I’ve never been on Facebook.
I’ve never been on Twitter.
I’ve never been on Snap-chat, Instagram or any other social media platform.
Bizarre, I know, but it’s true.
People are shocked when I tell them this. I know I’m a rarity; I looked it up. I am one of only 12% of Americans who are not and have never been on any social media.
I am a proud 12%er.
I can’t say I’ve ever really suffered from my lack of social media.
Frankly, I think I’ve been better off.
Even when I was a kid I was averse to anything that might get me addicted. I’d go visit my older cousin and he was addicted to video games. I’d watch him be totally spaced out, not aware of anything around them and decided that was NOT for me. I refused to be addicted.
Fast forward to adulthood; back when Facebook first came out, I quickly became disenchanted by it when my friends would be scrolling through their phones and tuning out the world around them. I didn’t participate. I still refused to be addicted.
When I would tell people I wasn’t on any social media platform, some would actually gape at me in shock.
On the other side of the coin being a 12% percenter has also given me an odd sort of camaraderie.
I was once in a grocery store and struck up a random conversation with a woman when she brought up how her friends were getting after her for not being on their Facebook groups. I told her not to feel bad, I wasn’t either. We began talking about what we’ve dealt with by not being involved in social media and why, when another random stranger, this time an older man who’d overheard us, came up and agreed, saying he’d been dealing with the same thing.
When I joked with them to, “...be proud 12% ers.”, I had to explain what I meant by citing the above mentioned statistic. They both thought it was hilarious and said they’d spread it around.
I joked, “Yeah, we should make bumper stickers that say ‘Proud 12%er! It would be like a badge of honor!’” The lady looked like the thought blew her mind before a diabolical grin spread across her face. I don’t know if she ever went through with it, but if she ever had some, “12%er” bumper stickers made up I sincerely hope I get one. ;-)
Our refusal to follow the trend of social media had the same effect on us adults that my refusal to follow the trend of video games had on me as a child. It set people like us apart as weird.... until recently.
Recently, people I’ve known who’ve previously been social media addicts across various platforms have been waking up to their addiction and getting off of Facebook, and Twitter and everything else. Considering the control the social media giant is currently coercing from their users, I’d say now is a really good time to wean from the screen.
It's been strange, standing on the sidelines and seeing the circle come around of everyone getting on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon, and now so many getting off.
Trends come and go and honestly, it’s been a huge relief to see this one go.
Big Tech shouldn’t have control of what we’re allowed to hear or see or say. Social media are either free and open platforms or they are private business. The “technogarchs” shouldn’t get to have a foot in each pool by censoring what they deem politically correct.
I am including here two links to social media alternatives. One is called Publc. It's a newer social media platform that is attempting to be an alternative to Pintrest.
The second is a link to a 7 minute video made by a set of now grown-up Christian Home-schooled brothers who are presenting an alternative to the mire of Facebook and Twitter.
I predict their idea, and others like it, of smaller, pay-to-participate online platforms will be the future of social media.
Many are waking up to the evils of social media and switching to alternatives or getting off of it entirely. What do you think? Do you know of any other practical alternatives to this modern addiction?