Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Sick of Social Media

12/10/2010 3:35:05 PM

Tags: media

You know what term I’m sick of? “Social Media.” My cousin Dave has often picked up on these terms that are the zeitgeist, such as “lifestyle” (you know you need lifestyle luncheon meats) or “combo” (’cause who wants to buy a burger that isn’t part of a combo?). “Social Media” seems to be the buzzword of the day, and I’m already sick of it!

Our local newscast on CJOH TV in Ottawa now has a “social media” segment where the commentator brings us up to date on what’s happening in the “blog-o-sphere” and who’s twittering about what. You can tell I’m getting old because frankly I just don’t give a crap.

So I’m going on the record today so I can be called a hypocrite later, but I think Twitter is the lamest concept on the planet. Save this blog so you can throw it back in my face 6 months from now when I start “tweeting,” but right now that seems pretty unlikely. I have intelligent readers, so I won’t try to hide the fact that the main reason I keep up a blog is to generate traffic to our website. This is what search engines like to see; lots of new content and reasons to direct searches to your site. This is how I sell books. I think as a former home-schooling, off-grid-living, self-employed, opinionated, woods-dwelling and independence-seeking so and so, sometimes I have a unique perspective on the world. People like to come to my workshops and get this perspective so the blog is just another way to keep up the conversation.

But am I interesting enough to “Tweet” about my every stream of consciousness and the minutiae of my daily existence? Not in a million years. So who is? Justin Bieber? Well maybe — after all he’s 16 years old and has an autobiography out already. Barack Obama? Well sure, but his tweets are probably written by someone else because he’s busy trying to manage the dying days of the American Empire. So really, who could possibly be interesting enough that I’d want to follow their tweets?

It seems mostly to just be a great opportunity for people to put their foot in their mouth, and you see a great number of politicians/athletes/people in the public eye resigning or apologizing after posting tweets that they really didn’t think through. Radio announcers are into tweeting and as I listen to Tom Allen on the CBC yammering on about some subject, he often directs me to learn more by following his Twitter. Come on Tom, I’m listening to you on the radio. Surely if it’s interesting enough to tweet about you could just tell me now on the radio. Why do I have to track down your Twitter account to find out this earth-shattering piece of trivia? Really, is it that interesting?

I recently saw an advertising flyer from Marks Work Warehouse that offers new $300 rechargeable lithium polymer battery “heated” boots. Now, without debating the relative merits or necessity of such a product as a natural evolution of human footwear, the ad has this bizarre geometric shape on it. To use this geometric shape, all I have to do is go to a website and download a free app to my smart phone, then once I get that working, scan this image, and it will automatically take me to a website that will show how these heated boots work. It makes me wonder why they just don’t use the 8-by-11, full-page ad to tell me what I need to know and save me an hour. Do they really think their boots are so important to me that I’m going to take my Saturday afternoon to learn about them?

heated boots 

mobi apps 

Go to any website today and you’ll see six or eight symbols, some of which I recognize and some which are quite foreign to me. You’ll see, “Follow us on … Facebook … Twitter … Email … RSS Feed … on your iPad ... on your iPhone ... on your Crackberry … Android …”

web clutter 

And if you’re in the game you’d better be available in all these formats. So you’d better train someone to figure out how to get your information formatted just so you’re accessible to everyone in every conceivable format conceivable, and there will probably be even more formats by Friday.

Sorry … got distracted there for a minute. I was just reading a tweet from some backbench politician telling me what he had for lunch. Wow. That was interesting.

So the next time someone says “Cam, you really should start tweeting” I’m going to tell them that I’ll start “tweeting” when they come up with an app that reads my mind and just posts it all by itself into all these formats so I can spend my day weeding my garlic and not be on this infernal machine! In the meantime I bought a great used book from the Salvation Army store this week. I’m off to read and unplug my brain from the matrix.

Photos by Cam Mather 

For more information about Cam Mather or his books visit www.cammather.com or www.aztext.com.



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Post a comment below.

 

Peter Robert
11/4/2011 9:02:58 AM
I'm also tired of all the superficial "friendships" on facebook. I recently removed my account and the only social media I now use is doodle.com and lendogo.com to get together with my REAL friends in REAL life.

dc3gal
12/25/2010 5:17:00 PM
Well here I am on Christmas day doing something I want to do that gives me peace of mind, working on getting my retreat up and running on my 27 acres. That last time I posted here, I was at work reading Mother Earth News. I can't get enough of it. I am learning all I can about moving out to the country. Being an avid camper, it's not going to be too tough. What is tough for me is going back from camping! Cam I love what you have to say and teach. Keep on keeping on please!! Merry Christmas to all Juanita

robyn_2
12/24/2010 8:21:51 AM
Cam, Love this post! Glad to have found you on this "infernal" machine. One thing about it, though, it does enable us to live out in the boondocks and make a living, at least in theory! I do all of the above to build business. And some to stay in touch with the grown kids. And the good thing about it - I can turn it off and get on with life.

Jim W
12/24/2010 8:18:50 AM
I am glad to see there are others who have tired of the "tech narcotic." You might enjoy an article that appeared on a political web page entitled "technological barbarians." However, the article itself isn't political and it offers what I think are some interesting insights into the whole tech obsession. It can be found at: http://www.conservativeopinionwire.com/technological_barbarians.html Happy Holidays and don't be a "twit." LOL

SteveR
12/23/2010 2:11:24 PM
I've just retweeted this :)

Cam Mather
12/20/2010 11:21:48 AM
Hi Sully. Sorry, "former" refers to homeschooling since my daughters went to high school and have graduated from university now. I'm still all those other things though. Cam Mather

sully
12/14/2010 9:45:41 PM
My wife and I are in our early 30's as well and we don't facebook/myspace/ and we are not twits. The reason is simple, we want our lives to be as private as possible. Kinda an off grider in every sense of the word! Only if I could just get rid of plastic cards to pay for things... hmmmm.... One question to the author, you said, "former home-schooling, off-grid-living, self-employed, opinionated, woods-dwelling and independence-seeking so and so..." Why are you a former?

George_41
12/14/2010 1:02:59 AM
I am 45 years old and have been using computers since I was 16 (which is just about when they became a household item). I used to have a Facebook account, but got rid of it when they acknowledged that they don't respect anyone's privacy. I've also had my identity stolen. I used to work in a call center, and have some advice for Juanita_4: Nerf footballs or crumpled wads of paper make great attention getters. I agree with both Juanita and Mandy that as a society, we have become too dependent on our gadgets; they have not only become our personal assistant, but have in some cases replaced babysitters, our brains, and even our conscience. We worry about terrorists bringing bombs on planes, but to truly disable our "American way of life", all they really need to do is shut down the cell phone network for a single day; then sit back and watch the ensuing panic.

Mandy Lange
12/13/2010 1:02:29 PM
I am SO glad that there are others out there who are so tired of all the tweeting, facebooking, myspacing, etc. Enough is enough! My husband and I are in our early 30's and we have chosen to not get involved in those sites. I feel that no ones' lives can be that entertaining to post every mundane activity that they do in a day-to day basis. All these social networks are just another reason that my husband and I do not allow our small children to openly surf the web. There are too many dangers and nasty topics that can be talked about on these sites. When identity theft is now a major threat, it makes no sense to add so many other avenues for people to know too much about eachother. I agree with the author-it would be so nice to live on an acreage somewhere and just forget about society. It sickens me that we are reprogramming how we communicate! I recently saw a small boy at the theater choosing to sit by himself and tinker with his phone the whole time! He never talked to his brother or his father the entire time! That is just wrong.

dc3gal
12/11/2010 4:19:02 PM
Oh this is just so right on! I happen to work in a call center for a company that builds websites, sells emails and sells domain names, so I am somewhat computer savy. Have to be if you are going to work outside now adays. I do have facebook so I can have one more way to communicate with my daughter in the states and I am in Nova Scotia. I truly dislike Facebook and all the garbarge on it. I know how to work it, but like you say, it takes hours to get thru all the crap! People have forgotten how to communicate in a normal way. Just today I couldn't get the attention of a co-worker who site 3 cubicles from me. We have a team Christmas party going on and some of us are covering on the phones. Because of all the noise and people standing between myself and the co-worker, I had to send her an email for pete's sake and she isn't 20 feet from me!!!!!!! Can't wait to get on my 27 acres in the country and tell the world to take a hike!







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