Stepping Back from Social Media

(for Lent at least) – and reviving this blog?

There is a bit of a movement this year to “give up social media for Lent”, and I am belatedly joining it, with an eye to reforming my engagement afterwards.  In my case that means not checking Facebook or Twitter, not reading online forums, and also removing the iPhone lock-screen News widget.

It does not mean abandoning blogs though; in fact I hope to revive this moribund blog, and spend more time writing to friends and family members individually.  So hopefully more photos and recipes are coming soon!

Why the distinction between social media and blogs? Mainly, it is a matter of how much control I have over what appears: lately, Facebook in particular is ever more dominated by political and other news stories chosen by some “trending” algorithm, or linked to by my Facebook contacts, along with advertising pretending to be posts from friends, well-intentioned but wheel-spinning political agonizing, threads from “Facebook friends of Facebook friends” that appear when a mutual friend comments on them, and so on.  All of which can drown out the stuff that I am really interested in, like the sort of news from actual friends and relatives that we used to share by email or phone calls or actual letters.

Also, the Facebook audience can be too broad in some cases; too narrow in others.

  • Too broad when a post is only interesting or appropriate to some of my circle: only relatives, or only fellow mathematicians, or only friends of similar political views.  So I suspect that I often bore people, and I know that I censor myself.
  • Too narrow because some good friends avoid all social media.

Finally, Facebook has go me into the lazy habit of communicating less by other means, and so having less contact or more restricted communication wth many friends and relatives.

And I have severely neglected this blog.

Hence the plan to write more individual emails and even a few letters, and post what is fine for everyone to see in this blog. (After the social media fast, I might go back to advertising stuff here with links in Facebook.)

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