Thoughts on Social Media from a bloggers perspective or simply put: My personal social media rant of the year.
As a blogger I use social media not as a way of knowing what my friends and family are doing every minute of the day, but as a way to share my own content, inspire others and to follow artist and bloggers who in turn inspire me, give me new ideas and that has similar interests as me. I’ve always used social media in this way, all of them except for FB, but there I have two accounts to keep things separate. I have had close friends who I never followed online because I feel uncomfortable being bombarded by oversharing of feelings, food photos or bad selfies. I don’t want to offend anyone, but on the other hand I don’t understand or agree with “follow for follow”. It’s too much as it is, already. I don’t know if this is the right way of doing things, but it is the way I have handled it so far, kind of creating a separation between me as a artist and blogger and me as a private person.
If you need me in private I’m sure you have my phone number, that’s been my philosophy. Maybe I haven’t explained it to everyone, but I think it should be obvious that if you know that I never post on Facebook, don’t invite me to a birthday party via FB, right? Because duh: I might miss it. I might not want to share where I’m going with everyone else there… and so on.
Anyways. Back to official social media.
I want to inspire others
I like to think that my art journals, collages and thoughts on creativity can inspire others, but that what I’m having for breakfast (the same thing ever. single. day) won’t interest a soul. Or the fact that it was raining, or if I missed the buss and got wet – or that I am feeling happy or sad or what ever in a particular moment. Or that one of my plants died and it actually made me sad… I don’t to be consoled about it really, I just want to grief alone and bury him in peace (LOL).
Maybe it’s just me who still find the longer form of blogging so wonderful and comforting? I don’t like what we in Sweden call “snuttifiera“, which is all these little snippets we are bombarded with daily. Short, quick messages on big topics, commercials on repeat, social media updates without context, headlines with no article to “read more” of. It is no wonder that so many are stressed these days, right?
We’re not given time to slow down, to think things through or to actually take the time to understand other’s perspective! I always loved blogs because it gives both the possibility to share thoughts on one subject and get feedback on that, that it gives context to the thoughts and also that can be found chronologically in one place.
A World that is Not Chronological
I miss chronological order everywhere online these days. It is like the world has been shaken by an evil giant and everything fell down in a random order, following no logic that we can understand. Well of course I understand that it is in “the order” that the owners of the apps wants us to have, but OMG, it is not the way my brain works. Why not just take my calendar and shake it a bit too, so that Wednesday is followed by Monday and Christmas comes more often? It would make just as much sense as me following certain people and then never getting to see what they post anyway?
Then I have to ask: What is the point of it? And following an artists process becomes strange because you’ll most likely see the finished canvas before you see the in-process-pictures. Telling stories becomes pointless. I love chronological of blogs, my diary, my life. Social media has taken away the choice of logical and understandable presentation, and personally I think it’s a robbery. I also don’t understand why so many choices have been taken away from us, in settings. The settings I need are not there any more, or they never were.
If a company wants to decide over what I get to read, see and how it is presented, I at least think they could give me the option to opt-out of their world order? It would be so easy for their programmers to give us user a few more options, but more and more we are stranded with no choice at all – but to leave. And if we opt out, we are left out of the community and kinship of sharing.
Instagram and Pinterest
I remember how much I loved Instagram when I first got it. I wanted to post everything I saw, all the time. Now, not so much. It’s not in any particular order, and the few I follow that still post great photos mostly post a lot of nonsense to “stories” – things that are not even related to why I followed them in the first place. Just looking through “stories” takes for ever now, and I am not a fan of it – mostly because you have to look through all of it to find the gems.
The recommendations is mostly interesting, but with just one search for something you usually are not interested in, the recommended photos and instagram-videos are picking that up and gets totally out of wack. It’s the same with Pinterest I find. It tries to show me more of my most recent pinned images, so the variety that I used to curate myself by following different people and boards, are lost. I don’t even think we see what we followed once, these days? It’s just “recommendations” i.e. no humans that show random things.
I miss old Pinterest, without ads and confusion, where I saw things from friends and other bloggers I wanted to follow and see.
Facebook Sucking Time
I am not a big fan of Facebook, because I mostly find it a time-suck. And as a biz-person there, I really dislike it. Even if you follow my page Studio iHanna on FB you might not see the things I share there, because FB won’t add it to your feed very often. The best way to know what’s going on in groups or on fan pages is to visit them directly and click “like” on a few posts back, then new stuff might show up when you’re scrolling your FB feed. So probably the best way to get iHanna News, is to be subscribed to blog posts. I don’t send out the Newsletter very often and in case you want to know why, it’s not just that I find it hard to keep up with it… It’s because I have to pay a monthly fee to get to send it, and often times for me, it’s not worth it.
Facebook is not very reliable, and if you stop for a second to look at a “cute dog video” you’ll see no end of them popping up and auto-playing for the following weeks, not matter if you liked it or not. Yeah, it’s not designed to give you what you want but to serve up the best content for FB to make money of these days. One of the most irritating news that I think they introduced this year is that you won’t see “all comments” on posts, but just the ones that FB think are “most important” which of course could and will translate to the comments that generate the most likes or drama, not actually the most intelligent or the most inspiring ones. And no matter how many times you choose that you want to be able to view “all comments” it jumps back to giving you the shortened version of them the next time.
Facebook is not interested in showing real time communication, but snippets of it. Yuck, things like that is so very annoying to me. I really really dislike when others (people or social media policies) try to tell me how to do things, what’s most important to me (I want to decide that for myself) or what random message should pop up as a notification that I need to mark as read to be notified on what I really want to be notified about. Oh, enough about FB, right?
I stay because I enjoy the community of some of the groups I’m in, and that’s it. And I only enjoy them by going to them. Seeing all their random posts in my feed all jumbled up (in a horrible mix of all my interests at once) makes me suuuuper tired. Finally, dear friends, if you want to invite me to a party or event, you have my phone number, e-mail and home address, right? Don’t count on FB to “notify me” of you, your posts or your invitations. ;-)
Blogs to slow down
So in conclusion, I started blogging because I enjoy writing and photography, and to share them together in a curated way. I love the chronology of it and the long format. And as I kept at it, I learned that I love to inspire others and to share the things I make with like-minded people. I still love it, and I still think it is relevant and important – but only if you are also looking for blogs, you need to keep reading them of course – and clicking towards content rather than away.
If/when humanity is too stressed to take in books, articles or blog posts and rather consume “quick news” to get quick fixes, then I think we’re all doomed in a way. How can we go deep if we have no time to ponder things?
But I want to end on a positive note, so I chose to keep blogging. To spend my time writing more, thinking more, talking and discussing more – and scrolling less. Way, way less. To let my phone track how I spend my time with it, and try to get the pedometer count more steps than minutes spent on social media, clicking away from “funny videos”, memes, pinning projects I’ll never do and wishing for items I’ll never afford.
Instead I aim to do more crafts, art and writing – and share it with whoever wants to come over to be inspired by me and with me.
Am I overthinking this (yes!), or am I simply getting too old for social media (yes)? LOL.
What’s your view on all of it?
Keep on blogging. It’s the only thing I follow…
I agree! I still love reading blogs, and seeing youtube videos and blogs that tell stories or show a creative process.
Oh Hanna, you are saying so many things that I agree with. Keep doing YOU! You are an inspiration!
You are so right! I actually read everything you wrote, and I thank you.
Thank you for keeping your corner of the Internet a colorful, happy, inspiring, sane, chronological place where we can come, relax, and be inspired to sit down and create!
I agree so much with what you’ve written. I hate the fact that the algorithms of social media platform try to guess what I want to see instead of presenting things in alphabetical order.
Please keep blogging. I like seeing your stuff come up in my feed reader.
I’m so happy that you and a few others keep on blogging! I love the slower pace of blogs. I follow them with Feedly and check it once or twice a week. I agree with everything you said about social media here! There were even some points you made that I hadn’t realized yet! Social media is exhausting to me too.
Thank you so much for this post. I couldn’t agree more.
And thank you for keeping this blog. I love to read what you write, especially when you write a bit longer texts. You are doing all this so very, very well. The writing, the photography and all the arts and crafts you are sharing with us all.
I don’t think that you are overthinking. It is extremely annoying when somebody else (and a very anonymous somebody) are trying to force you (me, us) to think and react in a certain way. Chopping up our very existence.
Love and hugs,
Många kramar Hanna och tusen tack för ditt fantastiska arbete med den här bloggen.
I agree with you on all the things you write here – I do miss the ‘old blogs’, most people don’t keep their blogs anymore. I visit my old posts sometimes (12 years of blogging leaves a lot of posts like a personal diary, but you know that don’t you?!) and when I click the names of the ones who commented back then, their blogs are gone or not uptdated for years. Keep on blogging dear friend, I am still here to read your posts!
I really agree with you Hanna. Personally I think people are impressed by all the social media posts and followers. Oh, the followers. But young people do not realise that only happy, interesting, sometimes fake posts are being posted. (Instagrammers rent a fake airplane to fake say they are going on a holiday!) Who wants to know that you fed the cat today again? Or like you say, you had your oatmeal breakfast again. Or when you have a blah day. I love it when people DO share that.
I am not on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Tiktok, Pinterest etc. Only on Youtube, because I can learn visually from others. That is enough for me.
Like the others who have commented, I totally agree with what you are saying as well and am SO HAPPY that you are going to continue blogging (Yay!)
Your posts ALWAYS inspire me and I look forward to getting my emails with a new blog post to read.
I think that I too am going to start cutting down online time as well or maybe I’ll wait and make it a goal of sorts for the coming year. 😀
Thank you for being YOU and for being such an inspiration to all of us. (Hugs)
Wow, I’m so glad this blog post resonated with so many of you!
Setting it as a goal for the new year to scroll less and create more – and be in the moment more is such a great idea. We should all do that.
I agree, Hanna! BRING BACK the BLOG!! Maybe we can start thinking about ways that we can support each other in our efforts to blog more. I enjoy the art community I have on social media, but you are right, it’s alarming to think about how much the algorithm dictates and shapes our experience there. I found this post by checking your FB page LOL! XOXOXO
I’ve followed you for years! I love there is still a blogger blogging as many have gone. I have had a burn out from social media and moved to digital minimalism (cal Newport great book and blog). I love all your bright works and they inspire me to keep creating!
I do think that as people age, they may realise how less of a great thing sm is, especially as Insta has become this crazy instant machine of information.
Could you use mailer lite or mail chimp for newsletter? Again that’s another thing people seem to send way to often and I’ve unsubscribed from so many and don’t send often though it’s a great tool, mostly everyone has email!