Practical Tips On Management of Social Media Engagement

  • This thread was prompted by a comment of Randall Moose posed here.

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    Speaking for myself as a 26 year old American, my peers rely on social media for their social lives. I have made an effort to find friends through hobbies such as D&D. The house I share with my roommates is the primary meet up spot for D&D, board games, MtG, CoD, movies, dinners, and nights around the fire pit.

    That thread will contain some responses but this is such a big subject that we need a thread for the single topic: What practical advice can we give from an Epicurean perspective for managing social media engagement? I know some of us have almost completely given up (or never started) with such things as Facebook and Twitter, but on the other hand social media is almost a necessity for gathering information in modern life.


    What Epicurean-focused advice can we give for making sure use of social media works for a happy life rather than against it?

  • Subscribe to science pages. One cannot enjoy pure pleasure without the Study of Nature.


    Avoid. Politics.


    Focus on engaging people who share similar goals; in our case, groups that encourage the mutual study of Epicurus' teachings (Epicurean Philosophy, Society of Epicurus, Epicurean Memes For Hedonistic Beings, etc.)


    Avoid. Politics.


    Coordinate physical meetings. Social Media is integral to social organizing in the 21st-century (if we want to).


    Avoid. Politics.


    Correct ignorant people who don't vote for the right candidate ... no, just kidding.


    Avoid. Politics.


    Support each other's study. There is something to be said for serving our friends and protecting our interests, and providing friends with study tools and educational resources. (Share books!)


    I think I made my point about politics. While we're at it, avoid getting into arguments with monotheists.


    That also goes for Stoics, too. If you prioritize discussions with Christians and Stoics...


  • That also goes for Stoics, too.

    The question is, when does open and appreciative discussion become toxic argument? (Well, I think you can tell in the instance.) My oldest son is very much a Stoic -- and it really comes out of his well-meaning concerns for other people's well-being and a sense of justice. We have always had the ability to argue hard -- and then laugh about it (while our wives are laughing at both of us! 8|  :D ). But we do avoid the toxicity. I have no desire to convince him to be an Epicurean -- or anything else. But even that kind of argument has become distasteful to me. Time better spent in another kind of communion. Maybe Max Ehrmann had it right in his Desiderata: "Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others ... ."

    "We must try to make the end of the journey better than the beginning, as long as we are journeying; but when we come to the end, we must be happy and content." (Vatican Saying 48)

  • I left Facebook a while back but rejoined it for business reasons. For businesses, it is virtually unavoidable so it requires some skillful application of one's participation. I also joined some less well-known platforms to see how they work and whether the experiences on them differ. (MeWe, Gab, Minds). They do differ, but that is a separate topic.


    For Facebook, here are a couple of suggestions. First, apply the "live unknown" idea by creating a separate page for yourself with a chosen name. I did this recently using the name "Mindmuser". It has 0 followers at the moment, but its purpose is to be able to interact in groups anonymously.


    With comments, arguments, etc. always be positive and constructive. Never engage in pointless arguments. A guideline I use is a response limit. This means if I initiate a post and someone comments with an argument, I will respond once. If they come back with more arguing, I don't continue. It is not easy to do this as it will feel like resigning. But if I've made my point twice, once in the post and again in that first reply, there's no more to say.


    Here is the most important point. You are not writing, replying, commenting, etc. for the individual who is engaging you. You are writing for all the silent readers who are quietly interested in what you are saying.

  • A guideline I use is a response limit. This means if I initiate a post and someone comments with an argument, I will respond once. If they come back with more arguing, I don't continue. It is not easy to do this as it will feel like resigning. But if I've made my point twice, once in the post and again in that first reply, there's no more to say.


    Here is the most important point. You are not writing, replying, commenting, etc. for the individual who is engaging you. You are writing for all the silent readers who are quietly interested in what you are saying.

    I like this concept. If we have something meaningful to contribute, it is good to share, and perhaps follow-up with clarification if required, but beyond that, discussion with strangers invites conflict.

  • Thanks, Nate. I'm personally somewhat averse to conflict. I don't like arguing although I usually enjoy clarifying new information.


    Also, I've made the mistake of arguing with strangers online. It has never, ever gone well.


    And sadly, I've done it more than once. Slow learner! :P