Sunday, April 01, 2018

April Challenge -- Day 1

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Five problems with social media.

1) It can be competitive. I don't like myself when I'm competitive. And yet, on my birthday, I look to see how many Facebook birthday wishes I received, concentrating on the number of messages rather than what they say.

2) It celebrates the superficial. When people post mundane stuff -- like the laundry detergent they use or what's included in their brown bag lunch -- they get ripped for being self involved or (worse) boring. So instead, we all post about the glam stuff. Let's take a peek at the FB page of my former coworker, Doreen. Because her husband is partner in a law firm with offices in both Chicago and New York, she has apartments (beautiful condos) in both Chicago and Brooklyn. In March she posted about her boxing lessons at a trendy Manhattan gym, posed with bagpipes on St. Patrick's Day at a chic fundraiser for the FDNY, and had lunch along the Potomac with girlfriends (a quick getaway to DC). Now, I could ask myself if all this makes her happy, or I could just be happy for her. Instead, I hate how dingy my life looks next to hers. Thanks, Facebook.

3) Disinformation. We all know about the political shenanigans, but really, it's everything:

•  There's been a Facebook post going around for years that claims Goodwill pays their CEO, Mark Curran, $2.3 million/year. It's simply not true. Their CEO is Jim Gibbons, he makes a fraction of that, and Charity Watch gives Goodwill an A rating.

•  A guy on Twitter claims to be actor, stuntman and "Hollywood Bad Boy" Stephen Oliver. Mr. Oliver died in 2008. I busted him for this, and he responded by blocking me. Aside from wondering why anyone would impersonate such a little-known actor, I wonder about the real Mr. Oliver's family and friends. Does he have their permission to spout opinions under this guise?

4) Bullying. 

5) The whole rabbit hole/time suck thing.

I didn't say more about 4 and 5 because they are obvious and, well, why waste time explaining why it's bad to waste time online?

If you're interested in seeing the April Challenge prompts and joining in, click here.

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