SMBC: Fixing social media

via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (click through for red button caption)

These days, I usually share these on Twitter, but this one seemed more relevant for this venue.

Despite using Twitter to share interesting articles and sites, I’ve never found it to be a great platform for actually sharing complex thoughts or having long conversations.  I’m too much of a pontificator to stay within the 280 character limit (or whatever it is these days).  On the few occasions that I’ve attempted it, the short pity exchanges that sometimes followed left me unsatisfied.

Blogging may be old fashioned at this point, but it still seems the best way on the internet to have thoughtful discussions.

16 thoughts on “SMBC: Fixing social media

  1. Social media experience for me has become greatly unsatisfying. I mostly have my Facebook account to keep in touch with my old friends – schoolmates and relatives. If not for Facebook, I would not have heard from most of them for decades. But Facebook’s efficiency even for this simple purpose is worse than the efficiency of a steam engine which is, if I remember right, around 4%. Most of the stuff people post are useless link shares. Most notifications are “xx liked this”, “yy liked that”. I’m afraid to comment on my friend’s posts because I’m immediately flooded with notifications “zz also commented on nn’s post”. There is no way to filter these notifications to make them more useful. Facebook tells me nothing about my friends except that they are reading some crap on the net. I have friends who post zero of original content, not even a selfie which would be interesting once in a while. Instead, you scroll down through dozens of stupid jokes, political fake news, someone’s rants, ads, etc., etc.. There is no way to mark anything as “read” to never see it again. Shit pops up again and again and again.

    I think the best “fix” for Facebook and Twitter is to ignore them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know I rarely use or check my personal Facebook account, for all the reasons you list. It’s the worst way to try to contact me. If the FB site associated with this blog weren’t linked to it, I might have just closed that account a long time ago.


  2. I think people find an appeal to living in a world which doesn’t require big thoughts. Everything’s answered in 280 characters or less. All thinking fitting inside of reflexive, reactionary thought/passion. The way cavemen thought. It’s a new market – small thinking…wait, not a new market, just one ironically better served as technology (progenated by very long thoughts) improves. TL;DR: High tech make us caveman better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it gives people an illusion of progress as they make their way through those brief snippets. In some ways, I can understand. The average reader takes in 200-300 words per minute, so a 2000 word blog entry is a 7-10 minute commitment. I know I often weigh whether I really want to read some long articles at places like Aeon or Quanta.

      There is something to be for brevity, but as you note, 280 characters doesn’t leave room for much of anything besides a slogan. And while Facebook allows more, the platform design really doesn’t encourage long posts.


  3. To this day, I have not found out what twitter is good for. I just don’t really understand it. But I like blogging and I will soon resume doing so. Looks like I am a very old-fashioned person (I don’t even have a smart phone and never had one, I just don’t see what these things are good for 🙂 Probably I am getting old 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You and me both!

      I do find Twitter useful for sharing stuff, seeing stuff others share, and quickly getting a feel for the public mood. But it’s a frenzied place where the mood sometimes gets ugly and infectious.

      Smartphones are useful for surfing the web while you’re using the bathroom 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love blogging! It stands out far above the rest, as far as I’m concerned.

    I have no idea what Twitter is all about. The word limit excluded that platform for me.

    After hearing about the shady things Facebook has been up to, I decided to just get rid of my account. I wasn’t using it anyway…someone talked me into signing up a long time ago, but I found it incredibly boring.

    I’m with nannus on smartphones. The only reason I got one was because while I was taking care of my mother and flying back and forth, family members complained about all my schemes to avoid getting a “good” phone. The sound quality on my flip phone wasn’t up to par, and my efforts to use my iPod as an “iPhone” were, shall we say, under-appreciated. But now I only use it for texting and vacations. I really have no interest in spending a fortune just so I can look busy at the doctor’s office.

    Anyway, what is it with guys and their bathroom reading materials? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Twitter actually got a little more tolerable with two changes. One, they doubled the character limit to 280, which allowed for slightly more complete thoughts. And second, they provided for threaded tweets. People use these to put blog like statements out there. But the issue still remains that the statements quickly scroll into obscurity.

      Of course, blog posts eventually do too, but you get a lot more time. The fact that we’re having this discussion on a post I did eight days ago is something that never happens on Twitter. You might get eight hours for a particularly impactful post, with most getting maybe thirty minutes. And although it’s normal to get comments on blog posts from months or years ago, it’s downright creepy when someone responds to a tweet from more than a week ago.

      Work dragged me into the smartphone space in the early Blackberry years, and I just became used to having one. But they are nice when you’re stuck waiting somewhere, in the doctor’s office, the barbershop, when your car’s being worked on, and yes, when you’re doing number two. (Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

    2. My current bathrom reading material is “Kurt Flasch: Das philosophische Denken im Mittelalter: Von Augustin zu Machiavelli” (a history of medieval philosophy). I am also reading it on the bus or train.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Don’t worry, I am not always reading such stuff 🙂 However, the older I am getting the more I think I don’t just want to be entertained, but educated. And the more I learn about some topics, the more interesting and hence entertaining they become (astonishingly that even includes topics like medieval history and philosophy (and the interconnection between the two)). Basically it is a result of getting older, realizing that our time is limited.

          Liked by 1 person

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