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Social Media's Effects On Our Minds & Lives


autopilot
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I left Facebook about a year ago and am doing just fine without. I'm probably a little ostracized in some of my friend's opinions but when I call them to catch up..it's so much nicer and more real.

 

I found I was hardly using it to stay in meaningful contact with friends anyway and spent most of my time on it procrastinating or getting annoyed by people, including close family, disclosing really personal things to loads of people without considering how they are portraying themselves or what they are sharing.

 

I also think autopilot's last comment above is really important, people who prefer to send meaningless forms of conversation are probably not a positive influence in your life. I prefer to amplify the positive and when you get random messages from people who clearly have only messaged you as they've lurked your profile and then the conversation dies...it's kinda heartless.

 

Equally though, I totally see the benefits as a communication medium and knowledge sharing (you just have to wade through a hell of a lot of useless shit to get there).

 

In my opinion, I find it hard to believe that sites like FB have an overall positive effect rather than a negative...I went through a really difficult time a few months back and being free from sites like that helped me clear my mind and start again. It's mad to think they have such a pull on us. I find that really scary. In South Korea, I used to watch really young teenagers glued to their phones instead of interacting at all with their peers or sharing experiences...there is a really high incidence of people simply walking into the road as they are more invested in their online lives than their personal safety when out walking in the street!

Edited by Polytrix
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yeah I quit FB like 5 months ago or something. been thinking about it for a long time and should;ve quit way sooner. the bullshit/no-bs ratio is just not worth it. I guess I sometimes miss the musician's pages I subscribed to, there's so much music I like that I forget about a great deal of artists really.

 

I agree: there's a lot of 'noise' on these social media websites. I think I'm already cursed with a shitty attention span, I check WATMM every 15 mins so to speak when a computer is in reach - same with email, some websites etc. so I didn't need FB to make it worse.

 

I just sent a PM including my email address on FB to some people that mattered to me when I was leaving. Turns out I still have contact with only 1 or 2 people, while I had 200+ 'friends' on there I think. it's such a croc of shit really lol

 

I also don't get how politicians and other important people in the world make public statements mainly via Twitter etc. It just seems so bland. really hoping for social media to make a downfall somewhere in the near future.

 

it's like mass psychosis

Edited by Berk
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Spotted, a grandma sitting quietly at the corner of the table with her family, together but at the same time, alone. Everyone else seems to be too busy with their iPads and phones for the past hour. She's been trying to keep herself busy too - by changing sitting positions, frequent yawns, staring out into space and the occasional smiles she makes when she catches her grandchildren laughing at some videos on the gadgets. Not a single word has been said to her ever since she stepped into this place. Typical weekend, of course. Nothing out of the norm, totally acceptable.

 

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Guest Atom Dowry Firth

Makes me sad when people are out and about in social situations and just can't help but check their phones every five minutes. IRL friends sitting right next to them are less important than status updates in the virtual world. I quit Facebook for like 5-6 months last year/beginning of this year - was actually a lot easier to do than I feared it might have been. Really good catharsis to just get away from it for a while to be honest. I'm back on it again now, a lot of cool people on there that I'd miss without it. As negative as it can be if you let it get out of hand, it can be a really useful tool. Couldn't give less fucks about how popular anything I post is anymore which is a nice liberating feeling.

 

I don't own a TV either. I don't think I'm a hipster? Who knows, maybe deep down I actually am

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I've never had Facebook account, although I've been pressured to get one a lot. Especially from the family. But I am not going to get one. That's the end of that.

 

I do have three Twitter accounts. One is to let my family and friends know where I'm travelling so I don't have to write tons of text messages and emails, one is for my music and keeping up with things (I pretty rarely bother to check up on this or write anything) and one is for an IRC bot I made so I can automatically post my photos to IRC channels via my phone.

 

Linkedin is maybe a social media but for me that's just like an online resume thing.

 

The thing is most of my close friends are hardcore nerds and they all are on IRC. I just need a unix shell somewhere so I can keep my IRC client running. For that purpose I have rented a virtual server. That's the "social media" I use. For the rest of my connections it's just Skype, Whatsapp, email, text messages or whatever.

That's really cool but why not using a smartphone IRC client instead of the server?

 

 

It's so that I don't drop out of the conversation. The server client is online around the clock. I just connect to the server using SSH from my smartphone or computer or whatever and I can just continue the IRC conversation and read the backlog. For everybody else it seems I'm always online.

 

Also all of my IRC bots are running on the server.

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Yeah I rejoined under a different name as I needed to join specialist related groups for my job but I still get flooded by facebook telling me I should make friends with the contacts in my email etc..just ignore them. But yeah, it's how it's built right...it makes money by you having a 'real' online existence with friends so they can advertise stuff and get data from it.

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Interesting reading. I'm a bit old fashioned in some ways, so I just see a lot of social media as total waste of fucking time hah hah. I also try to be genuine and non-fake as I can possibly be, so me and facebook just don't really get on in that department either. I was on it for a few months maybe 8 years ago (?), I just realised pretty quick the portal of bullshit I had opened. It was like an digital ouija board to a world I wasn't interested in. I thought it was totaly false and full of posers.

 

Though not for me, but I can see how it could work for someone else. In fact if I go travelling again I'd reopen my stoneage account, as it would be great for that I guess. High five with the cool backpacking kids! Yeah!

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Facebook and Instagram okay i understand (i dont do neither of those) but twitter is important to keep in touch with the world and its not that addictive, check it every few hours to see what is going on in the world.

 

Honestly Twitter is way too fast moving for me, I rarely keep up. I guess I never really got used to how it works and everything. Facebook is probably the bottom tier importance for me in terms of social media. I still really enjoy Instagram purely for the photos/videos posted by National Geographic, NASA, and Oceana. Still cutting it all down, though.

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I was just recently totally without the internet for three weeks in Cuba and traveling alone. First I felt so disconnected and had almost like withdrawal symptoms but after I started meeting people there I started to sort of normalize but I still felt strange for the entire time. I haven't had that long break from the net at least in the last 15 years. It felt so good to get back to the internet afterwards.

 

Which makes me think that I probably should take breaks more often. Clearly the internet has a huge psychological impact by being constantly available. It's like I always live in dual reality, one part is the physical reality, the other part is the net presence.

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I was thinking about this before and I find it kind of crazy that despite not being on facebook, I'm still on here which is still social media but for a different set of people. Perhaps it's the fact that this is largely anonymous and people are into cool shit and happy to help each other out.

 

It's kinda sad that the people I've actually gotten to know and used to be in contact with, for good or bad, via facebook were seemingly less available and certainly less interesting...but that's cause we are all music heads here and connected by common interests. I'd buy you all a pint if I ever met you...we'd have a fucking massive rave I'm sure. haha.

 

But yeah, cyberspace life is very unreal. I personally really just enjoy being very honest with people online recently no matter the consequences. It's all quite throw away really so you may as well just embrace it. Like right now I'm writing to all you people and I have no idea really where the fuck you are writing from or what you do in your lives...to be connected in such a seemingly easy fashion with you all is at one time incredible but also quite frightening. Which begs the question why people prefer to lie about themselves online when to some extent we all know it's not real life anyway....

 

I'm rambling.

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One funny thing I've noticed is that when internet was pretty new for the general public in the late 90s and early 00s there was lots of talk about internet addiction and about people who had to use internet everyday for hours. Now that everybody is constantly online almost nobody talks about net addiction anymore. It's like a normal state of being to be always connected to the internet. It's almost expected of you.

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There's an interesting debate between the relationship between social media and teenage/early twenties depression. You know that everyone is posting their bullshit/bragging stuff on there, and some kids who maybe be going through a hard time think their life is even more worthless because they at that time can't compete with the type of person who's got life fucking made and broadcasting it to the world. Some kids were phoning up a BBC radio program I was listening to, saying when they were going through low phases the best thing they did was pull the plug from their social media accounts. It was like pulling a plug from a pressure cooker.

 

Remember social media was born exactly the same time as the ridiculous obsession with the rise of the celebrity. The two cults feed each other imo.

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There's an interesting debate between the relationship between social media and teenage/early twenties depression. You know that everyone is posting their bullshit/bragging stuff on there, and some kids who maybe be going through a hard time think their life is even more worthless because they at that time can't compete with the type of person who's got life fucking made and broadcasting it to the world. Some kids were phoning up a BBC radio program I was listening to, saying when they were going through low phases the best thing they did was pull the plug from their social media accounts. It was like pulling a plug from a pressure cooker.

 

Remember social media was born exactly the same time as the ridiculous obsession with the rise of the celebrity. The two cults feed each other imo.

 

This reminds me of this video

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There's a strong connection between not spending time on social media and general happiness for me.

 

But I'm not going to lie, it tends to be addicting at times, usually when it's a long day and there's a lot of shit on your mind, there's a certain comfort to it. But considering the amount of useless shit that occupies facebook for example, it's very stupid that it even is the slightest addicting. I literally can't think of a place with more completely useless information and activity, it's a waste of time in every sense possible.

star

Edited by Npoess
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As with many peplz''' stories, I "got rid of mine" half a year ago. I still have one for my music, but I don't browse on it anymore, I just post new stoff on it. As with many people I grew tired of it. I realized it was wasting 30 mins-1 hour every day. I could use those breaks for better things instead of things that didn't matter and would be irrelevant the next day. I did become a little more cynical about people. People who I thought were smart or w/e, posting about yawn inducing things. The last year on it I never posted as I couldn't think of anything to post about that would be interesting, while also being within what's acceptable on the website.

It really, honestly brings out the boring in people, no one, and I mean NO ONE can escape it. I also got tired of having these mini-talks with friends and having the feeling that "I've seen them recently". I saw people less as a result. Now when I hang out with them, it's notably better. So, win-win-win in my book.

So yeah, facebook is a waste of time.

Edited by Brisbot
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I don't know why you should expect social media to be some grand human achievement and generally character-building activity. Nothing wrong with social media in the right doses, it's useful for some stuff, maybe a waste of time mostly, but so are most activities in our free civilization. I tend to filter out a lot of useless fodder though and waste no energy on the drama. Strangely enough I don't feel the need to remove all my accounts in order to preserve my sanity - it's great to keep in touch with long-time friends who live faraway, as well as nurture new contacts.

 

I don't look at social media as some devious brainwashing concoction, people willingly get themselves sucked into the bread and circus bullshit just like they've always been - we are governed by stronger internal forces than outer ones, and particularly much stronger than some wishful kumbaya anarchoprimitivist pipe-dream.

 

However, at the risk of coming across as really hypocritical, I waited a long time before I relented and got myself a smartphone - always hated the way it sucks people out even in one-to-one conversation, even though it might be unreasonable to expect someone's full attention in this day and age. Now I find myself falling into the same trap, naturally, and have to struggle to avoid it... before I'll become everything I ever hated. Like some others have said, it's tremendously important to unplug routinely. I don't think there is a bigger factor for well-being today that goes so overlooked.

 

Tell you what, next time I hang out with the mates I'll dare them to leave their phones all on a table or something :)

Edited by chim
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Well put! I seriously HATE that what you said ''it might be unreasonable to expect someone's full attention in this day and age'' is TOTALLY true.

 

Sadly, I think that's really true. I pride myself in having really good conversations with people..I'm gonna look you in the eye and I'm gonna listen attentively to what is being said and what is left for interpretation...so much communication is non-verbal and simply resorting to staring at a phone is making this almost a lost-art. I don't have a smart phone and I doubt I ever will.

 

They are incredibly useful though!

Edited by Polytrix
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never had a facebook or twitter account, havent had a tv in over 10 years...

lol, not a hipster either... :cerious:

 

its really strange when im at someones house who has a tv, im just hipnotised... cant keep my eyes off it

ill be having a conversation and the flashy, loud, jingly noises and visuals just grab me

 

i wonder if im just not used to now it or if everyone else is just desensitised and is able to filter that shit out?

so they need to make louder and flashier stuff to grab people

 

it leaves me feeling like ive ate a bag of sugar, really sickly and over stimulated

 

i dont miss it

 

i only lurk some music and tech forums and rarely post anywhere except WATMM :music::wub:

 

Yo, that exact same shit happens to me. A lot of people I know just always have a TV on in the background, fall asleep to it, etc. The moment I walk in the room I'm just like "hey guys how's it go--omg glowing box with loud noises and flashing colors" and just stare at it, drooling, like an infant.

 

That's not to say I don't watch TV shows or anything, because I do, I just don't passively leave mediocre programming on in the background to drown out whatever I don't want to think about.

 

 

So you're going to force people to use telephones now are you, or install skype !! You can't have it both ways broski, be annoyed that they were mad at you for leaving facebook and then be mad at them when then don't use your contact mode of choice (that is still an armslegth away from humon contact anyway, "why don't they physically visit me to tell me that they want to visit, i'm so mad at them").

 

 

I'm not forcing anyone to use a phone... talking to me is voluntary and always has been. I never said that I was mad at them either, just that if they're thinking "hey I'd like to talk to autopilot, but not enough to talk to him via anything other than this webpage I already have open" then it must not be anything worthy of either of our time. Most of the Facebook addicts are browsing it on their phone as well, so if spending 2 seconds to move their fingers and click the SMS app button that everyone has is such a bother they'd rather not talk to me instead, than that's someone I probably shouldn't have in my life. It's not like I'm forcing anyone to go out and buy phones to get in touch with me, so your argument's pretty ridiculous.

 

 

Dude i don't think you understood the subtlety in my hyperbole, taking things too literally. But i guess that's ok because it proves yet again that dleetr tends to fail at this social media activity. heh, sadly.

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