Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Social Networking

Social media? Important way to get news? Huge time waster? Essential to keep up with friends and family? Way to spew your own particular political views by sharing the real or fake news? That's my facebook profile above with a few photos it displays when you click on that.

Social media, for me, is really Facebook and Twitter. And I send tweets to Facebook. I do have a Google+ account because I use Google Apps, but I never look at it. My Instagram account has one picture (of tacos).
Yep. I never go there. So I usually only see Instagram pix (and tweets for that matter) when they are shoved to Facebook.

I don't need social media to get news. I get phone alerts from the AP, NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc. I take papers. And sometimes get around to reading them.  I watch the news on TV. I listen to NPR when I'm in the car. 

What I'm really looking for with social media is the passing parade of people being people. Getting sick, getting well, not getting well, having children, sending those kids off to college, traveling. It is fascinating to see what a theater critic in California is saying or the high school classmate who lives in Las Vegas or San Jose. Getting travel pictures from the couple who is older than us and travels to exotic places. It is instructive to hear about moves, new jobs, retirements, hobbies. I like seeing what movies and shows people are seeing. I find their snarky political swipes instructive (of who they are and what they are feeling) even as I zoom past them. And I love seeing the pictures people post of their meals and drinks. 

I try to add something to the mix that might be a little different. I share stories (from real news outlets) that are not what we read every day. I take walks and post random photos along with the path drawn on a map. I do take pictures of my drinks (especially the Manhattans) and attractive food. I occasionally ask for advice from the hive mind.

Yes, I probably waste too much time on these feeds when I could be accomplishing something. But it's really all about how you use it. And I don't think I followed any links to stories pimped by Russians. And one can waste time in so many ways these days. Sometimes I look at social media, watch TV and try to read the papers all at once. It doesn't really work, of course. 

Blogging (well, WEB journals) were sort of the original social media. Or newsgroups. Whatever. You'd blog and comment on blogs. You kept up with people all over the world.

Here is one thing that does bug me about social media. We go to an event and we are having a conversation and someone starts talking about the things we have done and posted. Then they admit that they never post anything themselves. Is there any way to get them to shut up telling you what you have done? ("You take all these long walks." "You were in Dallas.") Could they at least talk about what they've been doing when you meet in person since they (think) they already know all about your life?

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