Why I'm not on active on social media? Why don't I have a online presence on social media?
Dear Andrei Clinciu, we live in the 21th century. You NEED to be online. Your audience needs to know about you. You need to keep your followers up to date.
The above sentence might float in the minds of many people whom I know and I've told that I'm not really active on social media.
But why don't I spend time on Facebook, twitter, linkedin, 9gag and name any other modern social media interaction website?
I get similar questions most of the time from people I know and from people that would like to "connect".
It's a pretty simple question if anyone would think about it. However looking for an in depth answer means that it has a rather complex methodology to get to the right conclusion(s).
Throughout my childhood I've been extremely active on IRC, This was way before Yahoo and MSN messenger where popular. Even way before Social media websites like Myspace, HI5 and Facebook existed. I remember that most websites that tried to build a social media presence where just ones where members of various IRC servers posted information about themselves and where they could connect. In essence most social media websites revolved around chatting with eachother in realtime.
IRC had something special to it since it was psuedo anonynomous and you could join different channels, chat with multiple people. Seems like today's social networks with groups. However it had something extra. It's client/server architecture made it easy to integrate certain services/bots that could do your bidding. Sure, in 2018 you can do the same thing with all major social media websites but this is due to the fact that that they've implemented certain API's. 10 years ago you couldn't do these things.
However with IRC you still have much more flexibility since you're not bound to a certain API set. The world is yours.
Getting back to my story of IRC chats. i loved playing trivia and talking to people from all around the world. IRC allows you to talk to different people without connecting as friends or without you giving out all your history like Facebook does when you add someone as a "friend". The way it worked made it easy to not have everything you ever did being logged.
Slowly people started to migrate to social media. My introduction to Facebook and HI5 was due to some people I helped create accounts by giving them e-mail addresses to some of my domains. I didn't provide too many real details since I didn't want to attract too much attention.
When everyone had migrated to other social networks it seemed that old chat apps like IRC where meant for only a few "elite" people. Today IRC is mostly used for Open Source enthousiasts or hardcore anarchists who don't want a central authority to control their data.
During the migration to the new shiny world I too decided it was time to give up on IRC and also on social media as a whole.
Social Media is a Waste of Time
I found out that I've wasted way too much time on IRC and on prehistoric social media websites. I've decided to stop wasting time since TIME is the most important asset we have.
Money you can make and lose, time you can never ever regain back once it's lost.
I could go on talking about why social media including Facebook is a waste of time. I've read reports and studies about the negative psychological effects of extra socializing. Sure, I could even write whole blog posts about this aspect alone.
But I won't spend my time on that. The reason is doublefold. First, most people would ignore the information provided.
The second reason is that this is everyone's personal problem if they want to do something in their lives or waste it online.
The sole reason why I find it to be a waste of time is that people who engage in social media daily could invest that time in themselves. There is a link between social media usage, multitasking, procrastination and bad productivity.
Investing in yourself doesn't mean eating or buying clothes. It means developing your mind, soul and body.
I'm now talking more about developing skills that will make you wanted on the job workplace and developing your soft skills.
If people who wasted time on social media would just spend two 30 minute periods on these things without interruption they'd see extreme results in a few years.
Although I had a Facebook account using another name as early as 2007 I can say that I had many times when I deactivated my account for months just to come back to try to connect to some old relative/friend.
After College there where only three reasons why I still had a facebook account
- I was an admin of certain groups and I acted as a social media administrator for some pages
- Due to everyone getting on the facebook bandwagon you can easily connect with old friends.
- I liked the way you could find information based on other people's posts.
- As a Software Developer I got tasks from my clients and work to implement certain Facebook apps,bots or just use the API for something.
As of 2019 I've deactivated my facebook account.
However, today when I analyze these reasons only the 3nd remains the main choice why I don't close down my account.
If we're "friends" on facebook or want to add me, please take into consideration that I used to log in once a few months to review recent activity. Don't get upset If I don't answer. if you really want to contact me ask for my e-mail address, telephone number or just use the contact form on my website.
The problem with Facebook is that if you are not active on it, people tend to forget you exist even if you try to initiate contact outside of Facebook.
The same happens with Whatsapp etc.
Facebook is since 2015 no longer a viable option for marketing and branding purposes.
Point 1 and 3 where obbliterated by the Facebook Money making management. Point 4 means you get closed into the system.
It's quite simple why this occured.Whenever you have a page, group or something. If you post a certain item, only a portion of 20 to 30% of the people who liked you will see the message.
This has to do with the way Facebook's algorithm works. They want YOU and ME to pay money so we get heard to our followers.
I've told many people interested in placing ads and prospects that Facebook is a money eater when it comes to placing ads.
Facebook is a closed design system which can chose anytime to block/close your account.
For everything you post on facebook you give the exclusive worldwide rights to facebook to use your text,audio, video,documents, pictures etc.
Facebook is also the best place to gather info about people. I mean, never before could you have found so much information about everyone.
People are sharing information about themselves that you'd have to know by really getting to know this person in real life.
This is how thieves and social engineers work by gathering information so they know where to strike.
Without an account you're left outside of the world. They've done a wonderful job in making everyone register, Other social networks didn't require you to register to view certain information. Facebook made some information available for everyone but to see the gist you truly need to register and get bent.
You get Google Plus automatically when you create a Google Account.
During an security incident in 2016 RELATED TO GOOGLE I had closed all my Google Accounts exept one that I used exclusively for analytics purposes. I recently reopened a personal one just to be part of a certain google groups and have easier access to analytics data.
I've never had a twitter account. I wanted to but I found it rather peculiar that a 140 characters limit message system that isn't 100% real time would have so many followings.
Twitter may be interesting to reach many people at the same time but it has the same flaws Facebook has.
Closed Source design. If you don't have a personal website/community and twitter goes down then you lose all your followers.
Sure, you can gain followers from twitter but what's the total percentage?
Whoa, A social media for your CV! You can get hired by using Linkedin. you can create various connections to get known in the world and get to know the big bosses of certain businesses!
Sure, linkedin has it's use. But it has became overwhelmed with recruiters who just want to expand their business network. If you want to get heard, serach someone or see some activity you need to pay or expand your network.
Sometimes you need an account just to view information about someone or to read a post.
I had an account on LinkedIn but when I found out they had leaks then It struck me as a potential problem. When Microsoft bought it I decided that it wasn't worth the hassle.
LinkedIn had a huge breach in 2012 leaking millions of accounts. I've reconsidered not using it.
Am I missing out on potential connections that could offer me work, new clients, or just people to collaborate? It's pretty possible. Yet this is a risk I'm willing to take.
Benefits and downsides
There are benefits and potential losses to any opportunity and choice we make in life. We need to know which is the best choice we have to make.
I know for sure that I have won a battle with time. I can dedicate much more time on learning and working on certain projects.
Benefits of not being on social media include: TIME for other activities:)!
But there is a downside of which I am aware. Not beig active on social media has some negative sides.
First of all I'm certainly losing valuable connections which could lead to lucrative business opportunities and extraordinary projects.
But from all of the information overload I'd rather have my head intact and not become a workaholic.
Most workaholics think that by being connected all the time they're actually doing something. They're fooling themselves. Being connected all the time undermines any sense of reality and it takes you longer to achieve something than it normally would.
Another downside is that social media isn't bringing people closer. It's creating distances.
If you're not on social media in certain groups of people then it's as if you don't exist.
Social Media disconnects people from reality. It disconnects people from the real world.
All these services have had security vulnerabilities in the past.
Facebook leaked data. LinkedIn leaked data. Yahoo leaked data..
I've thought long about this and I've figured out I will implement a chat functionality on my website to make it easy for me and people I know to connect in a system that doesn't search to sell their data or show ads all the time.
I considered using a IRC relay however IRC doesn't have any history recording and setting up MemoServ or a bot to handle everything takes the same time than just implementing a Websocket Chat app.