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Does anyone truly enjoy social media? Is it fun? Informative? Helpful?

I have heard and seen some lovely stories about people being able to help each other out through Facebook groups, but do those positive outcomes outweigh all of the negative and harmful things that happen?

As an introverted, anti-social person who doesn’t get out much, social media platforms seem like they should be a great way to socialize without having to actually, well, socialize, but it hasn’t worked out that way.

Several years ago I decided that social media was having a negative impact on my sleep and mental health. I deleted most of my accounts, set the last one to private and disabled the application on my phone. The positive impact was almost immediate.

After a while, I crept back into my Instagram account and discovered that logging in on a web browser eliminated seeing an advertisement every third post. Then I discovered that some of the authors who interested me were active and interesting on Twitter, so I set up a new account. Also, I missed exchanging messages with one of the hosts of my favorite radio station.

It was fun for a while, and then the negativity crept in bit by bit until it seemed to dominate. I realized that I wasn’t just seeing content from accounts I followed. I was seeing content from accounts they followed and posts they liked, replied to, and retweeted. Suggested topics have infiltrated my feed as well. Over on Instagram I am being bombarded by ads and suggestions. Some of it was fine, but a lot of it was content I did not want to see.

Maybe I am using social media incorrectly, but it became too much work to get to the content for which I had actually signed up, so today I disabled Instagram again and signed out of Twitter on my phone (which required something like five steps).

I have accounts with a couple of smaller, specialized social sites, but I am not good about keeping up with them. They feel like those productivity applications or programs which require so much maintenance that they don’t actually increase productivity.

Ugh. Yes, I know. It is just SO hard to be me.

Maybe I will have to start actually talking to real people. Perish the thought!

ETA: About 24 hours after logging out of Twitter on my phone, I logged in on a web browser, and my feed was much more to my liking. Maybe it is just the mobile applications which are hostile and aggressive with their algorithms of chaos.

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