This post is inspired by Krystal Jane Ruin’s blog post: Should Anti-Social People Use Facebook?
I ended up writing a book in her comments and concluded that I should write my own post.
My first social medium was Facebook, which was brand-new and everyone at my college was joining it back in 2004. I’ve been on it ever since, with a personal page and with an author page. And I think about deleting my author page every other week or so because a) I’m not really creative writing anything imminent at the moment, so the page is all meme quotes and blog posts and b) I don’t get a lot of engagement on it and c) more than once, I’ve had follower numbers go up but I can’t tell where those followers are from, which is disconcerting.
I think we’ve all become aware of the bad ish social networks are up to–gathering massive amounts of data and then not protecting it, selling that data, not regulating their platforms enough to avoid nasty people using it, the spread of misinformation and disinformation rampant on social media. There’s also copyright infringement, location tracking, click and like farms, etc.
We had a discussion about search engines and social media in one of my classes. My prof mentioned a thing called Data Detox, which I think I’ll try over the summer at some point. It gives you a series of steps to check how far your information has spread over the Internet–I think the first step was to sign out of your social networks and erase your browser history and cache, which was as far as I got.
I spend less and less time on Facebook, in both capacities. I also logged out of it, so I have to intentionally log in when I want to check something instead of keeping myself logged in all the time. I’m so lazy that that in itself is a deterrant. I can’t leave Facebook personally yet, because that’s how I keep in touch with a lot of friends and family and a few groups, but I have seriously curtailed my use of it.
I get more out of Twitter. I enjoy the people I’ve followed, I always find something interesting to read, and I can tweet with some real-life and Internet friends. Of course, Twitter has massive problems as well, what with the trolls and the data mining and I see more and more promoted tweets on my timeline, which are mildly annoying.
Goodreads: I only use it to keep track of my reading. I also changed the way I log into it so that it’s not connected to my Facebook login anymore. I changed the login to Pinterest as well, but I don’t go on there very often, if at all, but it is fun.
Real Me has LinkedIn, which I check intemittently.
So anyway–deleting the author page on Facebook. I feel like between the blog and Twitter, there’s probably enough of me spewing on the Internet? And yet I know a few people who only read my blog posts because I share them to Facebook and other than the like button, wouldn’t engage otherwise, so…
Remember a few years ago when we were all told to build our author platforms? I feel like we’ve done that and now we’re like, “But I don’t enjoy this/don’t get anything out of it/would rather not have big corporations knowing every little thing about me/don’t get any engagement.”