Hi, my name’s Mario, and I have a problem.
I’m connected to every social network. I have accounts not only on the obligatory Facebook and Twiter, but also on Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest; on WordPress, Reddit, and Snapzu; on LinkedIn, ResearchGate, and Biowebspin; I have profiles on GoogleScholar, ResearcherID, Scopus, and ORCID; probably, I’m forgetting a few more.
You should be just thinking that I’m a nerd with some compulsion disorder (that’s only half-true), but in fact I don’t engage in any of those nets.
I post there to advertise my work or to get viewers to my blog. But I absolutely don’t care about what other people post. I don’t read their messages or follow their links. I hit a few bureaucratic likes, more or less at random, to pretend engagement. I’m a socialnet parasite.
And I don’t engage, not because a I’m an egocentric narcissist with superiority complex (again, this is only half-true); I don’t engage because I abominate the experience I have in any socialnet.
I hate the moralism of Reddit moderators, the recompense strategy of Snapzu, the clumsiness of Biowebspin. Even my favorite socialnet, Twitter (I appreciate its direct and short ways), tires me after a couple of minutes by flooding me with a torrent of non-categorized information.
Above all, I hate Facebook.
I can moderately stand happy friends posting selfies or funny-cat videos. But I don’t have patience for all those caustic friends there posting their clever, acid, and sarcastic opinions; judging everything and everyone. (Just like I do most of the time too.) I simply despise friends posting powerpointed drops of wisdom and religious messages.
Put all that together with a stream of customized publicity, and after half an hour on Facebook, I feel sad, anxious, angry, and depressive (or SAAD to short).
That’s why, for many years, I’ve been an unashamed socialnet parasite.
But I figured out that I have a problem: for the last couple of months, I found myself several times procrastinating late afternoon, truly enjoying funny-cat videos in Facebook, discussing on Twitter, or sincerely hitting like for YouTube videos. I was engaging.
I told myself, “it’s just for fun, I can stop whenever I want.” By then, I was already missing the bluish Facebook background; and I wanted to check the viewer’s comments after a YouTube video.
I already saw too many movies about addicted people to know where this story was bound to. I was evolving from a socialnet parasite into a socialnet symbiote.
I decided to exterminate the virus, while it was still incubating: I logged off. Today, it makes seven days that I’m out of the socialnets.
I’m still posting, but again as a parasite, without accessing the socialnet webpages.
I start to feel well again. I don’t have the urges of quickly visiting Facebook anymore. I’m coming back to my normal parasitic state. But I know, it’s always one day at a time.
I will still be there in the social nets, announcing my latest Much Bigger Outside post. I expect that you will read and like it. But I won’t read your post in return. I hope that you will retweet my clever opinions, and I may recompense you with a mindless favorite in the future. I still expect that you will follow my new publications when they are announced in ResearchGate, but I will only know about yours through a conventional Web of Science search.
Thank you all.
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