Too much!

How do you use social media?

The only right answer here is ‘too much’. But since one sentence makes for a lousy post, I’ll elaborate on how I use social media.

Facebook – I can’t remember the last time I looked on Facebook. I still have an account, because I used it to log in to various things – I can’t even remember which. I also told myself I’d need it to stay in touch with people I met. Well. To that end my Facebook account hasn’t been helpful. Meaningful contacts will find a way to exist without Facebook. Ah. I also remember one other reason for staying. Some hobbyist groups on Facebook are sometimes useful, and access is impossible without an account. This latter reason is the only way I use Facebook. Maybe 4-5 times a year now. I might as well delete it.

Instagram – Instagram is huge for me. It has a great and very wonderful reptile and plant community. I used to visit forums for these. Forums are dead. Instagram took over. I use it a lot, but mostly on my reptile account. People rightfully complain about Instagram for people being attention seeking stupids on there. They come in various shapes and forms, but they’re all the same bunch. They regularly grab my attention too, and all I can think of is how horrible it must be to live a life where monetization drives you to embarrass yourself for money on a regular basis. It’s entertainment of the hollow form. I guess it’s what we need these days.

Twitter – I have a love hate relationship with Twitter. I spend far too much time on it, but it is mostly very useful time. Twitter can be whatever you want it to be, depending on how you use it. For me, it’s predominantly ecologists and some scientists from associated disciplines. I have established nice connections through the platform, which is why I’ve spent quite some time on it. I’ve also been using Twitter a lot to stay up to date on COVID. This requires that you follow reliable and credible sources, including scientific communicators and journalists, and obviously scientists. Twitter is also full of disinformation, and you have to learn how to distinguish one from the other. The official and mainstream channels rarely if at all inform you on important and even the highest profile scientific findings, but the scientists often do, and Twitter is an important platform for this. I love Twitter for finding scientific discussions and high quality info. However, Twitter can easily be a rabbit hole where you can spend all your time and more. There’s so much information, and you cannot know it all. I’m not so much addicted to Twitter as a concept, but I’m always hungry to learn more. It can easily become a dangerous and automated distraction from things that are more important. Therefore, I’m weaning myself off of Twitter, to the extent that I don’t want to spend more than 15 minutes of my day on it. My recent two week digital detox showed me unquestionably that over the past years I spent enough time on Twitter and email per week to finish 1-2 books in the same time. I hear a lot of people complain about not having time. I think it is often a matter of priority. I prioritized Twitter, where other parts of life were more important and deserving.

Researchgate – Like a CV for scientists. I keep it up to date, but don’t use it much besides that.

LinkedIn – These assholes tricked me into believing I needed them to find a job. It never brought me anything, and if I should believe their stats, no one would ever consider hiring me. (Maybe I’m sitting out my contract and will spiral into nothing after. Maybe they’re right…) My real opinion is that you don’t need it, but some important people sometimes share interesting stuff. No more than 5 minutes per week.

WordPress – Who in their right mind writes a blog? Or reads them? Or talks to other bloggers? Well, I do. I like writing, reading, and wp has a fun community. Nothing but love here. And in contrast to other social platforms, I spend my time here doing what I love, while creating something, and almost always in forms of self-improvement and self-exploration. Easily my most used and most appreciated platform!

That’s about it. Enough to fill your days…

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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