23 Nov 2020

Social Media Will Be The Death Of Me!

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Playing on social media can be fun

Playing on social media can be fun but also be a time black hole

There is no doubt that using social media can be entertaining, enjoyable, and supportive of connections between friends and family scattered all over the world. For example, I use Facebook to maintain friendships, some of them very close, with people clear across the United States, in South America and even places as far away as Romania, Russia and Saudi Arabia. There is much to be gained from interacting online with so many people.

From a business sense, social media can be used to create bonds with people over time by sharing information, accepting input, and creating dialog. When managed properly, this can help establish a brand, personal or corporate, and keep it moving to higher levels of engagement and understanding. This, in turn, can lead to higher profits and a better informed buying public.

A decade ago, in the years of Yahoo and AOL, my late wife was chronically ill, depressed and unable to easily leave the house. I introduced her to those far more primitive social media networks, and before long she had hundreds of friends whom she could communicate with all day long. She became happier and more involved in life because she had real friends who cared about her. Hers was a social media success story, showing much of the good that these sites can accomplish.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to spending too much time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social media sites.

Social Media is a Time Black Hole

There is no doubt that social media can be addicting. In fact, I have lost whole days out of my life happily posting, responding discussions, arguing, uploading videos and photos and have a great time eating up the hours.

To keep social media under control, I set a timer for 45 minutes once each day. That is all of the time I allow myself to spend, both personal and business, posting and communicating on the various sites. Otherwise, it’s too easy to lose hours each day without producing a damn thing.

There is a second, “softer” timer. If I find myself getting upset in any way by what I read on social media, it is time to put it down and go do something else.


A troll is a person who drops into or starts discussions on social media for the purpose of stirring up trouble. Often they are the cause of changing perfectly rational discussions into violent, curse-filled mud-slinging hate-fests which spill over into the real world. I’ve seen trolls stir up so much trouble that physical fights have broken out, shows have been canceled, and lives have been ruined.There are several types of trolls you’ll run into from the insulter to the debater to the Grammar Nazi – all of them are at best irritating and at worst malicious.

The problem with trolls is they are often not obvious to the casual observer. They drop into a conversation, make a seemingly-innocent remark to start tempers going, add a few other choice comments here and there, then sit back and watch the tempers flare and the discussions become heated.

For whatever perverted, secret reason, trolls take great delight in causing people to be upset, unhappy and angry. If confronted, they will seemingly sprout angel wings and claim they were completely innocent of any wrongdoing. Keep in mind that Lucifer also had angel wings.

Political Rants

Nothing heats up the internet and social media like politics. I’ve seen more friendships destroyed over politics than anything else on the web.

Sometimes it all starts with a MEME (a graphic overprinted with an almost always inaccurate statement), video or link to a story about some politician or other. A claim will be made about that politician, and before long virtual blood will spill and unfriend buttons will be pressed.

I’ve learned, on Facebook and LinkedIn at least, to hit the “Unfollow” or “Hide” buttons frequently so I don’t have to be involved in any of that. There is no constructive purpose to getting involved in any political “discussion” on social media.


We all love little tidbits of information, and the internet is a great source for knowledge – most of it false. If you have more than a few friends or connections, you will find your wall cluttered with MEME’s, videos, links and discussions about the most absurd lies you can imagine. You can always count one someone to jump all over these obvious untruths with a link to snopes, a comment or two saying snopes is “owned by the media and thus lying”, claims of ignorance, and an argument over whether or not the so-called fact is indeed a fact.

You can also count on some ignorant person demanding that you “prove” what they posted is a lie.

My advice is to simply assume that if something is posted to social media it is an outright lie. If you care, then go do your own research and figure out the truth for yourself and come to your own conclusions.


What experiences have you had with social media? Use the comments below to tell us your opinions.

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Christina Degano

Good summary Richard. Couple of my own little learnings: One, if it has any sort of a charge…do not post, even if you know you are absolutely spot on. Let it sit and if it still feels like you need expressing, do so in a very neutral, and unifying way, with no emotions. Second, I always find that it is a fine balance. To follow everyone/everything is time consuming, but not to do so at all, is cutting yourself off, so I keep notifications of all my groups (only), keep on following most all, but only check into a few… Read more »

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