Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category

Social media: I don’t know what I have missed – but I don’t miss it

April 18, 2021

Four weeks ago my irritation at Facebook’s intrusive ads and suggestions and WhatsApp’s insistence on new terms and conditions made my mind up for me.

  1. I stopped using Facebook.
  2. I stopped using Twitter (which I didn’t much use anyway).
  3. I deleted Instagram and Tik Tok (which I had installed but never used).
  4. I have not used Messenger in 6 months.
  5. I am weaning myself away from WhatsApp and shifting to Signal (95% done).
  6. I am ignoring LinkedIn and Pinterest.

It has only been a month and is still an experiment. But I have no immediate plans to return and it is my hope that I will not.

My use of text messages has increased somewhat.

I have not deleted FB and WhatsApp and LinkedIn yet and can still see that I have many hundreds of unread notifications. But I choose to decline to open the notifications.

I see that Facebook is working to “integrate” WhatsApp and Messenger. I see that the users of these platforms are merely suppliers of data and the customers are the advertisers. I see that the platforms are increasingly trying to first predict the behaviour of the users but are also actively trying to manipulate users into “preferred” behaviour. I choose to abstain.

So I don’t know what I am missing. But, more importantly, I don’t miss what I must have missed. I am pretty sure that more than 99% of what I have missed was not directed specifically at me.

If it is important enough they can call me or send me a text or send me an email.

It is the March equinox and it is time for some social-media resolutions

March 20, 2021
  1. Stop using Facebook, (next step deletion).
  2. Stop using Twitter, (next step deletion).
  3. Stop using LinkedIn (deletion next?).
  4. Delete Tik-Tok and Instagram.
  5. Keep WhatsApp as long as permitted (without accepting new terms and conditions).
  6. Keep Signal.
  7. Keep Zoom, MS Teams.
  8. Create an alternative email address to g-mail.

On balance, the irritation and anger they generate outweigh the positives of the social contacts they do provide. Whatever I may miss on Facebook and Twitter will not affect my life very much and I have no need for the anger and the irritation involved in suffering fools. It is time to get off the roundabout.

WhatsApp’s biggest problem is Facebook

January 12, 2021

I am now running WhatsApp and Signal in parallel with a view to dumping WhatsApp in due course. Of course WhatsApp has been desperately putting out clarifications about why there is no reason to leave them, but it seems they protest too much.

What is clear is that WhatsApp does share a great deal of data with its parent Facebook and from February 8th users will not be able to opt out.

WhatsApp does share the following:

  • phone number, name and other information provided on registration
  • information about the user’s phone, including make, model, and mobile company
  • internet protocol (IP) addresses, which indicate the location of a user’s internet connections
  • any payments and financial transactions made over WhatsApp

There is no way in which WhatsApp can resist any future demands from its parent. I expect that a critical mass of users switching out of WhatsApp will come within the next 3 or 4 weeks.

The biggest problem WhatsApp has is that it is owned by Facebook.

“Liking” on Facebook is a cheap, easy alternative to donating

November 8, 2013

For charities and other organisations dependent upon public donations, Facebook and other social media represent a glittering silver cloud with a very dark lining! Having an enormous reach via social media may seem like success but it could be counter productive. Potential donors presented with the alternative of clicking on a “like” button to making a real donation take the cheaper route. The more public the “like” the less likely the donation. They assuage their consciences and keep their pocket-books untouched!

Not really so surprising I suppose but a useful confirmation of behavioural tendencies.

Kirk Kristofferson, Katherine White, and John Peloza, The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action, Journal of Consumer Research, Published by: The University of Chicago Press, Article Stable URL:


Would-be donors skip giving when offered the chance to show public support for charities in social media, a new study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business finds.

“Charities incorrectly assume that connecting with people through social media always leads to more meaningful support,” says Sauder PhD student Kirk Kristofferson, who co-authored the forthcoming Journal of Consumer Research article.

“Our research shows that if people are able to declare support for a charity publicly in social media it can actually make them less likely to donate to the cause later on.”

The study results add fuel to recent assertions that social media platforms are turning people into “slacktivists” by making it easy for them to associate with a cause without committing resources to support it.

In a series of studies, researchers invited participants to engage in an initial act of free support for a cause – joining a Facebook group, accepting a poppy, pin or magnet or signing a petition. Participants were then asked to donate money or volunteer.

They found that the more public the token show of endorsement, the less likely participants are to provide meaningful support later. If participants were provided with the chance to express token support more privately, such as confidentially signing a petition, they were more likely to give later.

The researchers suggest this occurs because giving public endorsement satisfies the desire to look good to others, reducing the urgency to give later. Providing token support in private leads people to perceive their values are aligned with the cause without the payoff of having people witness it.

With the holiday season being the biggest fundraising period of the year, the researchers say it is vital that charities take another look at their strategies and plan appropriately.

The ease and painlessness of  “liking” actually degrades the quality of the connection – be it for donations or for representing support for people or causes. When a “supporter” has little else to do than to click a “like” button, that support is not worth very much.

In relationship selling, I used to advise our salesmen that the way to judge a relationship was to consider the kind of “favour” the relationship could allow and support without jeopardising the relationship. The strength or quality of a “social connection” is still – I think – to be judged by the width and breadth and weight of the service that can be initiated and carried by the connection without breaking it. A “like” is pretty light-weight as social connections go.

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