Goodbye to Soshul Meeja

It’s time.......

Time to end the ridiculous pursuit of handing my future over to gigantic companies that claim to have values of billions of pounds, yet possess nothing of any tangible value. Corporate behemoths whose raison d’être is selling advertising space to as many people as possible in order to add a few more flimsy floors to the massive house of cards known as social media. Don’t get me wrong – I value it as a means to stay in touch with old friends, new friends, acquaintances, and the odd work contact. It serves me as a form of light entertainment, allows me to share photos of the kids with those who have an interest, and feeds me with funny stories and pictures from my friends’ lives. It is a form of media which complements & strengthens my social circle. 

Trouble is, it has become a lazy method of “marketing” for the masses who either run a small business or niche-organisation. I find myself bombarded with repeated promotions constantly, and I respond inevitably by blocking or removing any contact from the people involved. I’m part of that problem myself, and that’s why I’m ignoring the Emperor’s new clothes, and shutting down all my Social Media channels where my business is concerned.

(valued at around £25 billion) – I’ve read the various blogs and books about social media marketing, and all the websites devoted to “Driving Direct Response via Twitter”, and it leaves me completely cold. This one was the first to go. I followed all the industry players in the region, and got followed back by some of them, interacted on the special “North East Tuesdays”, and all that shite, but overwhelmingly, I was being contacted by SEO firms, Bangladeshi retouching houses, and “models” from California looking for a million followers. My feed consisted of 80-90% unadulterated advertising from small businesses. 

Amount of leads/business generated from Twitter, and my regular posts over 5 years – BIG FAT ZERO. Goodbye Twitter.

(valued at around £21 billion) -The “professional social media network”, and by far the biggest waste of bloody time in the world. I’ve never “got” this platform in the ten years of having a profile. Once more, I was asked to network with hundreds of SEO firms, and Bangladeshi men with English names at various retouching houses. The news feed is just a load of people wasting their day by looking for “useful articles” from other firms, and distributing them in the vain hope that their own articles will also be distributed in the same way. It says something about how old-hat Microsoft is as a company, by the fact that they paid cash to buy this old tripe. Most users have no idea about the subtle, professional protocols adopted by this network, and send out scores of tentative requests to join their network without actually being formally introduced to the recipients first. It’s the equivalent of turning up unannounced at some lasses house after looking at their dating profile online. 

Amount of leads/business generated from LinkedIn, and my regular posts over 5 years – BIG FAT ZERO. Goodbye LinkedIn.

(valued at around £30 billion). Get me out of here please. Without doubt, the most annoying network on the planet. I used Instagram from it’s early incarnations, and had loads of great mobile phone photos of my little girl growing up, but lost access to the account after I forgot the password, and couldn’t retrieve it due to the fact that the email address associated with the account is now obsolete (the ISP doesn’t exist any more). It has now developed into an arena of bragging rights for young women with those stupid-bloomin\\’ eye brows & duck-lips, and small businesses who must require a team of civil servants to cover the task of “hash-tagging” individual posts. They must be deluded to think that there are actually people in fashion houses, and advertising agencies who have the time to scour the billions of Instagram posts for new talent using hash tags. My sides split at the thought of it. There are of course a handful of people who have struck it lucky with their account, and can rake in millions of quid by adding products to their photos, but I’m not one of them. A while back, I got a bit hooked by the odd “like”, and started uploading daily work images using the Gramblr automated system. At one point, do you know what I did? DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT I ACTUALLY DID?  I paid Gramblr for likes. What a mug. Instagram is getting bogged down with blatant adverts now – pictures with company logos on etc, and it probably has a positive effect on people who sell stuff to the general public, but……

Amount of leads/business generated from Instagram, and my DAILY posts over 5 years – BIG FAT ZERO. Goodbye Instagram

(Valued incredibly at around £300 billion – £300 BILLION NOTES!). It’s the one we use the most. It’s so valuable as it has the power to delve into everything you do online, intelligently calculate what it could possibly sell you, then proceed to stalk you like a psycho ex-girlfriend who found out that you won the lottery. It will never listen to reason because it simply doesn’t have to. It will bombard you relentlessly with adverts about lawnmowers after you visited a website about gardening. It knows about your personal music tastes, your favourite foods, what you do with your children, where you eat, where you’ve worked, how much disposable income you have, what your Auntie would like for her 60th birthday, which political views you hold, how you voted, which online petitions you’ve signed, and a million other details about you, and your relationship with everybody else on the system. How? Because we tell it – every post is another snapshot of our personal life uncovered for it’s algorithms to examine, and exploit down the line.  It’s strange how it can identify an obscure Ladytron track playing in the background of a ten second video clip & block it, citing copyright issues with no effort, but isn’t capable of identifying and blocking dangerous Jihadist Videos calling maniacs to war on the streets of Britain.

Facebook has become an advertising monster – now saturated by small businesses exploiting the fact that it costs nothing at the point of promotion. I’ve paid some good money in the past to raise my profile in the local area, and to be fair it did – I got a good few “likes” added to my business page. Great eh? It’s like getting the train to Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Preston, Birmingham, Reading, London etc, and visiting pubs everywhere to buy pints for as many strangers as you can. They’ll think you’re great, and you’ll end up warm in the knowledge that loads of people like you. You will end up broke however. I’ll keep my personal profile for the fun stuff, but the business page is gone. Again, it can be useful for people who have a local business selling to the public, but I always unfollow those who bombard me, and guess what?………

Amount of leads/business generated from Facebook, and my regular posts over 5 years – BIG FAT ZERO. Goodbye Facebook.

Don’t get me started on Pinterest, Google+ and the rest. Updating my blog is quite cathartic, so I’ll continue to spout out my bile until further notice. My Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & Linkedin accounts have all been closed down for business purposes now. I’ll stick to the human forms of networking thanks. Enjoy talking to your computers, and please calm down with your hashtags.

Brian Young shoots all aspects of the built environment for a range of clients throughout Northern England and the Borders.


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