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Am I the only anti-social social media user?

There is something awfully satisfying about trying to get back in control of your digital life – I find that if I don’t pay attention my inbox (both work and blog/home) rapidly disappears out of control. I wasn’t online much from the middle of December for a variety of reasons – I have heaps of unread mail. I have started a great January cull!

Except now I’ve discovered a great new thing – if I don’t like an email I unsubscribe. There and then, click, zap, no more clutter in my inbox.

Take that advertising types – take that people sending me emails about things I can’t really afford and don’t really need.

Trouble is that you start small (ok smallish, I had 25,000 unread emails on my computer from last summer when everything went a bit haywire) and unsubscribe from a few email groups. Moments later you are happily deleting emails. And not really being too bothered if you delete more or less everything – I mean if it is important surely someone will re-send?

*hits delete again*

Roll forward a couple of hours and you are going through Facebook and removing anyone you don’t immediately recognise from your ‘friend’ list.

And then you remove someone because of a Daily Mail inspired panic about ‘pedos’ on the internet.

And then it snowballs.

Suddenly you are on a roll and your circle of friends actually starts to look a bit more like a group of actual friends you’d consider going out for a drink with. Perhaps this has to be my new Facebook threshold – I’ll only accept requests from people I’ve been out for a drink with or would seriously consider going out for a drink with. All I do on Facebook is check out what other people are up to rather than post a whole lot so perhaps I should just close my account off? Surely I wouldn’t miss it much? And then I’d stop worrying about whether having a Facebook account is a good idea

Then Twitter grabs your attention and you realise that if you really need a sort out – you can’t actually know who most of these people are and actually you only talk to a few so unfollow here, unfollow there! Your stupid threshold gets higher and you start deleting people you disagree with rather than trying to not get cross.

You know, I think I have realised my problem with social media – I’m naturally anti-social…

Ooops

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19 comments to Am I the only anti-social social media user?

  • Corinne

    I am completely the same. I recently had a Facebook cull so I only have friends that I actually want to communicate with on there (mostly they live far away so it’s a good way of keeping in touch). I am incredibly anti social and do like that I can b quite ruthless with those I chose to follow and unfollow on Twitter, it should be somewhere I like to be and not an area of stress.

  • Ali

    Sounds very sensible to me – my network of Facebook friends isn’t that large either. And decluttering in any shape or form makes me extremely happy:-)

  • I almost didn’t bother reading the post, I was so busy saying “yes! yes! yes!” at the title…. but I did and I’m so with you – on the whole lot (apart from twitter, because I realised I wasn’t social enough for it before I even started…).

    Oh and if you want decluttering – a friend told me the other day (when I was complaining about exactly this) that she was rung up by an old friend a couple of years ago who explained that now she had children she didn’t have time to devote to all the many friends she had dragged with her through the years, so she was culling them. Thank you very much for those drunken days at university, goodbye… Now there’s an idea for the anti-social!

    • Blindly that is brutal. To be honest a lot of university friends fell by the wayside whilst I was crawling up the greasy career ladder – takes a good friend to realise that cancelling may be out of your control the eleventy twelfth time it happens

  • I think a good cull is therapeutic, plus it gives you more room to add more random people to the mix only to cull them next year.

    *runs off to check I’ve not been culled*

  • I’ve had a massive cull as well on Facebook and twitter. I keep Facebook for people I remember and have actually interacted properly with. There are lots of people trained in the same stuff as me who add me because I’m one of the most senior globally, and I’m just not interested, so I don’t accept them. Have you seen the ‘see friendship’ option for friends on Facebook – it means you can see how much you’ve actually interacted with people.

    The email unsubscribe option is a brilliant one, that I like to do lots.

    I don’t think it’s anti-social, it just shows you’re not paranoid about numbers and what other people think about your numbers ;o)

    I’m doing something wrong though, just can’t get my inbox to a manageable number at the moment – I use it as my to do folder really, but it’s heaving. Maybe I need to cull it tomorrow, you’ve inspired me!!!

    • For my inbox I now have two mantras – if it’s important it will be re-sent and if in doubt delete!

      Takes a while to get ontop but I now have very little in my work inbox (personal one is a bit more of a mess)

  • Ha, I’ve been doing my own little cull too. And for those that I can’t delete on Facebook for one reason or another, I’ve been hitting the ‘hide all by…’ option. It’s good. It makes me smile and makes me more likely to actually talk to the people I want to! Kind of being anti-social to get back to being social.

  • Emily O

    I’m so with you on this. I spend less time online these days because I’m not physically up to it (sounds silly but it’s still tiring) and when I am online I find myself having a big clear out by unsubscribing and disassociating. It’s definitely a new no nonsense cut through the cr*p approach I have and before I just used to let stuff irritate me. It may sound harsh but the reverse effect is now spending more time on stuff and people I actually want to hear from so it is positive too.

  • Emma

    Thank you for this post! I do have a facebook account, and I log on about three times a year. I just don’t seem to have the time or inclination to be more involved. I don’t see my neighbours anymore (YES – THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE ON MY STREET!) because I don’t keep up with facebook so I never know the social gatherings on my street!!!!!!!

  • Federico Mendez

    My wife and I shared the same FB account for over a year, but somewhere along the way she became some of a social-media hacker and needed to have her own account. All of our friends thought having only one account was crazy so I guess splitting accounts again was a good move (although we actually MET ON FACEBOOK and married only after 2 months, so it’s not like they didn’t think we were crazy to begin with).

  • Kate Alcock

    I have deactivated my FB account (only for a while) to get on top of my work paperwork and have achieved so much. what saddens me is all the friends who are ‘missing me’ but can’t be bothered to come and physically visit me. I am now determined not to go back on FB and get for more things done around the house and go back to blog hopping

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