I’m not much for social media. I cross-post from LinkedIn to Twitter and Facebook. I’m active on Facebook. I don’t do TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, or any of the myriad other social platforms. There are simply too many, and I have too few hours in the day and even less interest. So, let’s be candid: social media is not my forte.

It’s strange, though, what pops up in my news feed.

I saw a picture of the aurora borealis and clicked “Like” on it. Now I’m getting oodles of photos from diverse sites showing pictures of those mysterious and gorgeous northern lights. The same goes for the photos of the vintage Deusenberg, the skillfully crafted quilt, and the bouquet of flowers that crept into my news feed. Now my news feed is packed with such photos.

I once checked out a “DDlg” book because I’d never read one before, didn’t know what the abbreviation meant, and wanted to see if it was a new genre to add to my reading list. Um … no, it wasn’t. But now I get book promos for DDlg books despite my aversion to them.

I see memes of political and social commentary that align with my personal opinions more often than anything not corresponding to what I think and feel.

I just ordered a new butter dish on Amazon because I was feeling too lazy to go shopping. I wonder how long it will be before I start seeing ads for kitchen appliances and tools and dishes will saturate my news feed.

The interconnectedness of our lives is, frankly, disturbing. On one hand, I’m often intrigued by many of the book promos that pop up in my news feed. I enjoy seeing the various new books being advertised in my preferred genres. I even buy some of them. However, the deluge of advertisements overwhelms posts by people I know. I do a whole lot of scrolling to find an friend’s or family member’s update.

I’ve noticed that ignoring the multitude of posts showing off flowers, cars, castles/mansions, quilts, and more doesn’t make them go away. Even worse, advertisements for stuff in which I am utterly not interested (e.g., exercise programs) further saturates my news feed even though I occasionally go through the “don’t show me this ad again” routine that Facebook or LinkedIn demands to remove the content from my news feed.

Granted, I do participate in several online groups. My participation in these groups entails learning from others and teaching others. It’s a give-and-take exchange as well as a marketing activity. I hope that the contribution of my time and expertise convinces someone to hire me to either write, edit, or format their content, just as much as I hope to learn from other, more experience, better skilled professionals and maybe find one or two to assist me with my projects.