My Social Media Experiment – Getting Back to the Basics of What Matters

Introduction

If you know me pretty well you will most likely know that I stay very active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I have “liked” many political pages in the past especially up until the election. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with liking pages that relate to your interests but the reality is that your Facebook stream will this become overrun by the stuff that really doesn’t matter or no longer interests you. Herein lies the problem:

The Problem

“Tuesday morning I woke up after snoozing a couple of times and decided to glance at Facebook. This first 5 posts were about political discord among politicians. As cruel as it sounds I could of cared less about it. I wanted to see what my old classmates were up to and all I could find was news or political stuff or memes. This lead me to thinking that if I minimized the amount of exposure towards political posts then maybe I could actually see the posts that I cared about…

The Experiment

My experiment wasn’t much of an experiment. As I started to unlike pages that had lost their relevance to me I realized that Facebook’s algorithm had to retune itself to my interests. I unliked 3 pages and discovered that I no longer found political pages in the first 10 posts. They were strange pages such as the Daylight Donuts from my hometown (go figure, I was just up there) or a Facebook post from someone that I hadn’t thought about in 2 years (no offense).

After the first 10 posts there was another round of political posts and I went through the same cycle of unliking the pages. The cycle continued for several minutes until I got to a place where I enjoyed Facebook again. At this point I was able to view the posts that really mattered to me. Not biased posts point towards a political solution for every ailment under the sun.

The Moral

There is a saying that we use in the live audio world. Garbage in, Garbage out. If there is a guitarist with an out of tune guitar, that is something that can’t be changed no matter how bad it is. This can be said just about anything but it is still incredibly relevant within our society. For instance if you surround yourself with troublesome friends than there is a good chance that you will adapt to their behaviors no matter how bad they may seem.

The moral of the story is that if you follow pages that aren’t what you want to see you will become desensitized. On a side note we must also recognize that Facebook is not a new source. It is a social media platform where there are 1.79 billion people eager to give you their opinion on any topic.

Final Thoughts

I am not big into the idea of New Year’s Resolutions but I get the purpose of them. One of my resolutions is to minimize my exposure to social media. I think that it can manipulate your thought process. Our lives are not meant to be happy, nor are they meant to be sad. The point is to live. If you consistently think that your life is supposed to reflect the happiness of others than you will only be disappointed. The point is to live in a way where you don’t need the social media stamp of approval by others.

 

Sorry, I went on a bit of a tirade there. All in all Facebook’s algorithms can work towards your advantage or towards your social isolation. Every like counts towards what Facebook will show you first but remember what really matters in life. It isn’t the pages that support your beliefs. It is the people that you love and cherish regardless of their flaws.

 

-Cody

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