What is a relatively harmless popular social media convention that you refuse to engage in?

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SethMode

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Hey everybody! Long post, but I was curious about the thoughts of others as we all careen haphazardly into this social media hellscape that we can't get out of. I had a slow end to my work day, so I did what I do from time to time: went to Facebook. Now, I personally hate Facebook, but I do keep it around because alas, it is basically the only easy way for me to communicate with some of my family and friends (I live in Korea, they all live in the US). It had been a bit of time since my last check in, and I was greeted by several messages from one portion of my family that I, let's say, am not on bad terms, but am not on good terms wither either. They're varying degrees of angry that I did not reach out and wish other family members a happy birthday via Facebook. Now, a couple of things about me: 1) I have never given a shit about birthdays. I don't care about mine, and I don't personally care about others (I care about the people, but the day isn't a high priority for me). I'm not a cranky dick, I happily celebrate them with others and do my best to get thoughtful presents for people that I'm close with that really enjoy celebrating their birthday. In other words, birthdays aren't for me, but I don't foist my feelings about them on others, and just because they aren't a priority for me, doesn't mean I disregard that they are important to others. Anyway, 2) I find wishing someone a happy birthday to be so utterly annoying, contrived and vapid, that I actually genuinely dislike it when people do it for me. So it is DEFINITELY not on any kind of priority list for me to do for others. In fact, I just refuse to do it. I refuse to do it for ANYONE. If you are close to me, I will see you or talk to you and tell you happy birthday. Otherwise...no, I'm not taking time to send a thoughtless message to you over FB, especially considering 99% of the time we are "friends" that haven't spoken since who-knows-when.

So, anyone else agree with me on this? Are there any other social media activities that you could easily do (like, I realize it is not hard to just follow the notification and say "happy birthday" every day -- although I turned that notification off haha) but just refuse to do? Personally, another example of my own would be the whole "like for a like" o "follow for a follow" stuff. Now, I have basically no interest in increasing my already infinitesimal existence on social media, so this opinion REALLY doesn't matter, but the idea of someone following me so I will then follow them back just seems SO stupid and pointless to me. Same with likes. Glad you liked my tweet or whatever, but if all you said was "I agree" I'm not inclined also "like" that you agreed with me.

Anyway, curious to hear what others have to say, or just watch this post completely die. Either way, writing the whole thing has me strongly considering just throwing my computer and phone into the ocean and moving into a hut in the woods on the small island that I live on and just becoming a fisherman and let the world pass me by.

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MerxWorx01

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I don't know if GB and a couple other gaming sites count as "Social Media" but I refuse to engage in anything social media(Facebook, twitter, Snap, Insta Etc) whatsoever. I know it's impossible at this point not to have a product ID associated with an IP, a piece of tracking tech(phone) or a visible internet finger print that is associated with me but I do what I can to keep as much about myself private. I avoid signing up for almost anything since everything is now a vector for bad actors(or incompetent businesses) to steal or misuse my information. But then again, everything I hear about most Social Media misdeeds helps remind me that I'm probably better off.

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SethMode

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Oh, you are. Twitter has some good jokes but it doesn't make up for the terribleness.

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MrGreenMan

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#4  Edited By MrGreenMan

I loved Twitter back in 2007-2012 when it was not a dumpster fire of awful humans. I used twitter to throw random and weird jokes and see what sticks and doesn't, but eventually people would just take it so damn serious that it started an argument. I deleted my facebook about a year ago. I generally despise social media these days and find myself not even bothering with it anymore. I honestly been so much happier having removed most social media from my life.

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TheRealTurk

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None. I'm getting pretty close to thinking "harmless social media" might be an oxymoron.

Delete your Twitter accounts, people!

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SethMode

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@therealturk: There is some good on Twitter, as long as you can curate to what you get. Facebook is worse, IMO. I feel like I'm stuck on it. And it is just aggressively bad even BEFORE you read comments to ANYTHING which always end up being the worst thing you could possibly read, no matter what the context.

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Big_Denim

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Not sure if Twitch counts as social media, but all the emoticons and Twitch lingo used in those chats both annoy and frustrate me.

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nutter

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I’m off all social media aside from Linkedin...I barely use Linkedin, I just sort of should have it for professional reasons.

Well, I do have an Instagram account, but I’ve never posted and haven’t sought out anyone I know. I use it to follow bands and get touring information.

I used to use Twitter for this reason, but Twitter is a cesspool of negativity and rancid tribalism. They’ve engineered that platform to twist users toward engagement, so I was happy to leave.

Facebook always felt like a platform for personal drama, people getting upset over not getting likes, etc. So I’m off of that, too. I had it briefly when my kids were little. It was a good way to share their experiences with their grandparents without having to send them photos and videos.

Social media is a fucking mess. It can be used for good purposes, but it’s mostly just another source of drama and distraction that I don’t need.

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nutter

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#9  Edited By nutter

@mrgreenman: For me it was social media and anything that caused my phone to bother me.

If I get more obnoxious alerts than those that are truly helpful and wanted, I’ll either turn alerts of, unsubscribe, or delete the app.

I’m always instantly happier the less my phone bugs me.

Phones are a window to hell.

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SethMode

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@big_denim: Twitch is probably my personal "boomer" moment because I just don't get it anymore. I like it in concept, but most of what I see and read just strikes me as exhausting and vapid. And the emojis are that x10000.

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jeremyf

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@big_denim: Agreed. Small to medium sized chat rooms can be fun, but when thousands of people are there it becomes unbearable. People post such odd stuff that it's hard to see them as functioning human beings. It's something that can only happen anonymously - imagine an audience that size shouting that crap to a performer in real life.

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Efesell

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#12  Edited By Efesell

I guess... most of it? I'm an incredibly fake millennial.

But I don't tell funny twitter jokes and I'm not some manner of internet personality and therefore I can never shake the (correct) assumption that no one is gonna care about my dumb idle moment to moment musings so I'm not gonna devote time to putting it out there.

Anyway the initial thing about birthdays I'm also all about but not really on social media that's just kind of how I am about it in general and I'm sure it drives people up the wall.

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csl316

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I avoid the birthday wishes on FB, too. I've gotten enough wishes that just said "happy birthday" with zero enthusiasm from people I don't talk to anymore. Never been good at faking enthusiasm so I don't really do those posts, unless it's closer people that would be down if I didn't (family, for instance). But even that's just to avoid potential drama.

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dudeglove

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As someone who's actively cut back on using Facebook a lot (at best it's another email inbox), and who deleted both fb, messenger and twitter apps off my phone mostly because they constantly update and if you don't let them update after about two months they actively stop working for no good reason, you would be surprised how much you don't miss any of that crap once it's gone.

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SethMode

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Man, I wish I could get out of the social media curse as easily as some of you have. I know it is partially on me, but damn...I feel like I always have reasons to be mired in it.

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zombiepenguin9

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I mostly use Facebook and Instagram to follow bands or other artistic mediums that I'm into. Nowadays most bands don't have an actual website, it's just a landing page that contains links to all of their various social media and streaming platforms. I remember in the early/mid-2000's when several bands I was into actually hosted their own forums and such... a different time I guess.

I've recently been thinking about removing a large percentage of "friends" on Facebook that were people I knew in high school or college but haven't talked to in over a decade now. I don't like that I know that they're married and have three kids and changed careers twice. I don't have a real connection to those people anymore and I don't feel like it's my business.

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BladeOfCreation

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I was never big on taking pictures, so I've never used Instagram. A big trend on Twitter right now is everyone posting their "decade in review" things from Spotify. I have neither a Spotify nor a Pandora account. Call me weird, when I want to listen to music in the background of something I'm doing, I'll just use YouTube.

I still use Messenger because it's convenient. My actual Facebook account itself has been deactivated since January 19, 2017.

I started using Venmo recently because it's convenient. I keep all of my transactions private. The way that service defaults to sharing your transactions with anyone in your contacts list who also uses it is fucking weird.