I’ve never been a fan of Twitter but, for years, it was a place I’d go to for news about romance and politics. No more. The new design is chaotic, I see nothing that I care about, and it feels downright unfriendly. It, like Facebook, has become a place where users have almost no ability to control what and whom they see.
This bums me out because I believe that social media can be a force for connection and for good. I used to love seeing friends’ updates on FB and Twitter–checking in on those sites was a way for me to see what people I’m not fortunate enough to live near were up to. Now, when I log on to Facebook I see the same few posts from the same few people again and again, endless dumb ads, and just junk. It is much the same on Twitter.
Do you feel this way? Are there social media sites you use and enjoy? Or is the era of social media joy dead and gone?
Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.
I deleted Twitter when Elon took it over and determined that “Free Speech” meant allowing hate speech back on the platform and Elon himself deciding what “speech” should be allowed to remain “free”. I do miss it, but I’m doing better without it.
As far as Facebook, I do check it on a regular basis. But I don’t really get much out of it. Even the posts I see from actual friends (people I know) often get tedious. Perhaps it’s the algorithms, but it seems like I get way too much from a small handful of people. And then there are the endless ads…If FB were to disappear in a puff of smoke tomorrow, I don’t think I’d really miss it.
My big social media obsession is YouTube, if you can call that Social Media. I have quite a few channels I subscribe to where I get news and analysis that I find valuable. Plus, I adore tutorials and “Top Ten/Twenty/Etc” style lists like the ones you find on MsMojo.
In the end, however, I sadly feel that Social Media has really cause a lot of harm to our society. I don’t know that the ability to reach people who’ve moved out of our lives has been worth the proliferation of misinformation, hatred, and overall malice while putting billions of dollars in the pockets of people like Elon Musk and Marc Zuckerberg.
Excellent post – and I agree with it wholeheartedly.
I have always disliked facebook and check it maybe twice a year. I deleted my twitter account years ago because I found the doomscrolling depressing and I never liked it much, either. My only social media is Tumblr and I’ve been on Tumblr for over a decade. I enjoy it because it is unconnected to anyone I know in real life and I can just geek out about whatever media I’m currently into. It’s very low key.
I do really miss message boards. I still miss Television Without Pity’s boards a lot. I keep joing Discord servers but never checking in on them.
TWOP was the best. I miss the recaps. They are still, to me, the gold standard. It’s so upsetting all the content vanished.
Yes, Television Without Pity was brilliant. I do miss that a lot.
I’ve never been great at social media. Back in the 00s, I used livejournal a lot, and i met a lot of people there with whom I’m still in touch and count as friends. I only got FB because one of the small LJ groups I belonged to set up on FB when LJ was bought out, and although I do belong to several author/narrator groups there now, I post very rarely and use it mainly to see what favourite authors are up to. I used Twitter for the same things you do, but again, I rarely post on non-book related things, and because I don’t spend a lot of time there I may not be noticing many of the Musk-changes, although I hate the way my feed seems to jump about chronologically now. So far, nobody has come up with an alternative I like – which would basically be Twitter under another name! Mastodon sounds like a nightmare and Spoutible sounds extremely dodgy so I don’t plan to go elsewhere until Twitter goes completely tits-up (which it’s on the way to doing). I can’t be arsed with TikTok or Insta, so until Twitter Mark 2 springs up, I’ll probably just forego social media entirely. It’s interesting to remember just how fast Twitter took off – because there really wasn’t anything like it. It seems Musk is killing it off just as fast.
I removed the Twitter app from my phone when Elon took over the company and fired everyone for Xmas. I deactivated my Twitter account entirely a few weeks ago. BE (Before Elon), it was my preferred place to find out what romance authors had coming out, and news about romancelandia in general. But I can’t support what Elon is doing to Twitter and so should be completely gone in a few more weeks.
I was an early user of FB and really liked it for keeping in touch with family and friends. But 1) finding out that closing the app did not log me out of the app – and FB was continuing to track what I was doing online for their own profit-making reasons while “closed” but still logged in; and 2) the deliberate boosting of disinformation by their algorithms around the 2016 election and after have made it clear that FB has perverted itself into something that is bad for our country and democracy, so I stopped posting anything. I have not deleted my account because too many small businesses/artists/authors use a FB page as their primary digital presence – sadly, they do not see the benefit to having an actual web page. So, I will occasionally log on to find some tidbit of info I might need and then log out of the site. But I so wish there was an alternative. The concept was wonderful.
I poked around on Instagram until FB purchased it. Have no inclination to try any of the other social media platforms.
Losing Twitter has been a real blow. I still limp along with it because I can’t find a substitute platform which lets me see and participate in sharing meaningful local/regional news stories. The expulsion of Rep. Zooey Zephyr in Montana, for instance, never made any of my other media outlets, and even though that’s not my state, I want to know about it.
Locally, we have a primary coming up, and I’ve learned some really unappealing things about one of our candidates entirely from Twitter (where she’s been insulting her opponent as a former addict, when the opponent has been a) open about her history and b) many years clean at this point). Would I know not to vote for her without what I’ve learned from Twitter? Probably not.
Romancelandia-wise, it used to be somewhere I could hear about indies. Jackie Lau in particular is someone whose releases I largely heard about from Twitter. However, even pre-Elon, there was a LOT of “mean-girl” clout-chasing/”calling-out” in Romance Twitter. I’m not saying they’re always wrong, and just like with my local candidate I do want to know about people I don’t want to support. But while Romance Twitter would LIKE to see itself as a block party or the neighborhood watch, it’s a lot more like an HOA. You “win” by finding something to be outraged about, and by being the most outraged about it, and if all you can find to be outraged about is minor, you’ll blow it up. (And you’ll make it up if there’s nothing at all). So it was always a case of trying to judge if the times I had a moment that was “Yikes, I’m really glad I found X out so I don’t support that author/book/site” were worth it given the number of times my experience was more like “Okay, I backtracked Y accusation to its original source and… this firestorm is completely disconnected from reality?”
Anyhow, Twitter gets worse every day and I know it will be gone at some point, but ugh, I don’t have an alternative.
Social media has always been dead to me! I spend enough time online reading the news and doing boring life admin tasks without wasting more good reading time staring at a screen. I have never really used any social media platform and I’ve never missed it.
I am not on Twitter or TikTok. I I barely use my personal FB account. I am on several arts related FB groups and I check them on and off and, out of caution, I don’t post anything personal on FB.
Post retirement, I am an independent studio artist. I have a Instagram account on which I am very active, Instagram used to be much fun years ago but now is so driven by algorithms that posts get seen by less than .1 percent, Also, so much advertisements show up on our feeds, not just based on our search on the internet but also on links or words used in WhatsApp.
I use WhatsApp for communicating with family and friends.
I joined Twitter years ago when I wanted to vote on The Voice contestants. :-) Other than that I never used it or followed anyone. It always felt chaotic to me. I have an Insta account but haven’t really been using it the past year. I only follow some artists and friends and occasionally posted some photos. I’ve never been on TikTok but often see videos from there on FB.
I’m still on FB. I follow a lot of OOT friends and relatives. It’s still an important way to connect for me. I don’t get my news from FB, I read the NYT and a few other sources, but I do share NYT articles and such there. I’m not shy about sharing my political opinions, either, and FB gives me a place to think out-loud, sort of like Goodrreads gives me a place to put doen my thoughts about books.
I follow creators, like various artists, musicians, photographers, and dancers. I can find them there and then go to YouTube to watch their videos. I enjoy other videos I come across on FB, some funny, some informative (like Eons). It’s also a good place to follow some animal rescue sites I support, several equine therapy centers I’m interested in (including the one I where I volunteer), a few horse trainers, etc.
It’s far from perfect but I still enjoy FB as a centralized place to follow my wide-ranging interests, and occasionally to stumble on a new one, while keeping up with friends and family. Social media is sometimes iffy, but I also think it’s the new cool thing to hate. I don’t watch TV or many movies, but when I need a break from reading and other activities, I’m very happy to spend a little while on FB.
Me too–it’s just getting harder to do that. I hate that my OTT friends’ occasional posts don’t show up on my feed. It’s just so annoying.
I generally see the more active friends/family, but about once a month I go through and check on people I haven’t seen in a while. The algorithems are dicey at best and I’m tired of the ads, but so far it’s not been enough for me to consider quitting.
I was part of an online forum of women for over a decade and we had retreats to met in person several times over the years. We were all homeschooling, but we didn’t talk about that. It was a place for personal growth and to explore other facets of our lives, like art, music, theology, parenting, movies, books, etc. As kids got older and our lives changed the group disbanded, but we’ve stayed friends on FB. I’d stay on FB just to keep in touch with these incredible ladies. They quite literally changed my life. The discussions we had are what taught me the art of critical thinking– sloppy thinking didn’t fly. Plus I learned to write coherhently for the first time in my life! (Still a work in progress, but…)
While I use Facebook, I’ve never bothered with any other social media platforms. I never saw the allure of Twitter, and don’t want to spend all my time surfing the various other sites. Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with various friends and relatives, and I use it to post my vacation pictures as well as occasional funny memes or videos. I enjoy viewing pictures and videos posted by friends and family and of some of my areas of interest. Facebook has introduced me to Simon’s Cat, Prince Michael (also called Aaron’s Animals), Sylvester the Talking Kitty (RIP), Chance’s homes, Tiny Home Nation, Property Plus real estate from Wales, A View From Your Window, string bands from the Philadelphia area, and several photography sites.
The down sides of Facebook: I don’t trust “news” from social media sites, so I usually ignore it when I see it on Facebook and definitely don’t pass it on. The ads are annoying, but I usually ignore them too. I’ve discovered that a few people I thought were sane and reasonable in person are really looney when they get a platform to broadcast their views.
Social media has its good points and I’m sure most platforms are providing people with something that they enjoy. But it can also be a huge rabbit hole that sucks you in and wastes a lot of our time. Would it be a bad thing if people stopped using social media? Maybe not, but I am enjoying my limited exposure to it.
I have facebook to see posts, whatsapp and telegram to chat with people, there are friends with whom I email and they like my generation no longer sends letters so I have maintained friendships much more effectively by writing long emails full of conversations once or two a month than those who only like each other on instagram, tik tok etc. A friend told me that normally, being someone of few words, he prefers to tell me how his life is going by email to have time to reflect on what to put instead of WhatsApp that demands quick answers.
Social networks have also ruined the courtship ritual for my generation…in college it’s like…”he started to like her photos, she sent him some hot messages, they talked on social networks all the day for a week, they start dating… and break up after a short time”, the most lasting couples have been those that were formed when they first met in person as friends/colleagues, they already know how to interact in the old fashioned way.
It has also contributed to a kind of double personality… some really shy and nice guys will be extremely perverted and even almost harassing in their comments on networks. I simply do not believe that since the networks are at our service, many have come to live at the service of the networks: pretend, publish what you do not dare to say in person and then nobody really talks about it…
I think it has become more spread out — so it’s harder to get that discoverability that made “old Twitter” work. Some people are moving to Mastodon (which is harder to figure out), others are going to Spoutible, some have gone to Substack Notes, and others are waiting for something else. (I had hopes for Spoutible until they got into a fight with some romance writers.) The changes to Twitter have been bad (the Blue Check people are now usually awful), and of course, a lot of people are moving away.
I hope more fan sites start saying, “Let’s start a message board like the old days!” That would be cool.
But at the same time, a message board wouldn’t have the same breadth that a social media site can have. Yes, I can go on a message board and talk about romance, or I can go on another one to talk about fantasy novels. But I can’t go on a message board and see posts on romance, SFF, horror novels, politics, health, tips on life, cats, or Shiv Ramdas talking about his uncle and the huge rice delivery.
I signed up to Facebook around 8 years ago and left it three months later when I could not get on with the utter banality of so much of it. I think twitter is pure evil and despair that so many people form all of their opinions on truly important matters from it. I can live without it or any other forms of social media and if something profound or amusing comes from it, I can read about it when it is reported in the traditional print and radio/TV news media. I use WhatsApp and email and find that it is more than adequate for keeping up with friends and family all over the world. I read newspapers in print and online format and listen to the radio. With the internet we are spoilt for choice when researching anything that interests us and also in the digital radio world. I love listening to voices and wide-ranging opinion from many English-speaking places. Sadly, I am not fluent enough in any other languages to appreciate foreign-language media.