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Discussion Starter #1
Do use other social media... personal website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, snapchat, YouTube and so forth? What purposes does it serve? How long have you had you social media accounts?

I think I was late to use these media... but I find they can be interesting and a way to connect to friends, share all manner of things, get news, learn stuff. I will watch YouTubes, but don't have a channel... don't have a website... don't bother with twitter... but do have an instagram account and follow some interesting grammers or whatever they are called. I do have a facebook account, but don't use any chat sites... preferring email and basic txt. I occasionally get friends requests from strangers... most I ignore unless the person is very interesting... but I think it's better to have a limited number of friends. A person whose posts are creepy, boring or about hunting for dates are of no interest to me.

Aside from SailNet... what social media sites do you use?
 

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I have concerns about the behavior of Facebook. In short believe they are devoid of basic ethics. So with some effort have left. Still note Facebook is a very common way for cruisers and boat related businesses to connect. Miss that functionality.
Many of our friends blog. Time to time will look at those. But for just killing time it’s websites like this,attainable adventure, SDR, OCC etc.
 

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Old soul
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If there is evil in the world, it is Facebook. Actually, it’s all pretty evil. Google, Apple, Snap, FB, even SN here which according to my tracker-blocker is currently running 10 invisible background trackers and snoopers. It’s why we should all be running blockers.

But at least with SN, the reach is small. The likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are disturbing. Don’t make it easy for them.

Other than SN, I also partake in that other Cruising Forum. Other than that I have my own blog which runs on my own web server, so it is wholly my own. I have my own business website, which is unconnected with the sailing life. That’s it.
 

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1968 Columbia 50
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Social media is somewhat an oxymoron, often there is nothing social about it. It is so easy for people to be jerks and remain anonymous. Personally I only use FB just to keep up with friends and family, for that it is great. The rest of FB and social media for that matter is a waste of my time and energy.

I also use this page, Cruisersforum, and Sailing Anarchy, maybe once a day, but I find both of those to be of little interactive value, but solely as entertainment, or research purposes for whatever nagging project I am working on at the time. Other than that, I don't use social media.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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I prefer to use forums to any other social media. Because the forums are open there is a great wealth of information that is held in them. I belong to various fora regarding my truck, Sailing (SailNet, Ericson OG, a couple of Catalina forums, and had been a member of several others). Over time forum members develop a reputation through their posts as; a resource to the community (Maine Sail), an interesting participant (Christian Williams), good people (too many to list examples), a blathering idiot (there are about 20 of these on my "Ignore List" - in time these folks usually get banned) or what we used to refer to as an AFOC (also on my "Ignore List). In the process of reading through a thread in a forum you frequently read something interesting or learn something. I guess that I would sum it up by stating that the signal to noise ratio of forums (like SailNet) is high. The same cannot be said for Facebook.

I was on Facebook for a couple years. Like everyone else, I shared my adventures, thoughts and opinions and added to my list of friends. I did this right up until November 2016. I found that because it was unmoderated, opinions were treated as facts, it was virtually impossible to reach a conclusion, or learn anything regarding any topic, and discussion/debate frequently devolved into namecalling. I came to the conclusion that FB was more about sharing opinions than information. I find that FB lends itself to "tribalism in the virtual world" (sounds like a good book title) and I have no need for this. You may know the old saw that "opinions are like... everybody has one, and I don't need to see yours" so I deleted my account. My wife, kids, and some friends, missed my adventures so I have since created a new account in the name of my boat. I read and post about "boat things" only. I find even this gets tiring, as there are a few people in my groups that post with authority about topics that they know nothing about.

Twitter - never been there, and DO NOT want to go. This video by Lisa Nova captures my impression of Twitter;

InstaGram - no knowledge of nor interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the comments. Here are mine on the few platforms I visit use regularly.

Instagram
When I first signed up and had no one to follow or to follow me it was a blank nothing. I was (and am) interested in ballet... something I can only see in live performance or video and to learn about it I had the option of books people to inform me and online stuff. I followed a few dancers... which led to others and then a few others. What I like is that there is no BS opinions... just photos or now small vids... small visual, graphic messages. One dancer I came upon turned out to be a brilliant photographer and post very little related to ballet. No politics no BS... no one-ups-man-shist and so on. I love the absence of text (not totally), dialog... conversations etc. I usually cruise on to instagram before I go to sleep.

Facebook
Can't stand the ads for sure... I can see whatever I look at online results in directed ads. YUCK. Use FB to connect with mostly friends I have made online.... and they are interesting people. I connect with these people mostly about politics, nature, environment, arts, ballet, music and so forth. All news from all media has to be taken with a grain of salt and requires reading between, below and above the lines. I check in at various times of the day... share some pics about my real life but don't blog my life....not that narcissistic.

Discussion Web Sites
I am member on several for different topics... sailing, ballet, 9/11 - science / conspiracies. These sites lend themselves to too much opining, confrontation and dumb discussions. But they also are places where wisdom dwells and can be found. I have learn much from these sites! I've met a few people online who I would consider real time friends. Check in periodically for learning whether asking or simply reading what others write. Frustrating to encounter narcissists and jerks.. and tempting to engage... but just a waste of time. I check in from time to time every day.

email and txt
Very handy... hard to imagine life without this. But I lived most of my life without it. check in frequently each day.

On balance I like the connectivity... but don't miss it when I am doing something like out on the boat. I don't hear or get notifications... rarely hear the cell phone ring! hahahaha

+++
I was reading on a ballet site and "met" a brilliant woman Sandra who was a former dancer at NYCB. She helped me a lot. We became FB friends too. I was flattered! One day several years ago Sarah Lane was cast to do her first Swan Lake and Sandra mentioned she was going as she has been mentoring her for years. How could she not be there! I decided I should see the performance so on a whim I raced down to see if I could get a ticket at the last minute. I got to the BO 5 min before curtain and got the last unsold tic in the orchestra no less. As I raced to the door to go in I messaged Sandra.... I made it! The usher led me to the last remaining seat as the lights were dimming for the performance. My seat was next to.... Sandra! WOW what an amazing coincidence.

Sandra disappeared from FB and online several years later with no explanation I am still trying to track her down. She may have been really offput by all the snooping online???
 

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About as close to social media I get are websites on specific subjects. My recent interest in sailing brought me to SailNet and in the past it has been a couple of woodworking forums, a welding forum, and a handful of others. No politics, no religion, just the glue up by what you are passionate about in common.
 

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Because I have been out cruising for more than a decade I need some weird resources to stay in contact.
Facebook and Facebook messenger are important. WhatsApp more important than SMS text.

No one uses email any more. Except businesses. No one.

Skype I use a bit.

I have instagram but that's just a show and tell that's covered better by FB and I can control who sees my stuff better. Also instagram isn't very text based. I need writing to exercise my brain.

Twitter us great for breaking international news and science research. You gotta know how to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Social media to me is a platform... many of them in different formats for individuals to reach out and be reached by others... as opposed to mainstream / commercial media where individuals are passive consumers of information.

So on FB, for example... a page is typically visible to anyone who happens upon. You can block if you want. Many people use these platforms as a diary which they share their thoughts and experiences in words and images. Some do it for money.... others to let friends and family know what's going on. These are only two uses for social media. Topic forums are platforms to learn and share information. And of course real time friendships can come from online contacts. Lots of people are meeting their SOs and spouses online these days. No stigma any more.

Why would someone put images on Instagram? Many reasons I suppose... but usually because they want to share something visually interesting or exciting... or maybe just because it has information type content. You can find, for example grams about flowers, or birds, or sunsets... or buildings or really anything. Many of these accounts are full of excellent content.

For sure social media can be a waste of time and for many it may be. Of course social media is a platform for annoying advertising and collection of data to produce targeting advertising. Someone will find a way to monetize anything. Some people use the targeted advertising... some perhaps most find it annoying. But we live in an economy of selling things... and making profit from production, sales, advertising, distribution and even information! Commercial / advertising information has an upside as well as a down side.

Sailnet, for example cannot exist without some revenue..., from subscriptions or advertising. You can usually ignore advertising if you want... annoying as it is.

Mark's point about brain exercise is interesting. We keep our mind sharp by using it.. solving problems... learning... and that is usually proactive... but reading and watching movies / videos can exercise your mind as well.. Instagram is or can be like an art gallery. Why do people produce art and go to art museums? For visual stimulation... to express ideas... to capture beauty... to convey a message in a visual... non verbal way. Instagram is a democratization of the "art world"... kinda. Obviously not all instagram is "art"... lots of it is narcissism.

We are living in an information age of connectivity. Ludites are being left behind in their bliss. But I would argue we have more powerful tools at our fingertips.
 

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Old soul
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My issue with most social media tools is the entire business model is designed to extract as much personal data about you, and then manipulating you — as an individual. The functionality is the bait on the hook, and we all willingly clamp down on it.

It’s not unique to so called “social media” platforms (which as research shows, makes people less social, not more). Indeed, this is the business model for most large providers these days, with Google at the top of the pile.

I’m not a luddite, but I am also acutely aware of the trade offs. The benefits are real, but the costs are too high in most social media cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My issue with most social media tools is the entire business model is designed extract as much personal data about you, and then manipulating you — as an individual. The functionality is the bait on the hook, and we all willingly clamp down on it.

It’s not unique to so called “social media” platforms (which as research shows, makes people less social, not more). Indeed, this is the business model for most large providers these days, with Google at the top of the pile.

I’m not a luddite, but I am also acutely aware of the trade offs. The benefits are real, but the costs are too high in most social media cases.
You're referring to how these platforms have been monetized. Money makes the world go round. Look at how cruising has been monetized by vloggers! Some consumers love to look.... others find it narcissistic and manipulative... and the very successful ones seem to use the the old titts and ass bait.... sex sells.

Advertising IS manipulative. However YOU don't have to look or be sucked in. Advertising CAN be information. When you are seeking something you may find some advertising helpful.

There likely are algorithms which are building a profile of my likes and dislikes from snooping at my online activity. It may result in targeted advertising. For example once searched for boots for a lady friend. Soon I was seeing adds for boots on the various platforms I use. I laughed! I ignored. Same thing happens when I search or buy from Amazon. I'd rather see ads about my interests than my grand daughters who use my computer... but that happens too. No big deal. I may be subject to blackmail... but I am not aware of how.

But hell yes... lets get rid of the flood of advertising.
 

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Old soul
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You're referring to how these platforms have been monetized. Money makes the world go round. Look at how cruising has been monetized by vloggers! Some consumers love to look.... others find it narcissistic and manipulative... and the very successful ones seem to use the the old titts and ass bait.... sex sells.

Advertising IS manipulative. However YOU don't have to look or be sucked in. Advertising CAN be information. When you are seeking something you may find some advertising helpful.

There likely are algorithms which are building a profile of my likes and dislikes from snooping at my online activity. It may result in targeted advertising. For example once searched for boots for a lady friend. Soon I was seeing adds for boots on the various platforms I use. I laughed! I ignored. Same thing happens when I search or buy from Amazon. I'd rather see ads about my interests than my grand daughters who use my computer... but that happens too. No big deal. I may be subject to blackmail... but I am not aware of how.

But hell yes... lets get rid of the flood of advertising.
In one sense there’s nothing new with the way social media makes money. They deliver their audience to advertisers, just like media of the past. But just like a rain drop and an ocean are both fundamentally the same stuff, there is still a substantial and functional difference between the two.

Social media and tools like Google have taken manipulation to a fundamentally new level. The tools allow for levels of granular analysis such that they are not just delivering general audiences to advertisers, they are delivering YOU.

As for the effectiveness of advertising, marketing, and propaganda, people always claim they are not affected by it, just like most people say they have above average intelligence. Evidence shows we’re not nearly as smart, nor as impervious to manipulation.

The only sure way to not be affected by this manipulation is to not partake.

But I recognize this is difficult these days. I have friends who only communicate via FB. I have less contact with them now, but email still works. And it would be oh so easy to just go with a Google account and use all their “free” tools, but then they’d know more about me than they already do.

I choose not to be complicit in my own manipulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In one sense there’s nothing new with the way social media makes money. They deliver their audience to advertisers, just like media of the past. But just like a rain drop and an ocean are both fundamentally the same stuff, there is still a substantial and functional difference between the two.

Social media and tools like Google have taken manipulation to a fundamentally new level. The tools allow for levels of granular analysis such that they are not just delivering general audiences to advertisers, they are delivering YOU.

As for the effectiveness of advertising, marketing, and propaganda, people always claim they are not affected by it, just like most people say they have above average intelligence. Evidence shows we’re not nearly as smart, nor as impervious to manipulation.

The only sure way to not be affected by this manipulation is to not partake.

But I recognize this is difficult these days. I have friends who only communicate via FB. I have less contact with them now, but email still works. And it would be oh so easy to just go with a Google account and use all their “free” tools, but then they’d know more about me than they already do.

I choose not to be complicit in my own manipulation.
Mike there are some obvious difference between new and old media. YES the spying and profiling is very very creepy. But what is the actual effect on our... my life?

I prefer in most cases to communicate with email... I have a easy to find, search and follow conversation and it's basically private... but anything can be hacked.

I have, for example a circle of friends and extended family on FB. It is unlikely that I will or email... a posted photo is more than adequate to "keep in touch" with this set of friends.

My photo collection on FB for example and Instagram is not a bad window into my mind, my life and visual sensibilities over the past 10 years or so. What is FB going to do with my images?????

I am interesting in dance and aside from attending it... I follow some dancers... have friends who are into dance and I am more engaged with the community. For example... Roberto Bolle had his farewell performance with ABT last night... I would have liked to attend but was unable to because of a terrible tooth ache. This morning I was able to see many great photos of the evening.... not the same as being there... but definitely beats seeing nothing at all.

As far as using the web for buying things... my searches are watched... and I do see it reflected in some of the ads I see online. Big deal. I am smart enough to do my own online research to inform my buying decisions. It's creepy but I don't care because it has no practical impact on my life.

As far as friends go... I only accept them if they seem very interesting and produce interesting content. I don't need more online friends for any other reason except their content. If they produce too much and especially too much nonsense I unfriend them.

I have made a FB friend with a brilliant dancer and choreographer formerly from NYCB who was a protege of George Balanchine. We have very "good" conversations... and I am able to ask and learn. This would be impossible for me without something like FB.

I joined a sailing group on FB which I may leave because the level of maturity, knowledge/sophistication and content is not up to my standards... mostly show and tell level.

Sure there is lots of dumb and nasty and waste of time stuff on FB... but not so much for me the way I use it.

Any medium with lots of or mostly selfies is not something of interest to me.
 

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bell ringer
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Do use other social media... personal website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, snapchat, YouTube and so forth? What purposes does it serve?
asked on what is basically a social chat room :wink

I use FB to let family and friends know what I'm up to and to see what they are up up to

I use snapchat mostly for the daily bitemoji story

don't use the others
 

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Old soul
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Mike there are some obvious difference between new and old media. YES the spying and profiling is very very creepy. But what is the actual effect on our... my life?
I guess the point is I don’t know, and neither do you. One this is clear, they (FB) are doing it for their benefit, not yours. I’m sure most of it is benign, but as the torrent of news around political manipulation using FB, and the constant flood of ‘fake news’ shows, there can be very real impacts.

I think we’re seeing the death of privacy, with FB and Google leading the charge. What this means for our societies is unclear to me, but I don’t believe it is positive. And I choose not to be complicit.

But please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to criticize, or suggest in any way I know what’s best. And I get it … I really do. I understand how useful FB and Google et. al really are. They DO allow people to stay connected, and to make new connections, in ways that were virtually impossible in the past. It’s hard not to be part of the tribe.

Maybe I am a luddite on this (and I don’t think luddite is a positive term). I just don’t think we should blindly accept corporate surveillance and manipulation any more than we should accept State surveillance.

My belief is that if we all stopped accepting the current trade of privacy for functionality, that FB and the others WOULD change. As long as we all just go a long with it, they will too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I guess the point is I don’t know, and neither do you. One this is clear, they (FB) are doing it for their benefit, not yours. I’m sure most of it is benign, but as the torrent of news around political manipulation using FB, and the constant flood of ‘fake news’ shows, there can be very real impacts.

I think we’re seeing the death of privacy, with FB and Google leading the charge. What this means for our societies is unclear to me, but I don’t believe it is positive. And I choose not to be complicit.

But please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to criticize, or suggest in any way I know what’s best. And I get it … I really do. I understand how useful FB and Google et. al really are. They DO allow people to stay connected, and to make new connections, in ways that were virtually impossible in the past. It’s hard not to be part of the tribe.

Maybe I am a luddite on this (and I don’t think luddite is a positive term). I just don’t think we should blindly accept corporate surveillance and manipulation any more than we should accept State surveillance.

My belief is that if we all stopped accepting the current trade of privacy for functionality, that FB and the others WOULD change. As long as we all just go a long with it, they will too.
No we shouldn't and I believe we aren't accepting blindly. Red flags have been raised and hopefully what you correctly are concerned about can be dialed back. It's all about the money.... data and info means money.

These giants are under pressure to change and they will. But I fear the big brother thing is here.... Ever notice that there are security cameras everywhere? That's quite an invasion... and I don't see them going away.

The nasty things like stealth malware which sneaks in through email is really upsetting.

They can't even stop robo calls!
 

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Old soul
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No we shouldn't and I believe we aren't accepting blindly. Red flags have been raised and hopefully what you correctly are concerned about can be dialed back. It's all about the money.... data and info means money.
I think it can, but only if enough people say no to the current approach. Companies don’t care if we ***** and complain. They only care if we stop using their services. Much like the environmental issues we face, I think the only response that makes sense to me is a personal one. So all I can do is say no. Others will have to make their own choices.

Ever notice that there are security cameras everywhere? That's quite an invasion... and I don't see them going away.
No kidding! What drives me nuts is the little cutesy signs that are sometimes posted saying, “Smile, you’re on camera :)”. There’s nothing cute or amusing about it. We are all sleep walking into a surveillance society. And the sad thing is, we’re all agreeing.

It’s less 1984 and more Brave New World.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Mike... I don't pay for SailNet, Instagram, google maps, google, facebook... email... Advertisers are paying and they made a calculus that their ad represents sales.

So I see some WestMarine ads. I use West when it's I am in the neighborhood and I need something right away. I usually buy from Defenders... but as West price matches I can buy from them too. Their advertising has no impact on what I buy at their store.

I am researching new electronics and get B&G ads because I have looked at B&G online. Do these ads influence me? No! I am more influenced by recommendations from people on SailNet... or direct exposure on a friend's boat.

Right now I don't feel the Big Tech spying on me. I may be naive. If I experienced it... I would drop it like a hot tamale.
 
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