I’ve gone from literally a 24/7 presence in Social Media to a semi-shutdown and withdrawal. Perhaps it wasn’t as hard as those people that go cold turkey with smoking cigarettes (I never smoked) but it was still a shock to the system. It also wasn’t an immediate “shutdown” though it accelerated pretty quickly. The reasons are significant, paramount, and revelatory – a nice run of adjectives, don’t you think? Are those adjectives? I never was particularly good at grammar. Auto-correct occasionally saves me from myself.
The power of Social Media for good is incalculable, which is why I began this blog Social Media Social Good series. The power for hate is equally powerful and, like one accident or bad driver can bring thousands of cars to a standstill on a freeway, so can one or two haters destroy something beautiful with a few strokes of the keyboard.
We’ve all seen the negative impact of Social Media on middle-schoolers, celebrities, brands, and regular folks like me. Something beautiful, good, and helpful to so many – #DadChat – was brought down (at least for the time being) by a couple of haters. Well, three in all. NONE of whom were part of the #DadChat community, but they created enough fear that the community publicly vanished. Privately, many expressed their support and regret at what had transpired but the fear of retribution in Social Media is pernicious so public support was nil.
My #DadChat partner of over a year, “resigned” within 24 hours of the incident. Too soon to even gauge the impact yet the fear factor to him was too great. And, you know the ironic part, I completely understood and we’re still good friends. He makes a good living from his work and any risk from the “haters” was too big to take, in his mind. Thankfully, the hate was solely directed at me so he’s good to go and will continue his work unscathed.
For me, I chose to put #DadChat on hiatus. It’s been quite a few weeks now and I’m still unsure if or when I’ll bring it back. That is largely because I began to withdraw from all my Social Media activities and question how and where I want to continue my “work.”
I never cared much for Klout and its ranking system, as mysterious as it is along the lines of why Google ranks this or that site higher than another. But, within a short few weeks, my Klout score went down. For once, it made sense to me since my activity went way down. My follower count didn’t seem to be affected by the haters. But, my Twitter output has diminished from an average of 85+ tweets a day, EVERY day, for the past 4 ½ years to just a handful, most aggregated via Triberr.
I don’t even check my stream.
As for Facebook, I stopped “servicing” my Page with the meticulousness I had for years and just post haphazardly. My personal Facebook profile also has seen diminished posts.
I still use Instagram, less so, as a means of documenting happy times in my life such as the wonderful wedding my wife and I attended recently. That habit has slowed down and isn’t the instant take-out-my-iPhone that it used to be.
As for my blogging, I used to write 2-4 original blogs per week. I had several blog series that I wrote on a semi-regular basic but I never missed my “A Dad’s Point-of-View” column in a half-dozen plus years until the past few weeks.
My last “A Dad’s Point-of-View” column was about “Change,” and that is what this column is about, to a degree.
I will end this column with questions for you and for me:
~~ Is Social Media enhancing your life?
~~ Have you ever been the target of hate? If so, how did you handle it?
~~ WHY do you blog, do Social Media, and feel compelled (as I was) to check in so often?
~~ Do you take a Sabbath once in a while – and turn it OFF for a day or more?
~~ Do you see better or worse effects on your kids’ lives with their use of Social Media?
~~ Do you see your friends IRL as much as you did a decade ago?
I welcome your thoughts on all of this! Change is good; I hate change…