So, the weirdest thing happened.
Remember a while ago when I made this post? I basically mentioned that I wanted to shift my content, but was hesitant to do so.
Well, I’ve been thinking about that a lot more, lately. It’s not that I don’t know what I want to talk about –I’ve just been trying to figure out how to start doing.
I guess as they say, beginning really is the hardest part.
And collecting resources. – (I’ll leave this line somewhat cryptic, for now.)
But back to the weird thing…Pinterest recently changed its algorithm.
It used to be a great place for writers and bloggers to grow, but slowly they have phased out the ability to leave links on static posts. Or rather, the algorithm’s willingness to allow your links to be clicked on, or even seen by your audience for that matter.
Everything seems to be focused on keeping visitors on the platform now, and myself – along with many other bloggers much bigger than I – have all taken a hit.
I never wanted to put all of my eggs in one basket, and for the most part I didn’t – but the loss is definitely felt. Regarding social media in general, I’m always weary to post anything really important (to me).
For one, I used to work in the entertainment industry.
It was my job to comb through people’s social media and find out about their interests, where they hung out, and emotional phrases or ideas they might respond well to. That way, the producers happen to show up one day “by chance” and get them on board for whatever project they desired, or to give a solid “pitch”.
After finding so much as stranger’s product trademark information that led me to their personal address, phone number, and close immediate family member’s information – I decided to take myself out of the social media game.
Shortly afterward, I deleted my own personal social media, likeness, and voice off the internet as best I could – and changed the privacy on all of my accounts. I did my best to scrub myself off of the internet, and only use abbreviations of my actual name.
This is also something unrelated, but I’d like to mention it as well…a few years ago, I got to attend Canon Expo at the Javits Center in the city. I vividly remember one section on the showroom floor having a bunch of older men in suits staring in awe at facial recognition technology featured in security cameras.
Soon after, I heard about China’s “social credit” system and cameras that could track your every move – even with a facial mask or covering on.
Fast forward to our current time period, the local Walmart I visit occasionally has facial recognition technology. There are small yellow rectangles that pinpoint your face when you pass under the camera, and a security-like turnstyle with an attendant by the entrance that has to press a button to let you fully inside the store.
(I’ve even gone online to purchase something, only to have my recent in-house store orders show up in my activity. I have no Walmart store credit cards, and do not have cards saved or linked to any of my accounts.)
The other night, I saw Disney – or rather, “ABC” news – cover a story that blatantly told the New York public that they are being watched everywhere they go on the street. I figured as much years ago, and one year even remember witnessing the same tech I saw at Canon Expo flash across the screen of a ‘security room’ used to monitor city visitors during a New Year’s Eve festivities news segment.
Now within the last year, three – four cameras stare you in the face on the trains as well.
The official reason being to “monitor” those that “do not comply with mask mandates”.
So, I don’t ride the train as often.
My point being with this – I don’t really trust this recent push from YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and now Pinterest that encourages young adults and even younger teenagers to “express themselves” by uploading photos, videos, and their likeness to these megacorporation platforms.
Why do I need to know what a young teenage girl is doing each day?
Why does her routine need to be tracked, and promoted as front-page news?
Especially when most people outside of travel blogging or vlogging circles don’t know that content creators purposefully take either a lot of photos at one location, or stagger uploads for when they leave so that they don’t get stalked.
If some kid is filming their daily routine, and putting it across various social media platforms – couldn’t someone just cross-reference their location to find out where they live?
Couldn’t their IP address just be stolen, or if they follow family members couldn’t someone track them in order to get to the kid?
I don’t know, maybe I’m saying something, maybe I’m saying nothing – but this whole thing reeks of a deception I can’t quite put my finger on. Or rather, do not want to.
Especially with the ever-changing terms of agreement nobody reads, or how your account can be terminated but your data still stored on a hard drive by some shady company in Silicon Valley…or who am I kidding, probably right in your own city.
That whole ‘Silicon Valley is evil’ line is pretty obsolete nowadays…the East Coast and “Middle America” is where it’s at. Tons of unassuming buildings right in the middle of a corn field somewhere in Idaho with hard data on millions of people around the world…allegedly.
Either way, I just don’t want to participate in it.
I have no interest in putting my voice, likeness, image – or take videos in my home so that it can be geo-mapped by a 3d computer algorithm. And yes, stuff like that actually exists.
As if finding updated satellite images of your home on Google periodically wasn’t bad enough, I guess soon we’ll be subjected to the interior confines of our sacred space broadcast publicly online, too.
It could even be taken a step further.
By analyzing the items in your room, preferences about your likes, dislikes, and possible ads you would respond well to could target your next social media visit. Maybe Alexa, Siri, or your casual cell phone conversations will fill in the gaps the photogrammetry is missing.
The tradeoff of your image, personal data, a scan of documents on your phone, access to your cloud, analysis of your musical tastes ran against a psychology profile, etc. is not steep enough for some inflated social media exposure that is changed every 2 – 3 months by a programmed algorithm from an ai computer.
This is not me bashing social media in any way, shape, or form. I’m just merely sharing my own experiences, and why I may not be that heavy on any other internet sites, but rather focusing on my own blog for some time.
I think social media can be a great tool to get your story or message out there, but there are currently too many associated privacy risks for my liking. So in short while I am not fully quitting social media, I am taking a step back to focus on what really matters to me.
I felt like I spent too much time getting the message across, rather than focus on crafting content I am truly passionate about. Plus, less time trying to keep up with algorithms online will greatly help my eye fatigue from staring at a screen all day.
Thus…I’m going to start posting things I’ve been working on frequently here on the blog, and extras over on Patreon once I can find a way to make it more interesting.
Hopefully you are all doing well in these strange times we are living in.
But, tell me your thoughts.
What do you think about the coincidental push of all major social media platforms towards video and voice-over centric content? Is it just friendly competition, or may something else be at hand?
And has anybody else been struggling to deal with staying connected to our global world, while trying to juggle these social networking sites without feeling any anxiety or stress?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more obscure blog posts ranting about various topics that I do not index! (lol)
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☆ In Asian Spaces
One thought on “Hopping Off Social Media (for now)”
I work in computer security, and I really, really wish I could say you’re “just” being paranoid. Unfortunately, I think you’re spot on regarding how the big social media companies are building profiles of us. It’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s a boardroom decision. It’s probably even referenced in those companies’ SEC filings!
I’ve spoke with other social media experts, and many of them see the same trend that you’ve seen regarding the trend to keep viewers on site. In that context, services like the WordPress reader or AniBlogTracker are even more important to us bloggers.
I see social media as proof that I’m a legitimate presence. If someone comes across a blog post of mine, they can see that I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. There’s a social media term for it, but it gives a potential reader assurance. I know if I check a site and don’t see they have any social media presence, even I (who know better) hesitate. It’s like a cost of doing business.
But I think you’re right — it’s not the business itself. That’s the blog.
Though my blog is a hobby, so the stakes are likely higher for others. That’s how I deal with the stress of declining incoming views from Pinterest, for example. If those views represented diminished income, I’d have a completely different attitude!
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