Preppers and Social Media – Maybe It’s Time to Get Anti-Social
Preppers and Social Media
Most preppers are regular people who want the best out of life. They have families, work and engage in hobbies and extracurricular activities. They also like to stay connected with others through social media. But can social media cause more harm than good? Maybe it’s time to have a conversation of what social media is actually, subtly doing to their users.
Let me start out by telling you a little story. About two months ago, I had this situation on Instagram. You might know that Instagram is owned by Facebook. Facebook bought them out a few years back. Well, I was promoting the Hydroblu Versaflow water filter. I made a video, made a pdf tutorial, all that kind of stuff, and I was promoting it everywhere, on YouTube, Facebook and on Instagram. I even started linking to the promotion in my profile link on Instagram.
After so many weeks, I decided to go ahead and change my profile link back to the main Prepper Website page. But when I tried to do it, Instagram kept telling me that Prepper Website was a link that was against their community standards. That’s kind of weird because I always had Prepper Website linked there. I did a little bit of research, but then I just finally settled on leaving in the podcast website in the profile link. Instagram won’t allow Prepper Website, but they will allow The Prepper Website Podcast! That doesn’t make any sense, but there you go.
When Social Media is Anti-Social
So I figured that was going to be the extent of my issues. Then, a couple of days later, I realized that I couldn’t link to Prepper Website on Facebook either. I noticed it when someone in the Facebook group had asked a question and I was linking to one of the tags in the tag cloud where they could go do some research and find some articles if they wanted to.
I noticed that when I would type the URL in, it would look like it was there. But it looked like it was still in draft. It wouldn’t post! I tried some other websites and I was able to post those. I took a screenshot and asked members of the group to see if they experienced the same thing. Other group members tried to share Prepper Website and it told them that Prepper Website was against their community standards.
I never got a warning from Facebook or Instagram or anything like that. This happened all of a sudden. So I did a little bit of research. You can’t talk to anyone at Facebook. You can just “try” to research. Your research will take you to forums and different things like that. Facebook always points you back to the same page. You never really get any answers.
Finally, as a last-ditch effort, there was one place where you can ask Facebook to review their decision, but it was just a button. I did click the button to get the action reviewed a couple of times.
Then I noticed, probably about a week later, all of a sudden, I could start posting to Prepper Website again, I didn’t get an email or notification or anything. I just tried it and all of a sudden I could post again.
The Start of My Mind-Change
All this left a bad taste in my mouth about Facebook and Instagram. I knew that this was coming because we hear about conservatives being throttled back, like on Twitter and on Facebook. There have been some conservative and religious organizations that have had their pages completely wiped out. People built their whole web presence on social media, instead of their websites and email lists and now they have lost the ability to communicate with their followers.
Some of them have lost their livelihood because they built their business around social media, and now they have nothing left! There are many stories like this!
So they can easily ban conservatives and Christian groups and I feel it’s just a matter of time before they start doing it to preppers. I think it is going to happen because most preppers are a little more right-leaning or conservative-leaning and some of the political views that preppers put out there are going to be targeted. I feel we are going to see this more and more as we get closer to the next big election. So just consider this a warning. This is just what I feel. This is purely my opinion.
So then after a couple of weeks of this first incident, I got another ding on Facebook.
But Wait! There’s More Social Media Fun!
There is no way that I sit at my computer and link to everything that I link to. A lot of the links I share on social media are automated. A while back, I created a Facebook page based on the second most viewed page on Prepper Website, The Alt. News Hub. This page has tons of alternative news sources. It updates as their feeds update. You can get a lot of alternative news all on one page.
Well, I can see how the Facebook bots thought that this was some nudity. So, when it asked if I agreed with the block on the post, I agreed. Well, then a little bit later on, I realized when I was on Facebook that I couldn’t like someone’s post. A pop-up said something like, “you can’t like or respond to anything for 24 hours. So then I didn’t worry about it anymore that evening. However, I ran into some issues the next day when I tried to post my daily devotional.
I primarily use Facebook for three reasons. I administer the Prepper Website Facebook Group. Second, I do a Thursday night devotional for my church, people can come online and watch it live, or they can watch the recorded version. And, I also share my devotional every morning. I do this because I want to be a blessing to other people and encourage them in the Lord!.
So the next day after getting dinged, I tried to post my devotional, it wouldn’t let me. It still said, You still have so many hours Bla..bla..bla…on your ban, whatever! So I realized I couldn’t even post my devotional to my own profile because of this ban.
It’s Controlling You!
I started thinking about how much Facebook was controlling my ability to communicate. I mean, this is crazy. I’m jeopardizing my ability to share the gospel, share my devotionals and also the ability to do my Thursday night Facebook broadcast for the church. If that block would have been on a Thursday night, I wouldn’t have been able to do my LIVE.
I don’t want to be banned from doing the LIVE for the church, so I started taking off all the feed’s that we’re going to the Alt News Hub page because there might be another thing that goes to Facebook that might show something that goes against their community standards, for whatever reason.
But then, I started thinking that Facebook was really conforming the way that I was thinking. Facebook was conforming me to what they want and what they think is acceptable They are dictating what THEY think should be made public for others to see!
This is a form of brainwashing to a point! Due to their bans and what they deem appropriate, they cause you to operate in a way that you might not normally operate. It’s training you! You post what they say is right.
Easy to Connect – Easy to Control
So many people are on Facebook and other social media platforms. They make it very, easy for people to connect. And they serve up what you want. If you click on a video with cats, they’re going to give you more cats. You click on, preparedness articles, they’re going to serve up more preparedness.
But at the same time, they’re throttling back those things that they don’t believe in. So conservative views, patriotic views, things that go against anything that they believe is not right.
“Hey, we think that you could have any political view that you want and we’ll serve up any political view that you want, just as long as it doesn’t go against what we believe is right. We’ll let you see any kind of religious thing that’s out there, just as long as it doesn’t go against what we think.”
They get to control the narrative. They get to control what you see. They use algorithms that are out there feeding you content! They’re sharing what they want you to see. And that’s going to be a problem. Because if we say what we truly want to say, Facebook might tell us that we are “acting badly” and then we’re going to Facebook jail for not posting the right stuff.
When I was in Facebook jail, I could get on and see other’s posts, but I couldn’t communicate in any way. I couldn’t even give a “like.”
Think about it! A few times of that happening, for someone who is really a heavy user of Facebook, and they’ll start to conform to their behavior modification scheme. Think about young people who are always on social media and how they are being influenced!
Do Not Pass Go!
I know people that have been put in jail for a week and some for a month and some for even longer because of something that they shared. Again it’s Facebook saying, “Hey, don’t share that kind of stuff or you’re not going to be allowed to play in our app anymore. You’re not going to be allowed to play on our website anymore.”
So many people are on social media. So many people are on Facebook and on Instagram and they have become so used to the ease of staying in constant communication with others.
You can go to a restaurant today and see people sitting around the table. They’re on their phones on social media! It’s not hard to see someone walking and they’re on their phones with their heads down. The other day I was in a meeting. We had a moment to take a little bit of a break. I noticed that people had their heads buried in their phones and some were even scrolling through Facebook, seeing who liked their posts or seeing who responded to something. Facebook has worked our minds into wanting to be on the social media platform. And as they’ve done that, they can then start to dictate how they want us to behave.
I think that this is a really scary thing. And you might want to start thinking about how you need to navigate social media. I know for myself that I’m going to be toning back on all of it!
The first time I had my issue with Facebook and Instagram, it really kind of just ticked me off a little bit. But this last time caused me to really start thinking about what they’re doing. They’re programming us! They are programming you to behave and to share only the things that they deem appropriate. And then, if you don’t, you can’t play and you can’t be on their social media platform.
We Need Answers!
What is the answer to Facebook and Instagram? They’ve made it easy for us to be able to communicate and to be able to connect. I have met people from the preparedness community that I probably wouldn’t have been able to meet if it wasn’t for social media.
You still have forums that are out there. I also believe that email is a very powerful way to communicate.
They can do what they want. They can change the algorithms. They can even decide how much preparedness content you see. They can serve up more cats to you if they want! They get to dictate what you see there.
But when you are in charge, when you are subscribed to an email list or when you are subscribed to, and RSS feed or you go to websites, there’s nobody else controlling your actions there. You decide to go to a forum and take part in that forum and respond. Forum’s don’t have algorithms making the decision of what you’re seeing and what they’re serving up to you.
Again, social media has made it very easy for the masses. It’s this little button on your phone. You click on it and you can see all this stuff, but at the same time, what is it doing to you? It’s programming you to respond and to behave the way that they want you to.
Some people will say, well Todd, I don’t care. I’m just going to continue to get banned. All right! And that’s fine. But here’s the thing. What if they get to a point where they don’t ever allow you back on. Do you have other means of getting information? Are you on an email list that we will provide you with good information?
Right now on my email list, on Saturday, I send out the Saturday prep. Sometimes I send out an email on a Tuesday or maybe possibly on a Thursday. But I have a list that I can communicate with people. If I needed to communicate on a more regular basis, I could easily share important information that’s pertinent to preppers! It’s not controlled by anybody but me! There is also the Prepper Website forums that you could be a part of.
So start thinking about where you stand and where you fall on this.
What am I going to do?
I’m going to continue to use social media but with some really big changes. I’m going to continue to use Facebook to share my daily devotional. I do this on my personal profile. I’m going to continue to use Facebook to do my LIVE devotional for the church that I do on Thursday nights. I’m looking into options just in case Zuck starts banning preppers and I can’t use my Facebook account for this. I’m also going to drop into the Facebook group and moderate posts when I need to. I’ve already tapered this off greatly! (Sorry to those in the group!)
I also deleted the Facebook APP and Messenger from my phone. At the time I’m writing this article, I haven’t uninstalled the Instagram APP, but I’m really close to doing that since I’m not actively posting daily.
I’m still keeping the Twitter APP because I use it mainly for news. I think it is a good place to get news really fast and a smart move for preppers.
In the time I’ve cut back on social media, I really haven’t felt any loss. At first, there was that automatic look at your phone to pull up the APP that so many do. But after a while, that stopped.
I’m not going to actively try to build up my following on social media. I’m still sending automatically to a few places, but that will probably stop because I’m not going to renew the software subscription that allows me to do that. It will continue this way until they stop controlling their platforms so much, which I never see happening. Again, as I said, I think it’s just a matter of time before they start focusing on the preparedness community.
What can you do?
Feel free to continue to use social media. Be aware that they are sucking up your time and feeding you what they want you to see! However, you might want to try a social media fast. Tell your followers that you are going to be off of social media for a week and see how it goes.
You should be on the email lists of those preparedness websites you trust. Some send daily and some when a new post comes out. But I think it is important to be connected in this way. Email providers are not connected to websites. So even if a website goes down, an email list is still a means of communication.
Also, there are forums that you can be a part of. There are many out there focused on preparedness. Prepper Website has one that is private for those who purchased my ebook, “The Preparedness Communities Guide to a Microbiz and Increasing Your Finances.”
And lastly, you can support the websites that provide preparedness content. There are costs that come with running a website and when you support preparedness websites, you help to ensure that they can keep operating.
When I first started in preparedness, there were many preppers who wouldn’t take part in social media. They did it from more of a privacy concern. I couldn’t understand that, because once you are on the internet, there is a track record of what you’re searching and reading. As the need for website owners became greater to drive traffic to their sites, this view started to change and now you don’t hear many preppers warning against the privacy dangers of social media like you once did. They still do, it’s just not as much as before.
However, I will admit that there was another danger that I didn’t consider, the danger that social media is/was conditioning the masses on what and how to think. It is something that every prepper should rethink and adjust as they see fit.
The question and responsibility are yours. What will you do?