoke. I have my own “quiver”, though I avoid battle at all cost. I quit that game after I lost a friend of thirty-five years when he said he could not forgive my failure to support his choice for president. It feels like a kind of mass-madness to me.
    Honestly, if the economy could survive, I think we’d all be better off as a country without any of it.

    • The whole notion of reasoned moral argument (with civility) is dead. Does not exist on social media, and even if one attempts it on, say, a lecture tour, social media will unleash a cancel attack anyway. Free speech can be shut (shouted) down all too easily. We’re living in an age of digital pitchforks and torches.

  7. Our family is large and all over the world. It’s a great way to keep in touch with each other. We were military and I love that old friends have found me again and we’ve been able to stay close.

    Hate politics.

    Love how to videos.

  8. Love: You Tube for the same reasons as BK and Carl.

    “Like”: The ability to contact faraway friends. However, FB has cheapened the word “friend” to meaningless connections with thousands of people. To me, a friend is someone I cherish enough to phone, email, or write a letter to, not someone who merely clicks a smiley face or heart.

    1. Faceless cowards who hack millions of people, causing untold losses and heartbreak. They are virtual snipers on the tower shooting at people they don’t know and have nothing against–they just want to cause mass destruction and chaos.

    2. The insidious invasion of privacy. The NSA and CIA could learn a thing or two from FB and Google about sneaky surveillance.

  9. Love the funny memes and laughing with friends.
    Hate the time-suck, hackers, and the constant barrage of chain messages. No matter how many times we tell folks not forward these virus-infested messages, they don’t stop.

  10. I’m not one of those who’s connected with SM 24/7, and I’m not skilled in the use of a whole slew of platforms, but I do know FB/Instagram.

    I hate the “drive-by-ness” of it. Users can leave a slam-bang-thank-you-ma’am comment, then melt into the SM shadows and watch the havoc he/she wreaked. It’s kind of like talking to a con man, knowing you’re talking to a con man, but you keep talking. When you’re having a conversation (and I use that term loosely) with someone or a group, you can’t hear tone of voice or look into the eyeballs. The windows of the soul are hidden by a dispassionate screen, so the meaning of words is lost. Like reading a novel about a mom and dad whose child was kidnapped and murdered. Okay. But then you find out the author actually lived through that horrendous experience. Suddenly every word drips with unimaginable pain. Communicating on SM is flat, without personality, without soul. Or can be. It’s sad to realize that for some on the planet, it’s the only way they talk to people. There must be something scary about looking into another person’s eyes and allowing them to look into yours.

    On the other leg, SM can be used in so many different ways. It’s an easy app to learn. Sometimes I’m redeemed when I read a heartfelt post by a person with no axe to grind. And the funnies…from memes, to babies, to dogs, to grammar and spelling mistakes. When I’m down about something, a good FB faux pas is just the medicine I need before I close it out and get back to work.

    Personally, I’d rather have front porches back-where people got to know each other, for good or ill. Or at least those little bistro tables, so small you can climb right into the eyes of the other person. Scary! πŸ™‚

    • Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where Kramer creates a front porch outside his apartment door? It was peaceful for a while, and then the neighborhood kids started to torment him.

      • Dang, missed that one! Front porches, even outside of businesses, were a staple on The Andy Griffith Show.

        I think if they made a serious comeback, civility just might come with it. πŸ™‚

  11. I am on Facebook entirely too much – just ask my wife. But I connected and reconnected with friends who are literally all over the world. I have a whole bunch of new cyber friends. We help each other. We care about each other. I get to see new babies and weddings, I never would otherwise.

    Facebook also shares sadness. I used to think funeral notices on Facebook were crass. But it is the best way to reach people now. I was in tears the first time Facebook reminded me of a dead friend’s birthday. Now I can stop in and share a memory with their other friends. On that, Tommy, your nephew looks like a photocopy of you. Miss you.

    I did find TKB through Facebook.

    The down sides. Hate that used to be under a rock is out and in the open and loud and proud. Falsehoods that used to creep around on paper and in emails now fly by. Am I the only one who snopes? It has destroyed the news industry. Names I used to respect now I don’t even read. I don’t need their inaccuracy, fiction, inventive grammar, or explosive language.

    Saw new ones in the last two days. Don’t know if the person pushing Hydrogen Peroxide (it doesn’t kill viruses, so just don’t) or the Chiropractor trying hard to look like a doctor in Los Angeles when he is in a strip mall in south St. Louis pushing quinine (wan’t banned, just other things fight malaria better. And Clinton didn’t do it) was the worst one.

  12. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter because they don’t fit my life or needs. Sites I do use, however, are switching to them as the only means to log in to comment, and some are dropping their sites and moving to Facebook. So far, I’ve simply moved away from these business and entertainment sites rather than being forced to sign up. I’ve noticed one site who switched to Facebook log ins a year ago no longer has many comments. I’m sure their article providers are thrilled if comments are part of their income formula.

  13. My number one pet peeve is the complete and total loss of privacy, and the social expectation that it is completely normal to give up your privacy. By nature I am a very private person. I don’t feel the need to share the details of my personal life with everyone. The only social media account is LinkedIn. I resent that, and look forward to deleting it. I even avoid club cards at grocery stores. I’m not comfortable with my shopping data being harvested for marketing purposes, not to mention who knows what else.

    As people voluntarily give up personal info voluntarily (and Facebook is pretty much a straight up data mining operation), the expectation that it is acceptable to mine more and personal data is becoming more normalized. 1984 had nothing on China today, and that’s where we’re heading. I don’t think people realize what they’re giving up.

  14. We’ve only got so much time on this earth; why cut into it with reporting to all our so called friends how lousy the black of toilet paper is these days, or how much money so football player is making. I just got a forward that went to fifty-five, six, or seven other people at the latest funny choir song.

  15. My daughter bugged me for a long time to join Facebook. She said it would be easier to share photos, good times, family info, etc. She was right. I love my son-in-law’s tongue in cheek humor posts, and photos of my friends activities.

    I don’t like political rants, religion attacks, rampant ads to sell stuff. It was supposed to be a sight to bring folks together and improve communications and share the fun stuff in our lives. Facebook has grown to big, lost its way…..

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