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James R. Stout

Anti-Social Media

Dear Reader,

After much thought and consideration I have decided to remove myself from the "social media" circus. Essentially, I'm talking about Facebook. There are several reasons for this decision. First, things have gotten so political. While I definitely believe in voting and taking a stand for my beliefs, I have become disenchanted with the far too many political posts on social media sites such Facebook. Furthermore, most of the posts that I see are negative and downright nasty. I don't know about you, but I simply don't want to fill my time up with negative thoughts. Both sides are guilty of posting negative and mean-spirited posts about the other side. We are never going to get anywhere with that kind of process.

Second, the main two reasons that I have been on Facebook have been to keep up with friends and family and to share my photography, writing, and music. It occurs to me that the former of these two simply shouldn't be done on Facebook. I would prefer to talk on the phone, text, or email with my friends and family. Facebook is actually too impersonal and addictive. The latter of these two reasons can be accomplished via my website. No, the reach won't be what it currently is or appears to be via Facebook. But then, if a person can't bother to bookmark my website and go there from time to time to "visit" with me, then perhaps we don't have a report to begin with. Have we really become so lazy that we can't make a couple of mouse clicks to stay in touch? I hope not.

Thirdly, Facebook and other sites like it truly are addictive. The release of dopamine in our brains due to how many "likes" and comments we get is a fact. I don't want to be addicted to anything. Do you? I have decided to "just say no" to Facebook.

Finally, the complete waste of time spent on social media is alarming and should be embarrassing to all of us. Think about it. Isn't there something better to do than view ads that we don't really want to see, read all about what someone is eating for lunch, and keep-up with the minute details in a person's life that too often are exaggerated at best and downright made-up at worst?

I have things that I want to accomplish. I'm betting that you do too. I find it hard to get those things done if I spend hours a day on social media. Hey, I'm even deleting Solitaire from my phone. I couldn't believe how much time I have wasted playing that game when I could have been doing something constructive. I have things to write, music to record, and photography to do. Those things are in addition to the everyday parts of life that we all have. 

Do I want to keep up with you? Yes, but not via social media. Email me and I'll reply. If you know me well, then call me on the phone once in a while. I promise to do the same. I hope that you all understand why I'm making this decision to remove myself from Facebook. You DO matter to me. I DO want feedback from you. The sad truth is that I have something like 170 Facebook "friends". Some of them I've never met or even spoken to before. A core group of perhaps a third of those 170 souls actually interact with me via likes and such. 

So, dear friends and readers, please bookmark my website. Come and visit me once in a while. I will be updating the site with information on my writing projects, my photography, and my music. I hope to hear from you from time to time. Just for the record . . .

Thanks and God bless you!

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