Seven Deadly Sites

I read a cool article that compared different social media sites to the seven deadly sins (so I guess in a way, the author was saying that the Internet was hell?), but I found that some of them weren’t totally accurate (at least not for me), so I reworked the list. Here’s the original:

Lust = Tinder (It’s some kind of dating site, but I’ve never used it.)
Gluttony = Instagram (Because people post pictures of food.)
Greed = LinkedIn (More money, more jobs, more problems.)
Sloth = Netflix (It’s not social media, but the comparison is accurate.)
Wrath = Twitter (Oh, so many heated arguments about nothing!)
Envy = Pinterest (Because people post so many perfect-looking projects.)
Pride = Medium (I’ve never heard of it.) or Facebook (People posting about themselves all the time.)

Here are mine, but they’re not strictly social media:

Lust = 4chan or porn sites (Seems like those are the granddaddy of lustful temptation, not necessarily Tinder.)
Gluttony = Pinterest (I’m not on Instagram, so I see more food and recipes on Pinterest.)
Greed = Tumblr (I follow a lot of notebook and journaling blogs, and I want to buy everything I see on there.) or Amazon (for obvious reasons)
Sloth = YouTube (I watch more YouTube than Netflix, and it’s so easy to say “just one more video… it’s only 3 minutes!”)
Wrath = CNN.com or any news site (The world has so many problems that it makes me angry.)
Envy = Blessed Is She (Ironically an uplifting Catholic site, but it makes me envious because the site features those who are much better writers than me.)
Pride = WordPress (I’ve debated many times about whether I should shut down my blog because I’m trying to figure out why I’m posting. To show off or because I honestly love writing? This is my main Internet home, so in a way it’s my Facebook—I don’t think I could ever give it up.)

What are your seven deadly sites?

Vine’s Been Cut Down

If you follow this blog, you probably know I’m not a fan of social media (ironic, considering blogging is a form of social media, but anyway…). So I was happy to hear about the demise of Vine,* which is basically YouTube with a much shorter attention span, where users post 6-second videos. Yes, you read that right. Six seconds of video, played on a loop until the viewer gets sick of it and it’s no longer amusing or funny or whatever it was supposed to be.

Apparently, Vine is being shut down (although the existing videos will remain in an archive) because it did not keep up with the innovative pace of Twitter, Snapchat, and other popular social media sites. Why did Vine not last? Perhaps because users wanted something with a little more substance, so they turned to YouTube. Maybe they wanted to upload pictures instead of videos, so they went on Instagram.

Oddly enough, I’ve also been hearing things about Twitter (the parent company of Vine) and Tumblr (owned by Yahoo!, which was recently bought by Verizon) also having problems. So maybe Vine represents the beginning of the end for social media in general, and we can all return to having face-to-face conversations instead of burying our heads in our phones all the time. I do recognize that this is an unlikely outcome because social media sites come and go all the time, but I can dream, right?

*But I was not happy upon realizing that Vine’s shutdown means that people will be out of jobs.

Clogged Feeds and Cluttered Dashboards

It’s almost too easy to get lost on the Internet and social media. There’s so much to see and so many links to click that you can quickly be sucked into a vortex and before you know it, half the day is gone and you’ve done nothing productive.

There are two keys to avoid getting trapped on social media: (1) don’t follow so many people, and (2) don’t follow people who post an obnoxious amount of material.

On WordPress, I follow 35 blogs. I’ve found that it’s a manageable number so that I don’t get overwhelmed trying to read everybody’s posts. If a particular blog hasn’t been posted to in more than a year, I unfollow it and choose another blog. If I follow someone who ends up posting more than once per day, nine times out of ten, I unfollow that person because the volume of posts becomes too much to deal with.

On Tumblr, it’s the same. I follow about 30 or so blogs, and I check Tumblr once a day. If I followed more people, I’d find myself checking more than once a day just to keep track of it all. Because Tumblr is more of an image-based site, and any text posts tend to be very short, an “obnoxious number of posts” is more subjective. There are people who post only once a month or so, but when they do, they make hundreds of posts at a time. That’s too much for my overloaded brain to deal with. 🙂 Then you have people who post about once a day, and while that’s a lot for a site like WordPress, it’s a little for a site like Tumblr, where one small post can get lost in someone’s feed.

I used to have Twitter, and I don’t think I followed more than 50 or so people at once. Because the posts were short, the number was easy to deal with. Back when I had Facebook, I followed roughly 65 people. Most of them did not post often, and when they did, the posts were very short, so it was still manageable.

Avoiding the Internet vortex is a matter of carefully choosing who you follow, how much time you have, and how much you can process or scroll through. Sometimes you’re hesitant to unfollow someone because it’s “not nice,” but in the end, it’s your time.