I’ve done a curious thing, on a whim that has confirmed a long held opinion on the state of social media.
I switched my primary Facebook profile on my phone to my more “creative” tight knit profile.
The first thing I noticed was the quality and style of posting. It was human, it was my creative friends and acquaintances letting off a bit of steam, sharing a thought or laughing (or bemoaning) a current or past situation.
And it felt truly connected. Serious fly on the wall, stuff.
This led me to log into my other profile after 48hrs to confirm that something was going on, and I was right:
A profile full of online business people and marketers makes for a painfully dull newsfeed. You are aware of your so-called acquaintances. Maybe even met them in person once or twice, but their profile isn’t for sharing personal experiences.
At least not without a psychologically constructed framework whereby they utilise an experience to create a story and thus an emotional pull to get you to tune in to their next riveting chapter or respond to a “call to action”.
And seeing this felt like looking at the afterbirth and remains of a hatched chick.
Of course, really rather pretty and tells a curious story of life, but ultimately what’s really interesting is what the chick is actually up to now. Has it opened its eyes just to see? Has it dried up enough to move its wings, its legs? Chirp?
It’s this aftermath that’s missing. The casual post that they just ate a malteaser and they’re not quite sure if the chewy thing they just chewed wax a bit of doughy malt….. Or an insect.
Many argue that, those kinds of thoughts are for the tweets of twitter, memes of tumblr or selfies of Instagram.
I’d argue that it’s those very personable, character building whims that made Facebook as good as it was.
I don’t have a resolve for this. I’m very close to closing most of my social media as I feel I’m only on it to appease job prospects and keep in touch with extended family.
This, in turn, raises yet another question: is my above statement true??
Surely the likes of phone calls, emails and…… Snail mail would yield better connection by the simple virtue that those forms of communication are simple and the reward much higher in terms of that “feel-good” factor.
Opening a box with cherished letters and rereading them elicits far more emotion (from their handwriting, to the degradation of the paper) than a mere “time hop” on social media.
Whilst there’s no clear way out beyond shutting down your social media, having different profiles with very different people seems to help dampen the madness.