Why I Don’t Use Social Media

I’ve had some interesting discussions lately with associates about why I don’t use social media. You know… things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and an ever growing list of additional platforms. Many people view social media as critically important in their lives, and for their businesses. That’s not my viewpoint

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge. Photographs have been added to serve as visual breaks.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/5.6, -0.3 EV, 1/2500, ISO-500, cropped to 3928 pixels

Like many folks I dabbled with social media in years past. I had a listing on LinkedIn. Even paid a bit of money for a couple of years for an upgraded account. *shrugs* I got tired of refusing links from people I didn’t know who wanted to sell me something I didn’t need. So, I deleted my account a few years back.

Twitter was a very short lived distraction that lasted a few weeks. No content of any significant value can be created in a limited number of characters.

I deleted most of the videos I had on my YouTube channel quite a while ago. I think I’ve posted one new video in the past three years. There are still a few old videos up on my YouTube channel… although I have no idea on the exact number as I haven’t logged in for a while. At any rate, I plan to take these remaining videos down sometime in 2021 and end my presence on YouTube.

Article Update
My YouTube channel was deleted as of January 10, 2021.

So, why don’t I use social media?

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 14.4 mm, efov 38.9 mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-160

Managing inputs.

I learned many years ago that managing my inputs is a critical component of life. There is only so much time in a day to take in, assess, and respond to inputs.

I try to be as discerning as possible with the inputs that I choose to take in each day.  Rather than overload myself with inputs, it is far more important for me to exercise personal responsibility and critically evaluate what is happening around me… without distractions from social media.

If I would have listened to the self-limiting beliefs of others, or taken some of the opinions that others had of me to heart, I would have significantly reduced my personal potential.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/4.9, 1/100, ISO-1250, microscopic mode

Maintaining mental focus and concentration.

Constant interruptions from social media are counterproductive to maintaining mental focus and concentration. When we increase the frequency with which we allow the interruption of our mental processes to occur, the more we reduce our ability to mentally focus and concentrate for extended periods of time. Decreased concentration levels reduces our creative capacity.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO-6400, subject distance 275 mm

Misguided priorities.

Paying attention to the tripe on social media can result in misguided priorities and losing sight of what is really important in life.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 100 mm, efov 270 mm, f/8, 1/8, ISO-160

Mental health.

Research indicates that there are negative impacts associated with high use of social media. Stress, depression, anxiety, feelings of well-being, and loneliness are all negatively affected through high consumption of social media.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 46 mm, efov 124.2 mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO-400

Making the most of valuable time.

Each of us has a limited amount of time each day to create things we value, and to pursue our goals. Spending hours on social media siphons off valuable time that could be spent much more productively doing other things. Creating new articles. Capturing new images. Working on eBooks and other projects. As well as dedicating time to other people and things I value.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 10 mm, efov 27 mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-160

Eliminating pointless noise.

The sheer volume of pointless noise on social media is mind boggling. I don’t need to know about the minutiae in people’s lives, nor do they need to know that about me.

If I truly care about an individual I can pick up the phone and have a meaningful conversation with them. I can see them in person (when allowed again) or communicate via video chat. We can engage in extended one-on-one email exchanges about specific topics of mutual interest. I can demonstrate that I value your presence here by taking time to respond to your comments. People don’t need to expose each other to meaningless trivialities… unless their lives are bereft of value.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 @ 50 mm, efov 135 mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO-400

People will find what they value.

There is no need to worry about clicks, likes and other such nonsense. The reality is that people will invest their time to find things that they value and appreciate. No amount of social media promotion will keep people coming back to content that is no of value to them.

If you are reading this article, or have read other articles on this website, you didn’t find us because we promoted ourselves on social media. You likely were looking for specific content and did an internet search, or read about this site somewhere else. Then, you decided to invest some time to check out this website. If you’ve kept returning its because our content has value for you.  And, you’ll stop visiting when we no longer represent value for you. That’s life.

Nikon 1 V2 + 1 Nikkor 30-110 mm f/3.8-5.6 @ 110 mm, efov 297 mm, f/7.1, 1/25, ISO-1600

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear and technology as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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22 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Use Social Media”

  1. I feel that a correct description of sites like FB, Twitter, etc. would be “Social Minutia” instead of “Social Media.” Too many people share details about all of their activities (including pictures of their meals at restaurants). I too dropped an FB account, partly because it was a waste of time, and because of PC censorship.
    I have switched my primary focus from photography (which I still do), to writing books (mostly novels). While ignoring FB I was able to write a first draft of a novel (118K+ words long) in only 47 days. Now to polish it, get it published, and work on the third novel in that series (along with about 10 more books that are floating around in my head).

  2. By and large agree with your points, I have only recently started using Facebook to join a couple of fly fishing groups – but the unsolicited deluge of “friend” suggestions and the unending rubbish called suggested videos is testing my patience. As I recently got a second hand E-M1 Mark 2 this has lead me to looking at quite a few Youtube videos but sites such as yours usually have the more in-depth coverage of the technical aspects. Long may it continue. Sites like Twitter and Instagram have become political hell holes and best avoided at all times!

    1. Thanks for adding your perspectives to the discussion Mark!

      One of the largest benefits of using the internet is to do research on things that are of interest to us. It can be a challenge at times to actually get to the information we need, given all of the advertising, misinformation, and other clutter that can get in the way. I’m glad your visits with us have been helpful for you!

      Tom

  3. Hi Tom,

    Blessings for the new year!

    I was nodding all the time I was going through the points of your post. Even some of the studies done are corroborating your observations — mainly that ultimately, social media (and especially over-dependence on it) is not good for anyone.

    Personally, I noticed that it contributes to some sort of herd mentality where individuality is not tolerated when one’s thinking falls out of the line of groupthink. In a word: conformity. Whether it’s about a brand or an attitude, thinking/believing/acting differently can be a subject of massive trolling and bullying.

    I can also relate to what you said about managing one’s time resources wisely. Overindulgence in social media can rob one of precious minutes in a day better allocated to more productive endeavors.

    I laughed when I read about your comment on Twitter and couldn’t agree more. Besides, these telegraphic messages are oftentimes the subject of confusion, misunderstandings, vitriol. Of late, FB seems to be more of selling place than a real person-to-person social gathering place. I thanked a friend for giving me a gift for my birthday on Messenger and whaddyaknow, the same item pops up on the FB Marketplace without my actively searching for it whether on FB or Google. Talk about surveillance and monitoring.

    Oggie
    http://www.lagalog.com

    1. Thanks for adding your perspectives and experiences to the discussion Oggie! I understand that websites may need some cookies to function. Unfortunately search engines and many websites have a vested interest is using them to market products to their readers. Some of this activity is positioned as trying to ‘improve the reader experience’. As if anyone actually believes that!

      Tom

  4. I am so glad to read this, as I also never use social media for exactly the reasons you mention.
    I use FLICKR to share photos with family an d friends though, but that is only out of necessity.

    I wish everybody a great new year

  5. Hi Tom
    As you might remember, I used Nikon 1 for a time. Since I started to do landscape mostly, I went MF, even before you went with Oly. But I still look occasionally into your site and everytime find it valuable. And Nikon 1 is still here, albeit not that often (Maybe Topaz can change the size gracefully?)
    Funny thing, I never did social media. Only once I simply had to open an account with Facebook, because I was researching my family tree then. But I never posted my details. So now, the only thing I have to do is to cancel/delete that account. I read somewhere, that it is not that easy. If so, it speaks for itself…
    Anyway, keep up your work, draw pleasure out of it and stay healthy!
    Best regards, Robert

    1. Good to hear from you Robert!

      I’m glad that you still visit from time to time and find the content of value. In terms of social media, I just cancelled my YouTube channel this morning which brings that experiment to an end. I had only posted one new video in a number of years, and even that one was about 8 months old. I don’t think that exiting YouTube will have any negative consequences for me.

      I will keep on moving forward and enjoying each day as it comes! Hope you stay healthy too!

      Tom

  6. Tom, to a very large degree, Social Media gave us what is found south of us. An excellent reason to question its worth.

    I’ve followed you for some time and enjoy every post. It may not be on something I would do but it certainly educates me.
    Ron

  7. Hi Thomas,

    I found you blogs by pure chance and did come back not only for your pictures and advices but also for the way you look at things. Not using social media is also one basic process of my noise reduction workflow.

    I def. like your style

  8. We long recognized you as a superb photographer with impressively nuanced post-processing skills. And now can add wisdom to the list.
    Social media is a time-wasting, fad-filled sinkhole surrounded by advertising, overlaid by the recording and merchandising of anything you read or look at, and tracking of every link you click.

  9. Hey Tom
    All I can say is Amen and Amen. I am sure I am considered by many to be an old foggy. And I guess I am. But I have never seen the value of spending the available time I have on social media. My daughters all are on it and occasionally they share something with me that is of interest but most of the time it appears to me that they spend a lot of time just looking at what is personal information from others which is of little to no value. I cant see how I am missing anything of value and I save a lot of time which I use for other pursuits.

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