Taking A Break From Social Media

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As much as I like social media, there are times when it gets to be too much for me and I periodically will take breaks. On social media, I sometimes feel like I get an avalanche of other people’s opinions on people’s actions, words or appearance. Or something happens in the news and I get post after post after post about telling me how awful everything is right now. Also, if you have the apps on your phone, I have found it is too easy to constantly check your phone. I don’t want to be that person who is constantly checking my phone. Here is what I have found out about taking a break from social media. 

 You can temporarily deactivate from Instagram. You have to log in from a computer to do it. There is no way to deactivate from your phone. Here is a link on how to do that.

 You can also temporarily deactivate Facebook. The last time I deactivated my account , I got at least 4 pop ups asking me, “Do you really want to do this?” For some reason it was much easier to deactivate Instagram. This link will run you through how to deactivate Facebook.

 Twitter doesn’t have an option to temporarily deactivate. You can only permanently delete your account.You can put in a request to delete your account and it takes 30 days for it to happen. What I have done is set my account to private and log off the app on my phone so I can only check on a computer. Here are instructions from Twitter support that goes over the process of deleting your account.

 If you have downloaded social media apps onto your phone, you can either log off and leave the app or uninstall the app. One thing I will often do even when I am not taking a break from social media is put my phone across the room so I can’t easily check it.

The Good and Bad Sides of Social Media

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One topic I would like to write about on occasion is the good and bad sides of social media. I am fascinated by social media. I have used Twitter and Facebook since 2009 and Instagram since 2015. I have seen both good and bad sides to social media. In recent years I feel like I am seeing more and more online harassment and that really bothers me. Leslie Jones and Anne Wheaton have both faced horrible harassment on Twitter. After watching what Leslie Jones went through, I almost deleted my Twitter account. Anne Wheaton stayed away from Twitter for several months because of the harassment. Here is a blog post she wrote about that.  Here is an article that outlines the harassment Leslie Jones received. I have also seen other women on Twitter attacked viciously for posting an opinion. It is easy to get misinterpreted on social media because it is very hard to read intent. I have seen some terrible misunderstandings and fights from this issue.

On the positive side, I have also received good advice and met some lovely people on social media. I regularly chat with people I consider to be friends on Twitter and Instagram. On social media, it is much easier to see different points of view. I follow people from around the world on both Twitter and Instagram. Hearing other points of view has expanded my horizons and enabled me to hear viewpoints I wouldn’t hear in my everyday life. I learned most of what I know about knitting and crochet from Ravelry. I found most of my blogging advice from people I follow on Twitter or Ravelry Forums.

Social media hasn’t been around that long and I am fascinated by how much it has changed things. Before social media, the main way to keep up with people was phone calls, in person meetings and email. It was a lot easier to fall out of touch with someone. Now you can easily find old classmates from years ago and know what is going on in their everyday lives. It also fascinates me how quickly information moves these days. If you are on Twitter you can see a big news story unfold in real time. You can see responses in real time by people at the event. Thanks to the internet I can interact with people all over the world. On Ravelry, I have chatted with people in several countries and discussed how their customs are different than American customs. That type of conversation was much harder to come by before the advent of social media. On Instagram, I once watched a live video of a lamb being born in Iceland while I was in Washington State; that is incredible when you think about it.

Why I Almost Quit Twitter

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In the past week, the actress Leslie Jones was badly harassed on Twitter. She received a lot of racist tweets and she retweeted some of them to let people know what she was dealing with on a regular basis. Here is an article about the situation. It made me think about my own experiences with Twitter. I thought about quitting after watching what Leslie Jones Went through. I decided to stay because I would miss the positive interactions  I have on the site.

For the most part, I have enjoyed Twitter. However, I am often scared that I will get harassed or bullied for something I posted because I have seen people endure horrible harassment on the site. Anne Wheaton left Twitter for a while after the harassment she received became too much. Right after she left, she talked to people at Twitter safety and attended a symposium they  did.

 I have been on Twitter since 2009. I joined because I was curious and a bunch of crochet designers I admired had joined the site. I really enjoyed it. I found a lot of craft and crochet sites to follow. I quickly realized you can learn a lot about a topic from twitter. You follow one person and can see who he/she follows. If you want to know what is happening on the news you can follow news sites and and see more news updates than you could ever read. You can read about an event in the news as it is happening. Often a big news event will start trending on Twitter the moment it happens. If you are interested in a topic.You can follow the leaders in the topic and see what they are saying and what information they are sharing.

 Twitter can also be a great place to meet people with similar interests. Unlike real life you can jump in and chat with someone you never met. If you see someone saying something interesting, you can reply to that tweet and that will often start a conversation. I have met other crocheters and knitters on Twitter and have enjoyed chatting with them. There is a core group of people I chat with on Twitter who have been very supportive. I love that I can interact with interesting people I never would meet in real life. One friend I met on Twitter gave me some great blogging advice. I also learned abut periscope, and knitting patterns and books I want to check out. I have mixed feelings about Twitter. There are some scary people harassing and bullying others and Twitter doesn’t do nearly enough about it. On the other hand there are also some good people on the site and you can learn a lot from Twitter.