Taking a break from social media- temporarily or permanently. I have found myself in a position where I want to remove social media. And I did. There are so many issues behind this falsification within the social media community that it becomes unhealthy on so many levels. Listen, don’t get me wrong, I used to LOVE social media, especially Instagram. I loved creating my own little profile/identity within the world and displaying my adventures, happy moments, sad moments- they were all there. But, something you don’t realize on the forefront is that it can create a cyclone of issues. Here are just a few of my thoughts.
Number one. Time. I have found myself passing time by scrolling through everyones highlight reels, stories, posts, snaps, rants, etc. I have also found myself discovering interesting memes that I end up wanting to post myself or getting excited about posting something of my own. I do this while waiting in a checkout line, at the doctor’s office, when I lay down at night or when I wake up in the morning, between meetings, you name it. It’s a total buzz kill on my daily production scale and my solution to increase productivity is to eliminate it for the time being or permanently. We shall see. I am a woman of thoughts and ideas- always have been. I used to daydream, create and/or just wander around looking for something fun to do, but I have found that I just fill the gaps of time with browsing. It has taken away my creativity on how to entertain myself, organically. And the crazy part is, I wasn’t doing it intentionally. It’s a habit that builds up over time.
Number two. People are fake, superficial and have a hell of a lot of confidence behind a phone and/or computer screen. I have seen how people are “socially” behind a keyboard and how they really are in reality and it’s astonishing how different the two are. People have become unauthentic and have lost their own identity due to someone else’s voice/opinions. What’s the point in creating an image for people to believe if that’s not who you really are? Are you that insecure of yourself? I’m sick of watching the reality show with all of its dramatics and theatrical clips. It’s also a coward’s outlet to throw shade and use it to create suspense. When did society become so fake and cowardly? Maybe it’s how society has always been, but now there’s a much greater channel to display it. I have found that it’s the new way to find out if people are mad at you or not (if people even still say “mad at _______” anymore). “Oh, [insert random name] isn’t following me anymore, omg what did I do!?” It’s sad, really. Call me old-fashioned but if I have an issue with someone (someone that I give a shit about), I pick up the phone and make it known one-to-one. If it’s someone that I don’t give a shit about, I don’t say shit, because it’s irrelevant. Am I right? When I post(ed) something on social media, it’s real; fully-developed, thought out, intentional, unmodified. I am who I am. If you don’t like it, I am more than fine with that. I don’t need a social following to feel accepted or good about myself. This is probably my biggest concern of this post because this is an issue that will never go away within our society. There are teenagers who grew up knowing social media as a norm; bullying, having confidence behind a screen, but then having zero identity within the real world. Then, those teens grow up and suffer from some serious social adversities. That’s an entire post on its own.
Number three. The comparison game. I read a good article recently that talked about how social media displays the greatest of the greatest and it diminishes our own dreams. Now, you’ll probably argue with me on this one because a lot of people find motivation from other’s accomplishments which I’m not denying. However, the point of this article was that when we’re hit with the perfect bodies of professional fitness vloggers, watching the greatest pianists, listening to the most successful motivational speakers, admiring the best artists, following celebrities born into their wealthy lives, you name it- our own goals and aspirations are diminished because we feel that we’ll never be as great as they are. You essentially get wrapped up in the entertainment. It’s an interesting point. For example, I follow(ed) this gorgeous pianist on Instagram who played the MOST beautiful pieces of music. Seriously, I could watch/listen to her for hours. I stopped playing piano because that little voice inside goes on and on “you’ll never be able to play as well as she does, she’s been playing since before she could crawl!” It’s only human nature to compare, so it’s not like there is something wrong with us when this happens. Now, I could very well have stopped playing because of poor time management, but it’s an interesting point. Maybe half has been this feeling of not being good enough and half was just not making the time to practice. It is suggested that if we remove ourselves from the charade of top-performing participants, we may be able to give ourselves the opportunity to shine. This goes back to my idea of the perfection discussion in my Pie Chart of Life post. Social media displays perfection (even when it’s not), but our minds think that perfection has already been accomplished so we retreat. You’ve heard this before, but it’s a highlight reel- a false representation of reality. Honestly, we’re all guilty of this one- no one wants to post about the sweat, blood and tears within a journey. We post about the finished product.
Number four: Impersonal! I miss the days when we received news via phone calls or someone just stopping by the house! Now, we find out updates via social posts. And, look, I am 120% guilty of this! I have about 3 really close friends and we do stay pretty current on each other’s lives outside of social media, so what I’m referring to here are the rest of the people. I do believe that there are bigger gaps between friendships because we rely so heavily on social media to do the work for us.
Number five. Security. You know, it’s funny how the internet works; how easily it can be to found out someone’s sensitive information. I do blame social media for this. Hello, Facebook! Do you read the news!? I like to go under the radar just from a privacy standpoint. There are people who I do not wish to contact me/see me (surprise!), etc, but somehow they manage to find me. When you block someone on Facebook ten years ago but don’t think to block them on Instagram because you honestly forget and they end up finding you on IG (eye roll). And lets just throw in that you have a face to the entire freaking social world- blocked or not, you have a face somewhere on the interwebs! FY-freaking-I. There’s something very exhilarating and peaceful about ghosting from the world.
Number six. It’s a sickness. Whether you want to accept it or not, social media is a sickness. Have you seen the Black Mirror episode “Nosedive” or the 60-minutes episodes on the dangers of social media!? Check this one out- The Dangers of Social Media Addiction. I’ll just leave it at that.
Number seven. Obsession. Why is it so entertaining to just scroll across a bunch of posts of people who I may or may not care about? Or seeing things I really don’t care about such as ads, etc. Think about it- there are hundreds of people connected to you, each time you open your app, you’re going to see SOMETHING new! Talk about free entertainment and a vicious cycle. You get caught up in the show!
Now, I’m not going to make this a total social media rant on how terrible it is. I do find that it’s helpful when keeping in contact with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends that have moved away, etc. And, hey, the birthday reminders are pretty dope when you can’t remember someone’s special day! Unless you’re me, because I (un)fortunately have a ridiculous memory when it comes to birthdays. Just because I’m blogging about these downfalls to social networking, doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t say all of this to anyone. I definitely feel pretty saddened and disappointed about the direction of our society, but I’ll leave that for another post. I feel like my Grandmother just spoke through me on that last sentence (throws hands up)!
My study will be this- hit the pause button on social media for some time (not quite sure how long yet) and just observe the behavior of my daily mood, activity, productivity, etc. Obviously, I’m going to take notes and share all with my readers. If you’re still reading this, go you! This was a long post.