Social Media Suicide Mission

Facebook-teen-usage

I had a social media meltdown last night on Facebook in particular. I can’t say that I have Twitter figured out yet, so I don’t spend a lot of time on there.

I started with Facebook the first day they opened to the public. My kids were in college and it was another way to exchange photos with them quickly and see how they were doing. I had friends and family on there. Maybe 80 people. I didn’t need 400 really. There are not 400 people in this world I really care to keep up with quite that closely.

Facebook, as you know, has changed over the years. Groups were added. People set up advertisement pages you could like and get info from time to time.

The ad pages have gone wild sending out dozens of posts a day, probably mechanically through some automated hootsuite-like operation. Most of the reader writer groups have turned into spam mobiles rather than actual discussion forums for people to discuss books.

Despite turning off all notifications, Facebook was slamming my newsfeed with strangers on a regular basis. It got so bad this past week that every time I signed onto Facebook I had this perpetual feed of authors promoting their books….dozens and dozens of them. People I don’t know and have never heard of. Seriously, if I want a book to read, I should be able to go to a group site and scan them myself for something that looks interesting. But having them slamming me on my newsfeed thirty or forty authors two to six times a day was ridiculous.

It got so bad that I couldn’t FIND any of my friend’s posts. I would scroll past twenty or thirty book posts just to find one post from a family member or friend. Then twenty or thirty book promo posts till the next family or friend post. I could spend an hour just finding five close friends most recent posts.

I really wish I could get rid of the gamers also…but that’s another subject.

Suggested posts that Facebook sends are a nuisance but, so far, there are not that many of them.

Pages I have “liked” get to be obnoxious sometimes.

So last night…I pulled out of fifteen Facebook Groups. The only one I stayed in was my writers’ group page, so I can keep up with my local writer peeps.

I unfriended a bunch of folk who bothered me with religious or political posts. I have political opinions, but posting something just so you can be mean and hateful in comments makes me not want to care about your opinions. The fact that you go downtown and wash the homeless people’s feet, pass out food and hygiene products while reading scripture is something I will applaud you for once…but when it turns into daily grandiose grandstanding, you don’t appear very humble and that just sort of negates the whole process to me. (And really, in those 250 pictures, you should have been wearing gloves, and changing the water for their health and yours.)

I “unliked” a bunch of pages that I had previously “liked” because you abuse the privilege of being invited into my home. You talk so much nobody else can get a word in edgewise. Yes, some of my favorite people…like Anne Rice and George Takei were among them. Send me one or two notifications a day, but ten or twelve and, honestly, I’ve just had enough.

Anyway, I logged out, and this morning I logged back in. There you all were, my peeps, my family, my friends. Things look a bit more normal on there again.

If I unliked or unfriended you in my mad frenzy and you miss me. Let me know. I may have done it in a heated moment by accident. If you don’t miss me, it probably wasn’t meant to be.

I may have just committed social media suicide, but my peace of mind has been salvaged in the process.

Am I just doing something wrong?

I tried adjusting privacy and notification settings to no avail.

Is there a better way?

66 thoughts on “Social Media Suicide Mission

  1. I really struggle with social media. On Twitter I struggle for things to say, which is weird because I’m a writer. I just don’t want to bombard people with the same old ‘am writing’ type twitter feed. I used to use Facebook to keep in touch with my friends, but then it got a little crazy and I stopped using it completely. I set up a page and it is all but redundant because, again, I say everything I need to say on my blog, so why keep repeating myself and bore everyone silly? I hope you get the advice you’re looking for 🙂

    • That’s what I was thinking. It has been this whole week. Ridiculous.

      I tried just altering Group notifications and in some ways that seemed to make it worse. Then ALL of my friend’s posts disappear and ALL I got were notifications. It’s all screwed up. Until they straighten it out…I’m not rejoining ANY groups or Liking ANY pages.

      • Groups seem to be put under different notification rules. There is one author page that is always updating and I can’t get the pings to go away unless I go to the site. This is like hourly.

        • It seems like certain genres have cornered the market in those groups. I feel ridiculous posting my own book in there because it really doesn’t fit. And you have NO WAY to be selective on which genre you prefer to be notified about. I’m just done with them.

            • It’s the romance that kills me, because I simply don’t care for most of it. The hot bodied images of sweaty skin just don’t do a thing for me. It just got obnoxious. Some of it was sooo bad, I couldn’t have my four year old granddaughter around without answering twenty questions.

              • It does seem to be starting to blend together and be repetitive this last month. I make sure my son doesn’t see my Facebook page just in case. The hard part is that I like spreading the word on sales and new releases, but I’ve had some complaints when I share the barely clothed people pics. So I don’t do that any more.

                • I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even do that. I figure if someone wants a book…they know how to find one. I like supporting authors, and try to do that to some extent on my blog, but I don’t wish to annoy anyone the way I have been annoyed this past month.

  2. I hardly go to Facebook because I simply don’t have the time. Twitter, I know nothing about but I have an account and don’t ask me my password. Duh. Facebook notifications get me to visit but I’m in and out to respond to whatever message is addressed to me. So much to do and so little time. Sigh.

  3. No idea. I get inundated with notifications too, and not just on FB. Most mornings my inbox is at 100! And that doesn’t count the ones that trickle in during the day. Which is why sometimes I’m late responding to blogs I really enjoy, like yours. I too have turned off notifications, only to get another notification (over 5) because they’ve also posted on Google, sometimes several times! I simply don’t have the energy to fight it anymore. So every morning I slog through my never-ending list of emails and press delete more often than I read. It’s just too much! I feel your pain.

    • I get a couple hundred emails on blogs I like to be notified. I can scan through those on outlook and click on if I want to go there, so that’s not so bad. I set a rule on Facebook for fifteen minutes morning and fifteen evenings…but was spending the whole time searching for people I actually knew. Too impersonal…like being at the mall and I hate the mall.

  4. I’ve avoided most social media. I was encouraged to post about my books on Twitter and do it regularly. My feed is now a flood of people waving their books back at me. I can’t say whether I’ve ever gotten a look at one of my books through Twitter, but don’t believe I have. The people I want to read about are lost in an ocean of promotions.

    My blog following is still small, but it’s produced quite a few sales, and that’s even better than lookers. I don’t feel the need to branch out into Facebook and the others. Not saying I never will, but every format needs a certain amount of babysitting.

    • I don’t think all my efforts on Facebook have produced but a couple of sales. one month I spent time on there morning and night talking in groups and promoting my books (before I found ENT) I had two sales that month…seriously…after thirty days work.
      It occurred to me that I NEVER see top notch authors in those Facebook Groups…only virtually unknowns.

  5. Oh no! Not George Takei!!! Say it ain’t so!

    Really, I understand what you mean. I get so many advertising posts it’s ridiculous. What I really don’t like is that every so often, it defaults back to Top Posts, rather than my (and almost everyone else’s) prefered chronological listing. Who decided top posts would be best? It’s irritating.

  6. I was going absolutely nuts with all the unsolicited crap, so I installed a program called Social Fixer (http://socialfixer.com). It worked like a charm, and now FB is my own. (Unfortunately, apparently FB does NOT like Social Fixer, so I’m not sure how much longer it will be around.)

  7. I’ve been TRYING to clear things out a bit on Facebook (and Twitter) myself. Facebook is pretty much just family and friends — I’m working on creating lists… so I can bypass the newsfeed and see just the posts from my friends, or just the posts from pages. Slow process though…

    • I started out trying to organize lists, but so many cross over…family and friends, and then, there is the additional click to get to them from my newsfeed. I have it pretty well good to go now, I think. Lists are good. I just got too frustrated before taking the time to set those up. Great suggestion!

    • I still have my author page, but I am done with groups. Not worth the headache. I bet I haven’t sold two books through those groups. Mostly I just get messages from people asking for free copies to review and then never hear from them again.

        • I got some of the ads under control by unliking some pages where I had liked a company or product. I also had to unlike some author’s author pages…not friends but strangers. Yesterday i counted 164 book promo posts in twenty-four hours. that’s just too much for me. Today I had about ten suggestions from friends. I can cope with that.

          • I have never “liked” a company or product but still get suggested posts. What drives me crazy are all of the posts from the Author and Book Lovers Discussion Group. About 99% of the books are romance and erotica. And there’s no actual discussion. They should rename it to the Author Romance Promo Group.

            • I was in fifteen such groups. Novelreaders, novelspot,, book junkie, Afr-Amer, -historical fict. groups, Bookaholics, passion for books, readers and writers unite, wordpress repost, and on and on. It was way far overwhelming.

            • I really enjoyed Readers and Writers Unite because there were real discussions in that group. Book cover artists conversing with authors and sending cover design changes and talking about how to create good blurbs and what readers like and don’t like to see. But when I cut out the other fourteen groups, my readers and writers unite posts went from two or three to twenty or thirty. I don’t have time for that.

    • Thanks for the support Linda, and do. I love Facebook and like to keep in touch, but I don’t think this is what Zuckerman had in mind when he started this. I had to get it back to the good ole days or get off.

    • I loved it back when it was the real people I normally socialize with, and adding new blogger friends has been fun. It’s all the promo crap that’s impossible to sift through, so i’m done with all of that. I’ll sell through ENT, and other companies that people really want in their newsfeeds, but I’m not allowing myself to get slammed or slamming anyone else. i hate to think my promos were that obnoxious to people.

  8. I see the postings on the groups (like the ones Charles does), but scroll through them very quickly. Facebook can be a blessing and it can be a curse. I try to only see from certain friends and only from business/author pages I really want to see. As long as I am still your friend, then the rest of the world be damned 😉

    • Oh! I didn’t do away with any of my blogger friends, and I have some who promote the occasional books and that’s fine. But when you join these groups, you get slammed by total strangers and that’s just too much. I had to opt out. Great to see you and yes, you are still in my friends list 😉

  9. Facebook drives me nuts. So much promotional stuff and yes, the games. Those stinkin’ games. Argghh, I don’t want to see them. And I agree, it can be too much when you follow someone or like their page and there’s a new update every hour or so. I only post about once or twice a week on my public page, but I do tend to ‘like’ things, and I feel bad if people who follow my page see all my ‘likes’. I don’t know if they can or not, but if they do, my apologies to them. I like Twitter better, but even that is too congested with constant spammy tweets.

    • I felt better today. since dropping all of the groups I was in. I have cleared my feed of most of the stranger posts. I can actually see my friends and family on there now. A little more boring, but pleasantly so.

      I feel horribly anonymous on twitter. It is like I am talking into the wind. maybe i just haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m not sure I want to.

      • I have to make lists on Twitter, otherwise it would be endless noise. I have lists based on my level of interaction with people. My most special one I check in on every day. These are the folks that are more about interaction than promotion. Many of my blogging buds are on that list (like you!) but some non-bloggers, too.

        I’ve never joined any groups on FB. I’m thinking now that that’s a good thing.

  10. I have to admit I am bad at Facebook but I enjoyed reading your post. To me FB is like calling everyone in your carriage on the train, your friend, and I don’t get that. If I interact with someone (once or twice a month over a number of months,) then we become friends, it is a gradual thing you can’t force it.
    But Twitter, I confess I love it as I can do all the smart wisecracking remarks to my friends and followers plus see what the other writers are producing.

  11. I’m on FB a lot to keep in touch with friends and family, and I actually see some of the news from NPR and NY Times that I might have missed otherwise. I’m not in any groups, so I guess that’s good!

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