Life In A Small Cowtown

Fine Tuning My Online Presence, Again. (Yes it’s TL;DR)

As we get older, we should all be constantly reviewing what is taking up space in our houses, and in our minds. Our time becomes more precious every day. In 2022, I removed one item per day from my house. Sometimes it was a large kitchen appliance I hadn’t used in years, sometimes it was a piece of paper that had lingered too long on my to-do stack.

I’ll continue this practice in 2023, but will be expanding the concept to the internet, virtual worlds, freelance work, and how much of my time it occupies.

It’s clear to me that social media is a time-sink and often an emotional strain. Currently I use: Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, NextDoor, LinkedIn, Plurk, Pintrest and Goodreads.

I’m beta testing and so far I love it. I find myself checking in there before anywhere else. I very much hope Post turns out to be a long term keeper.

Pintrest and Goodreads will stay, as I use them for personal goals and organization, not as a way to interact with others or grow my brand as an author. They give more than they take.

NextDoor can be a toxic place at times but it’s also super-helpful when there’s a local problem that I need to know more about. I’ll probably keep it and only log in when I want to know why five ambulances just raced by, or if I’ve found a stray that needs to go home, or why on earth that Trader Joe’s on Grand River is taking so flipping long to build.

Plurk is a tiny place for a tiny group of friends. It’s a unique gathering of a well-blended mix of a few dozen people that I don’t believe could be replicated anywhere else. I can zip through Plurk in five minutes a day. This one isn’t broke, so there’s nothing to fix.

Facebook, Twitter and MeWe. This trio is the heart of the problem for me. I don’t like the platforms, their policies, or their motives. I am only there for people I can’t stay in touch with in other ways. Fact: People simply don’t enjoy email any more. There’s exceptions, but they are rare. My family does not communicate much outside of Facebook and they are my top priority. And so I am saddled with the behemoths of social media.

Twitter should be an easy one to dump. My friends list is 90% other indie writers. The chatter is pleasant but mostly vapid. It’s difficult to use Twitter effectively to promote my writing. I have other complaints about the system itself and it’s enforcement of TOS.

I’ve been test-driving MeWe in hopes of nudging family over there, and while it’s better than Facebook, family won’t budge. Sadly, it’s time to leave.

This leaves LinkedIn. I’m retired, with my own editing and writing pursuits. I don’t need help finding clients, I’m always fully booked. I don’t rely on LinkedIn for information and education, I get heaps of that elsewhere. I tend to feel obliged to accept connections, in fact, everything about LinkedIn feels like an obligation to me. I think the handwriting is on the wall.

PS: I nearly forgot Discord. Like Plurk, for me it’s a specialized niche that’s proved to be well worth my time, and I will continue using and enjoying it.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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