How much time do you spend on social media?

Do you do Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat? Others?

Social media is more of a winter sport for me. Maybe ‘sport’ is the wrong word. How about ‘affliction’? Or ‘addiction’?

Whatever the case, my usage of Twitter and Facebook during the winter months is directly related to, and attributable to, cabin fever. Little wonder, then, that the numbers of my tweets and Facebook posts spike up in March, when … I don’t need to elaborate on March madness in lands of ice and snow, do I?

I don’t think I’m the only one. I’m seeing increased numbers of tweets by some people I follow on Twitter. And many seem crankier than, say, they might be on a warm summer day — if they tweet at all in July or August.

Come summertime, I wonder if the numbers of tweets and posts on social media fall as people spend more time outdoors? Yes, I know that some people — the truly addicted —  are connected by smartphone to those forums during most of their waking hours 365 days a year. I see people walking down Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal, eyes fixed on their Twitter feeds. But surely once cabin fever passes for people like me who are not connected to forums 17 hours a day, social media in general sees a decline in usage — unless it rains a lot and we have a bad case of the summertime blues.

I try not to get too caught up in the drama of social media, though it is not always easy to avoid someone’s vortex of angst if you offer an opinion in their little post response boxes. Recently, people have snapped at me over comments I’ve made and accused me of being a “Debbie Downer,” of being “off topic” and of “calling her out” and “invalidating” her experience.

Sheesh . . . I was just trying to be friendly, providing some feedback, offering my humble opinion.

In each case, I went back and removed the offending comments, rather than let them fester like a bruised apple in a basketful of Macintoshes. On social media, it doesn’t take much for people to go into attack mode, and you can get dozens of snippy comments directed at you because the original poster didn’t like your comment. Young people who took it all too seriously have been bullied into suicide by social media attackers.

One of the aforementioned individuals unhappy with my comment, now “unfriended,” told me that deleting the comment is seen negatively by social media, that social media sees that as “cowardly.”

To which I replied, “I don’t care what social media thinks.”

Because, to quote a proverb, you can’t please everybody. No matter what opinion you offer on social media, someone will disagree. And if they have a bad case of cabin fever, they might snap at you, and others will chime in . . . and before you know it, you’re in the midst of a social media blizzard.

There’s a simple solution, as one savvy young man told me: turn it off. Read a book. Or maybe go outside, take up snowshoeing. Or cross-country skiing. Or simply walking down a country road . . . unconnected to social media.

— Jillian

Photo credit: ePublicist via / CC BY-ND