The Straw that Broke the Social Media Camel’s Fake Back, or something

“Why’d you start this blog” is always a good blog post to write.

The easy answer is, “I’m a writer, I love to write and I have lots to say.” And that’s true, but there’s a little more to it, and it mainly has to do with Facebook, and social media.

Although I “celebrated” 10 years on Facebook earlier this year, I’ve never been a huge user of the platform. I have a small group of friends and family and check in regularly to see what they post; I don’t follow many “third parties” on there, other sites or personalities or what-have-you. This means my news feed is—other than ads—almost exclusively posts and shares from people I actually know.

I post maybe once a month or so myself; it was definitely more frequent 8-9 years ago.

On the other hand, I am was a fairly heavy Instagram user. I take a lot of photos on my phone and I like to share them. I recently started a second account to share some of the cool comics and geek stuff I have in my library, and that’s been a fun exercise (and the fact that I’ve been able to do it consistently is part of the reason I thought I might be able to make the blogging thing work this time). Both of those accounts are public.

But I haven’t posted on Facebook or either of my Instagram accounts in over three weeks. The ongoing string of “no, Facebook is actually kinda awful” stories seems to have broken me.

I don’t meant to single Facebook out; YouTube is taking crap right now for promoting fake news stories about Las Vegas as well, and I’m sure Snapchat and Twitter and LinkedIn and all the rest are equally awful. People in my age group and above have complained about social media for years and my response has always been, “hey, you’ll only get out of it what you put into it,” meaning if you don’t want to post about what you had for breakfast or read about the latest Kardashian dating crisis, you don’t have to. If you just wanted to connect with a few friends, like I was doing, it could be used for that.

But when these channels start influencing elections and terrorism and put peoples lives at risk, that’s something different. You can’t ignore that, or at least I can’t.

So I’m not sure how much I want to be present on those platforms anymore. I have 30+ photos and about half-dozen a posts written for the geek sanctuary account, just waiting to be posted, but I seem have lost the motivation to do so.

Meanwhile, as a content marketer, I know I can do all of this stuff myself, on a channel I own, without the help of Facebook. Sure, if I really want eyeballs, I should use those channels to promote my content. And of course, it’s a one-way communication channel. I lose the “social aspect” of it.

But then there’s the real question—what am I really losing? Am I really actively engaging with friends and family on social media, or is it just habit, activity for the sake of activity?

I don’t know. I just know it makes me uncomfortable these days.

So I’m gonna try this out for a while, and maybe wean myself off those other channels where I can, and see where I end up.

Thanks for reading.

Zach Lowe channels The Wonder Years

Zach Lowe, on the Indiana Pacers’ new jerseys:

The softer blue-on-yellow version, which includes no white or highlighting, reminds of those all-gray uniforms Kevin Arnold and Paul Pfeiffer wore to gym class.

Zach’s the best NBA writer around. His ability to combine hilarious and obscure references with legit basketball insight (almost always  backed up by video examples) is why.

Check out his annual League Pass rankings for more of the former, and read him throughout the season for more of the latter.

Into the Great Wide Open

Tom Petty died this week, so just a few personal thoughts:

  1. Shortly after the movie version of High Fidelity came out, I started dating someone, and one of our earliest conversations turned to top five records. I put Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Greatest Hits on my list. Being young and dumb I didn’t think about the fact that there’s a more that goes into a record than just putting a bunch of popular songs on it that span an artist’s or band’s career, which is all a greatest hits record is; I wouldn’t put a greatest hits record on that list today. And yet… tell me that this isn’t, simply, a great fucking album:
    1. American Girl
    2. Breakdown
    3. Listen to Her Heart
    4. I Need to Know
    5. Refugee
    6. Don’t Do Me Like That
    7. Even the Losers
    8. Here Comes My Girl
    9. The Waiting
    10. You Got Lucky
    11. Don’t Come Around Here No More
    12. I Won’t Back Down
    13. Runnin’ Down a Dream
    14. Free Fallin’
    15. Learning to Fly
    16. Into the Great Wide Open
    17. Mary Jane’s Last Dance
    18. Something in the Air

There’s not one skippable song on there, and the order is perfect. Most greatest hits records have one or two songs on them that the band likes but no one else does, and most you can just throw on shuffle and enjoy… this one is just perfect as-is.

  1. This is a great driving album, with “Runnin’ Down a Dream” being the highlight. I remember my friend Grant and I singing along to this on the way up north to his parents’ trailer circa 2001.
  2. I know it’s easy to goof on Tom Cruise, and it’s actually pretty easy to goof on Cameron Crowe now too, but Cruise singing “Free Fallin’” in Jerry Maguire is a pretty perfect match of music and movie.
  3. Speaking of Free Fallin’ (and guys that it’s easy to goof on), John Mayer’s cover of “Free Fallin'” from his Live in L.A. record is pretty superb.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. RIP Tom Petty.

 

Scattergories

This blog is built on WordPress, ‘cause WordPress is the best. WordPress allows you to use categories to sort and classify your posts; I have six at the moment. What are they, and why do I have them? Some are self-explanatory but others actually have some history behind them:

Opinions Between the Panels: Way, way back, circa 2001, I started my very first blog, although I don’t think it was called blogging back then – it was just a website. Specifically, it was a website where I reviewed comic books and I called it Opinions Between the Panels, a take-off on the title of Mike Richardson’s history of comics, Comics Between the Panels. It was short-lived. I revived it briefly a few years back. It was even shorter-lived. Third time’s the charm? So this category is where I’ll be opining on all things comic book- and geek-related.

Personal Reflections: Kind of a catch-all title, these will be my personal thoughts on… anything? I don’t think I’ll be getting too deep or too personal, but we’ll see how it goes, eh?

Photog: I take a lot of pictures. Not particularly good ones, necessarily, although sometimes I surprise myself… anyway, since part of the purpose of this blog is to host my own content, rather than hosting it on Instagram or Facebook, I plan to share some pics here.

Random Musings: Quick hits that aren’t as meaty as “Reflections”. I foresee these as being more like Facebook posts, since, again, trying to wean myself off those platforms.

Raptorama: Some more history, one of my other aborted blog projects was a Raptors blog of this same name, and I really enjoyed that one. But being a sports blogger is damn hard work – it’s pretty much a full time job, and if you have another full time job, you gotta be hardcore dedicated to it. So this isn’t a full time Raptors blog, but I’m still an NBA junkie and a die-hard Raps fan so I’ll have Raptors and basketball thoughts to share from time to time.

Working Life: I’m in content marketing, so creating and maintaining a personal blog is crossing the two streams for sure. I expect that’s part of why past blogs haven’t stuck… but now I feel like I’ve learned enough that I can do this effectively and not have it just feel like work. And, by sharing work-related thoughts, it can become a bit of an outlet as well.

So there you have it: That’s what the categories mean, and what you can expect to find within.

(And now it occurs to me: Do I need a seventh category, for general blog business…? Hmm.)

Starting over

And here we are (again). I’ve tried a few different blogs and writing projects over the years, but haven’t been able to stick with them… we’ll see if this one pans out. What to expect? Random thoughts. Geek stuff. Work stuff. Pics. Some personal stuff, too, maybe.

Let’s travel down the road and see where it takes us.