Over the last ten years, I’ve been in and out of multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook. I was on these platforms before they were “cool” and have watched them evolve and change over the years. Sadly, the changes are not for the better as far as I am concerned. To reclaim my time and remove stressors from my life, I am done with them. Watch the short video below. There is a lot of truth to it and I agree with the message it conveys.
I bit the bullet and deleted the accounts for my personal life. I no longer have a Twitter account or Facebook account. I have a messenger account to communicate with stubborn people who refuse to use Telegram, but that’s it. I do technically still have a Facebook account that was used for work, but it has been stripped down and is only being used as a shared account for the management of pages and groups for work. As for Reddit, I have been off that platform for many years now as it has slowly devolved to the sad state it is now. I joined Reddit after Digg.com sold out and ruined the platform from the glory it used to be (but that’s a story for another day).
Mini rant – I wish Facebook would let you publish posts through platforms like Buffer as a business page instead of a personal account. My work uses that account to post marketing and company updates, but they show up as “Tim Hoogland” still. Hopefully, they will improve or change that in the future. Business pages can join groups, but for some reason, you can’t use social media tools to post as those pages in said groups. So if you see posts from “Tim Hoogland” in 3D printing groups, it’s just the account that is used. /endrant
I was very active on Facebook in groups for my hobbies and work. I loved spending time helping out people with their issues they posted about in the groups but over the last 2 years, something changed. The users in these groups have started becoming more and more abusive just for the sake of being abusive. You’d try to help someone out and another person would come along just to start a fight. So I stopped helping out in the groups as much. As I started to get well known in these groups for my line of work I’d constantly have people trying to start drama just to try and build themselves up by tearing me down. So I would block them and move on. The final straw was harassment from customers who wanted to just complain about non-sensical things instead of working with the company for an actual solution. I’d be tagged by them or others and get roped into more internet drama that, in the end, was just a waste of time. I now understand why you do not see company owners active in communities.
I’ve also seen many good people leave Facebook groups due to people in the groups becoming abusive towards them. I really do not understand it. These people were not even business owners but just people who used to enjoy helping others out with their issues. One of the guys I know became known for his knowledge in the groups but ended up completely deleting his account and closing down groups he started due to abusive, entitled users in those groups. It’s very sad and it needs to stop. You have people like myself who genuinely like helping out people when they have the knowledge to do so getting pushed to their limits by abusive, entitled users on these sites.
While I was not ever very active on Twitter, I deleted that account because Twitter has turned into a place where people mostly use it to attack, harass, or bully others. Our company has a company account, and my only involvement with it is through a social media management system (Buffer), so I can still post updates and marketing posts to it.
I’ve only been out of the groups for a little over two weeks now, and people who know me would send me screenshots of some nobody trying to start drama at my expense, but I’ve told them to stop sending me screenshots. The kind of people that will waste their time to tear someone down instead of working on themselves is sad individuals who do not deserve the time of day from you. The reality is that as soon as you are successful or popular you will get people who are jealous and/or lazy attacking you because they envy what you have made of yourself. If you’re reading this and are experiencing this, just ask yourself – Do you concern yourself with the ants you step on when you walk outside?
The thing that does make me disappointed about pulling away from social media (specifically Facebook groups) is that I know some people won’t get my help as they would have in the past. As someone that loves problem-solving, it is hard to scroll past a post in a group where someone needs help with something and you know the answer to it. Instead, I am going to just work on videos and write-ups in hopes that they do see it on whatever platform I post it to or someone will direct them to it. I’m not going to let the sad individuals that thrive on causing stress and drama in other people’s lives stop me from sharing my knowledge with others; I am just changing up the way that it is delivered.
Looking at all the issues I’ve encountered on these platforms it genuinely concerns me about how negative and abusive people have become on these platforms. YouTube is also known for its “trolls” but, in my opinion, it’s very easy to address people that try to start issues on that platform as a creator. I’ve been guilty of hastily hammering out an angry post or response on social media. It’s too easy to get sucked into these platforms and then get pulled into the negativity. By design, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are designed to keep you on the website for long periods of time so they can show you ads to make money for the platform. In general, I think people tend to give more attention to negative things which just then conditions people to participate in it.
I am reminding myself to be more positive in general and not engage in the negative things that present themselves to me. Removing myself from platforms like Twitter and Facebook is proving to be a considerable influence on how happy I am and where my attention is focused. I invite you all to do the same (at least temporarily) and see how you feel after a few weeks. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how focusing on your friends and family directly instead of on these platforms will be a net positive in your life.
This blog is just a way for me to get out what is on my mind for myself. I am just sharing it with the world in hopes that it helps someone else out in their life. I am not perfect by any means, and I am working on myself more than ever now. I don’t know if I would call it a “mid-life crisis,” but significant changes are happening in my life to make it better and make myself happier. Be kind to each other, and don’t let the assholes get you down.