I need a Social Media Reset, maybe you do too

If anyone had told me what Social Media would be like when I signed up for the various platforms over the years, I probably would have used them differently.   I’m using the catch all phrase Social Media to include LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram et al but everyone knows I’m really referring to the 900 lb gorilla in the room known as Facebook.

For many people, Facebook is their only main portal to the world.  It’s how they they communicate with friends and family, and it’s how they get their news.  An ever-moving reality show, featuring You, starring Your Friends,  and reflecting Your Infallible Opinions.  I have to admit I’m caught up in it too (and as a blogger rely on the page views that social media helps generate.)  I actually envy my friends who only check Facebook once a week like people once checked their AOL email.

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I’ve gone through various phases of how I use Facebook.  In the beginning I followed Zuckerberg’s Philosophy to the letter.  It was fun to let friends know what I was up to and see what they were doing (but I never poked anyone!).  Over time additional functionality allowed you to check in, share links and photos, and like shit.  And it didn’t take long for people to figure out ways to monetize their Facebook pages, either directly or indirectly.  I played along but didn’t really care how people used it.  Then I noticed some friends only posted, never interacting with me anyone.  Or only posted annoying chain letters or pet causes.  And please like my page but don’t ask me to like yours.

Somewhere along the way, Facebook went from being a fun distraction to be virtual reality that showed the best and worst of people.  Suddenly you realized that you really weren’t as good of friends as you thought with that person from book club when they unfriended you.

And then there were the 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections each being more ugly than the previous.  The disagreements between friends and family use to be hidden in the background, but Facebook  shined a light on that indifference, bringing it kicking and screaming into center stage.

Maybe we should go back to the early days, where your status had to be in the form of Person’s Name is ____________.

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