"Platforms, again and again"
Bear with me, I know I bring this topic up a lot, but here are my definitive thoughts.
What do you think of when you hear the word "Social Media"? I hate the term. My whole life I felt like it sounded like some kind of weird icky marketing term and refused to use it. So I use alternative words like "platforms"; it just sounds less icky. Doing that doesn't make the content you find there any less icky, however. There's a lot of people mindlessly wasting their time on things that really don't matter. If you're going to use these tools, use them like tools. It's like being materialistic about useless things like cars-- come on, they're nothing more than tools.
Instead of bashing and detesting the idea of using any of these (because let's be honest, there's a lot of that already and these can actually be useful tools), I want to propose ways to incorporate them into your life without them becoming distractions.
If you're anything like me, you probably have friends and associates (or favourite artists/creators) who use all kinds of platforms. Most likely the more "popular" ones. These days, most of them come with a button that allows you to get e-mail updates or other kinds of notifications. This is great, because it means you don't even have to touch the platform with a 10-foot pole. Some of them even have RSS feeds and the like, and I think there are ways to even set that up separately? Most things I've seen like that charge a fee for some reason-- nobody is actually buying those, right? Money laundering scheme? Beats me.
This kind of thing is very convenient if you just want a way to keep up with things that actually mean something to you, rather than scrolling through some kind of feed (which should ONLY be for things you want to see, yet for some reason random garbage always finds its way in on EVERY platform). Everything feels more intentional that way. Don't like something? Just turn off the notifications and move on. I wouldn't ever bother with their built-in feeds that auto-feed you content. Gain back your independence and control, people.
Another simple solution? Just check up on people you actually care about. Contact them or look through their stuff whenever you have some spare time, it's just like looking through personal websites. They get updated every once in a while, you just have to check back every week or so manually. Ha. Why should only notifications dictate what you care about?
Interesting note: there are some platforms where users can create content with artificial urgency-- think of things that are ephemeral and disappear after a certain amount of time. I wouldn't bother worrying about missing anything here. Things people want you to see will be there for you to check later at any time. The fear of missing out is probably the thing that crippples people the most, if I am being honest.
I was never one to actually use any kind of platform for its "intended purpose", besides YouTube probably. I just don't get it, using something as a sort of substitute for sharing and interacting with people directly? There are certain things that just don't need to be shared. If you're someone who always needs validation and praise to apply worth to what you're doing, I think you need to do some work on yourself.
That said, they are great places to host things you create and garner an audience, if that's the kind of thing you're into. The truth is, a large majority of people are not going to see your personal website and all of the content within. Even though yes, they are probably missing out. It's just more convenient to use something that is well-established and available everywhere; used by a large majority of people. If you don't care, then continue on!
Something else that is undeniable is that they can be great places to meet new and like-minded people. I've met someone very important to me through one of these things, so take that as you will. Not everybody who uses them are mindless zombies. It's important to keep different perspectives in the back of your mind.
All in all, getting the most out of these comes down to how you operate. Maybe you don't gain anything at all from them, and that's fine. Just realize that other people do, and some of them in healthy ways. I don't really use anything myself for perusing. Maybe a long time ago, but that's not who I am anymore. A few applications here and there for communication, and that's about it. If you're someone who doesn't know how to get in contact with me via any other means, just use e-mail. I try to do what I can to cater to the means of the wider internet, but I draw my lines.
Lately I stopped using several platforms I tried to give a shot. I realized they literally served no purpose to me, I can just archive all of my work on this website. There are some artists and friends there I still check up on, but nothing so active that I need to open it every single day, let alone hour. Life is a wave, learn to ride it... Side tangent, but why would you ever follow a brand on any kind of platform? Like, it's literally just you signing up for advertising. Especially brands like, I don't know, food companies or something equally stupid. Weird.
Here's something I noticed: I tend to write about similar things a lot. If not literally just something I already wrote about in the past, but in a more cohesive or updated manner. Mostly having to do with social connections, self-worth, and betterment; human stuff. Anthropology is awesome! Pinamaya! Thank you for coming along this as I develop an understanding of my own thoughts. Happy new year as well.
Posted on Mon, 23 Jan 2023 05:02:03 CST