Tag Archives: social media

Why I left Twitter

For a start, I hate time wasting band wagon crazes. You can say little in 140 characters. For some, it’s an addiction: they carry the internet with them and share everything they do. They tell their friends they’re at the book club or in the pub or shopping, yet social media seems to dilute real interaction. So many tweets come through that it’s unlikely that most of them will be picked up. Who spends their time trawling the net for people to follow? Like Facebook, I am amazed by how many organisations have succumbed and how ridiculous it sounds to hear that a church or a dentist can be followed or friended. What does a like or follow really mean? It’s not any real form of friendship.

The reason I chose to deactivate my Twitter account was a password reset email which I thought suspicious – isn’t that a classic phishing scam or virus download? And aren’t popular places like social media one of the most vulnerable an dubious places for such scams to be conducted? So even being on the site is a possible security threat, let alone clicking that link from an unconvincing email.

So thought I would contact Twitter and find out. “Contact us” leads to a classic case of the fob off preset form of drop down menus. If you chose the wrong subject option, it rubs out all you’ve put in the form and makes you go round again. A machine reads the email and responds with a preset reply. If you try to reply to the email it sends another saying, this ticket is closed please go over this all over again. A real person hadn’t read it. They hadn’t taken on board that their initial email sounded dodgy, or that their online form is a pain.

I thought – what do I really gain from Twitter? Annoying emails telling me some random person has decided to follow me – often someone who gets their account suspended. A slim chance that my tweets will be read between all the others coming through, and that will lead to my articles (or other work) being looked at.

It’s also an example of giving in to a craze which is something I stand against. I much admire a former music teacher of mine who said he uses his own methods to spread his work, and will not succumb to social media.

And I long ago left Facebook – that was a short term experiment. Having heard about the film, which I refused to watch, and the ethos behind the site, I felt all the gladder that I don’t use it. All I achieved was an imposter 5 years after, where Facebook wanted me to give my ID to prove it was me to close the account! (Allowing further impersonation…)

So I shall no longer tweet my posts, after this one.

I would like to thank all my tweet readers and for the interesting, inspiring people I was able to connect with,though I’d prefer to use mailing lists and personal emails to keep in touch.



Filed under society

Erosions of liberty and privacy

Perhaps this should have been my first post, in the About Me box.

I stand for freedom of speech and the right to reveal as much or little of myself as I wish. This latter right is constantly being eroded. The reason this blog is not tied up to more directories is that I don’t wish to have anonymous huge domineering companies verify me and harass me with marketing. I don’t want to be a part of Google, any more than I want to give my custom to Tesco’s. We’re in a world obsessed with identity checks and the internet makes it all too easy for anyone – an employer, an acquaintance, let alone security and police – to find out about us on unsolicited levels. A blog is an internet presence by choice, but it is also a choice with parameters I should choose. It means I can choose who sees me with what hat on. I wont be subjected to the intrusion of verification. We have that in hotels now – how does anyone stay with a secret lover when they ask for your passport? We have it when we apply for work – even if it is a casual one off shift – and we even are being checked on dating and friendship sites. And the irony is – the checkers are faceless and opaque, claiming to be acting in public interests, as if facades take away genuineness. But on another level – the one that counts – facades allow greater openess and verisimilitude. Do we feel cheated that an author has a pseudonym? Does it lessen their work? Of course not! Perhaps what is sad is that many people do not feel free to be themselves without one. But layers of the self are interesting and also natural and vital. We don’t share every facet of ourselves with everyone we meet, that is a priviledge and it respects that by being in different settings mean we can show our full personality. We are obsessed by seeing photographs but then we judge on a few traits – forgetting that blind people manage without this need, and it is possible to correspond in business or person without having seen the other person.

I also stand against jumping on bandwagons; just because some people want to make money out of an idea does not mean we all have to give in and use it. Technology is another area where freedoms are eroded. We can’t buy the old sort because it’s been discontinued  – the decision of someone who wants to make money from new ideas. This can be true of books, supermarket items (the two ought not to mix), music playing devices – and social media. It’s the biggest threat to how we communicate and badly dilutes relationships. On principle, I won’t use facebook and won’t be forced onto it because others communicate through it. They keep your profile and IP address, even after you leave. We allow too many of these erosions, and it is of major concern. Grave things always start little; it’s easy to say: it doesn’t matter… it’s the way the world is going… I can’t do anything about that. It does matter and we can do something and the cart can only gather speed if people get on it and push it. Empty the cart, untie the horse, and it is relegated back to the shed.

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Filed under society