You are what you consume

The old adage "you are what you" may have originally been coined to encourage us to eat less junk food and fatty things.

But I suspect maybe it had a more general application that has escaped us, certainly me, for most of our lives.

Now I think we are the world we consume, and for the purposes of this post, we are the social media we consume.

Because my work is computers and technology I tend to get onto most things fairly soon after they appear to be reasonably widespread.

I was on Facebook and Twitter very early.

On both these platforms the original game was to get connected to as many people as possible. The more connections you had the better.

But it was immediately clear to me that this strategy was broken for a number of reasons, not least of which that you could never consume, let alone be shown, all the data/posts coming from all your "friends".

I can't remember when I ditched Twitter. It was a long time ago. It wasn't providing any value to my business or life. Nowadays I can't see the point or any benefit to Twitter use.

With Facebook I noticed a lot of hateful things showing up as a result of some of my "friends" being closet "ists" and "phobes" of some kind. The second and subsequent connections (friends of friends) was also throwing up a lot of stuff that was unacceptable.

So I bailed out of Facebook. I deleted my account and a short while alter created a new profile that I was determined would only connect to genuine friends, as opposed to "friends".

This experiment lasted a few years but eventually the same thing happened.

I saw good people I knew being angry all the time. It made me wonder what their lives must be like. I wondered if that was me?

I still felt that there was some value for me to maintain a Facebook business page and a group for posting helpful information.

But having friends of any kind on Facebook had proven to be a very bad idea.

So I parked my page, deleted my account for a second (or maybe third) time, and started again.

So now it is just me, no friends, a business page and a business group.

And I have to say, life hasn't been this stress free in years. I totally put this mood change down to avoiding Facebook like the plague.

A previous post on this blog outlined how Google denied the ad I wanted to run for my business.

I had chosen to advertise on Google as it best fit how I wanted to spend my advertising budget and target my customers.

When my ad was declined I wondered if maybe I should try an ad on Facebook, but I quickly and automatically thought "no, I don't want to be there".

As Sacha Baron Cohen points out, there's no accountability on Facebook and the like. People hide behind whatever facade they choose and say whatever they want. Hell, I was a grey Alien for almost a year...but that Alien didn't have any friends or post anything so I reckon that was OK ;-)

I thought I could control who and what I saw to at least some degree. I could not. I thought I could block, delete and unfriend the sources of problems. I couldn't completely.

I thought I could keep it light, just make jokes, ignore the crap, be helpful and look at pictures of animals. I could not.

But what I could do was leave.

My social media is almost non-existent.

I recommend yours is too. You'll thank yourself for it. Maybe one day the world will thank us for it.


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