My Thoughts on Social Media
Tue Jun 11, 2019 · 332 words

Lately, I’ve had some friends ask me why I don’t use social media outside of Reddit and Snapchat. Here are some general and loosely-connected thoughts on social media and what I don’t like about it.

The main reason I don’t care for social media is that it encourages group-think. There are plenty of examples of this; though Twitter is especially bad about it. Part of it is a human issue - many people are far too eager to attack someone who seemingly disagrees with them instead of having a discussion about it - but the other part of it lies within the social media network’s architecture. When posts are tagged with likes, retweets, upvotes, whatever - they make it painfully clear when someone is being ignored, or left out. Many times this leads to that person subtly adjusting what they say to better fit in with what appears popular, which in turn decreases the diversity of opinions and stifles discussion - one of the main points of social media.

I also find social media to be the biggest time sink of the 21st century. So many people - including myself, at times - use it to just kill time, when there are certainly better things they could be doing. Its also a great way to procrastinate, as can been seen by the insane post counts of a lot of accounts.

Beyond that, the general lack of regard for the treatment of private information social media companies - Facebook in particular - seem to exhibit is pathetic. I wouldn’t want to have any hand in supporting any of their behavior, and I doubt other sites are much better.

Overall, while social media certainly has its good points - I find Reddit very useful for keeping up and discussing topics I enjoy, for example - more often than not it ends up being detrimental to its users. Whether it be group-think encouragement, time-wasting, or data leaking, I contend you’re better off just avoiding it.

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