Good-bye social media?

I forgot for a while that I have a website. I used to spend hours and hours on this site – producing podcasts, putting up photos, writing about wine – but that has taken a back seat to other work for the past few years. Sarcastically perhaps, I used to say that blogging was what Generation X-ers did to pass time doing what they really love until they could start their career (when the Boomers retired). In some ways, I still think that I’m not totally wrong on that.

My priorities have changed since 2009 and for a lot of different reasons. When I first registered the Wine Country BC site and started posting stuff, I had no intention of writing anything. It was a front for the podcasts. This was back when I had to explain to people what a podcast was. I enjoyed every second of making a podcast but they were a lot of work. I estimate that for every 10 minutes of podcast audio, there is about an hour’s worth of time invested into producing it. It was crazy and I met so many amazing people and had some fantastic experiences. But it had to stop. Mostly because it seemed that people weren’t listening. Then when I started writing stuff, people paid attention and visits to the site went up. Social media, at the time, was better at spreading words than it was at spreading sounds.

Social media has changed a lot. It’s a different world in there. Instead of seeing what people are up to and learning about new things, it is people selling things. Some of the things are really cool (I bought a couple of City Bonfires last fall), some are interesting to watch, but most are just annoying and repetitive. I don’t know what I searched for to bring up an ad for tactical ear muffs but apparently I fit that demographic. If people aren’t selling things, then they are trying to get you to believe something. Posting an out-dated (or forged) photo to show that this politician is clearly corrupt or something and putting emojis and hashtags next to it is not constructive conversation. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

Originally, I thought that wine and social media went really well together. Wine is a social industry and it seemed to line up that way. Now it seems that social media is more divisive than it is truly social. Being interested in something is less important than being right. Disparaging someone is more important than learning something new. I want no part of that. If we’re all shouting, then it’s just noise isn’t it?

Online wine writing has changed too, but for the better. The quality is so far above my meanderings from years ago. I’m always reading Silk + Coupe Laura’s articles. She’s been publishing some of the most interesting commentary on wine and the wine scene that I’ve read in years. They range from thought-provoking and controversial to hilariously witty and sarcastic with a lot of shades of grey in between. It’s always Grand Cru-level writing. She needs to publish a book stat. Of course, I always head to read the words of the master, John Schreiner’s blog, which is always on my read list with the latest tastings and winery news. I don’t know how he keeps that pace up.

Ultimately, I stopped producing podcasts when I started writing books. I am now writing the second volume of The Sipster’s Pocket Guide. I am a little shocked that anyone bought the first one but thrilled that it made the BC best seller list. I just found out that it is going for a second printing and I’m in the throes of writing Volume 2 right now. (If any wineries want to be included, I am still in need of a few wines – rosé in particular. Contact me asap.)

As for social media, I’ve started deleting accounts and scaling back. It’s just not fun anymore. Perhaps I’ve aged out of it but something tells me that’s not it.

It’s not me. It’s you.

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