Unsocial Media

I’m on lots of social media platforms including the usual suspects: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and a few oddities such as Clubhouse, Reddit, TikTok and even Ello.

In the past I would have habitually turned to Facebook but as their policies seem intent on mining me for whatever they can get from me I limit my access. I still have a Facebook account as it’s the only way of keep in touch with many of my university friends and, somewhat inexplicably, a number of companies that I follow have no website and only Facebook. Actually it’s not that inexplicable as it can be hard to setup and maintain a website so Facebook is the path of least of resistance but I digress.

Of all of the social media sites I spend most of my time on Twitter probably because the brevity of the posts suits my mind. It’s certainly true that my attention span over the years has considerably shortened perhaps in part due to the very nature of social media itself.

I know that what I am about to say is a well trodden path but I noticed that getting on social media in the last couple of years really was making my blood boil. This coincided with so many polarising topics coming to the fore but mostly Brexit and Covid. I found it a really hard place to visit as it (and Facebook too) was populated but a large band of idiots (aka people whos views were very much the polar opposite of my own).

There are many, many good things about social media. I love that I can discover new music through it and keep up with old favourites too. I’ve learnt about new technologies and found new arts. But I kept coming across more and more arseholes who I’d rather avoid – some of whom were elected idiots but mostly were armchair twits.

Something had to be done and came in the form of two things: Twitter’s muted words and Reddit. How I wish I’d discovered muted words earlier. They do what they say on the tin and have revolutionised my use of Twitter. You can see part of my muted word list below and will give you a strong sense of what grinds my gears!

Reddit, on the other hand, is a social media platform that I have discovered late and am really warming to. It is topic based, what they call subreddits, and you subscribe to the subreddits that interest you and so only see these topics. In my case that tends to be music, film, technology and dash cams of car crashes (I think that my wife thinks that’s all I look at but it’s a bit more nuanced than that!). What I very very rarely see is anything to do with politics and other related topics that raise my blood pressure.

Don’t get me wrong, I still keep up with the news in the areas that I find challenging on social media but I choose the news outlet that I think will give me a balanced view of it instead.

If, like me, you like social meda but want a break from the polarised views of the idiot masses then I cannot recommend muted words highly enough,