A few recent conversations have me thinking differently about social media. I have a facebook, instagram, twitter and this blog, which is new and hopefully the most productive of all these outlets. These people that I
talked to don’t participate in any of these and it had me questioning why not. Then later, I started questioning myself why. Why do so many people engage in social media in their everyday lives?
At first it seemed weird to me that people choose not sign up for facebook, add hundreds of “friends” read all aspects of peoples’ lives and share every aspect of theirs. 10 years ago, if I bought a drink from Starbucks, I didn’t have the urge to tell the whole world about it or snap a picture of it. I bought it, drank it, enjoyed it, and threw it in the trash. I feel like I probably savored it more because it was a treat and I lived in the moment, undistracted. I’m not judging either way, because I’m just as guilty and the next person for doing these types of things on a regualr basis.
But I have to admit, lately, I’ve been thinking about the power (good and bad) of social media, the need to be in the know instantaneously and the need to let people know your business instantly. For every LOL, OMG, IKR and all of those other anangrams that I have used, everyday, I think about signing into facebook and deleting people from my friends list that I haven’t seen or talked to in a long time. What business do they have knowing all of my business, or I ask myself the question “If I were getting married, would I invite this person to my wedding?” if the answer is no, then should they be my facebook friend? Then I stop and tell myself that I may be taking it all just a bit too seriously. Obviously, I go back and forth.
In a lot of ways, I like twitter better because I hardly know anyone on there, except a few (my dad included), but I feel like I can be a bit more open, talk about my passion for writing, the San Francisco Giants, music and fashion and not feel like I’m going to get judged or have a family member leave a weird comment.
I believe in capturing moments with friends and family, candid shots of a night out, a baby shower, a trip out of town, or any moment that you spend time with those that you love. When did those photos become for everyone? When did the amount of likes and comments dictate the specialness (probably not a word) of these moments. Which is another issue I have with all of this. If I post a picture of myself, the way I feel about it is dependent of whether its gets 50 likes versus if it gets 12, if it gets less than that, I’ll probably delete it. I hate that. Not the fact that I have 400 and something followers and this picture barely pushed a number of likes with 2 digits, but I hate the fact that I’m so aware and that I even care. These pictures and the amount of attention it garners does not determine self-worth.
I do love that facebook allows for people to be connected with one another, especially family and friends that live so far away. I love that I can see my cousin and her children in pictures and be updated on what is going on in their lives. I’ve come to realize that the line between healthy sharing and oversharing is so fine. Yes, I want to see the award your daughter earned from school; no, I don’t want to see your boring subway sandwich. Yes, I want to see your engagement ring or the cute pair of shoes you bought; no, I don’t want to see what fortune was in your fortune cookie. I have to be careful of all these practices myself, because honestly, I am sucked into it all, but I’m trying to find that balance. Does a night out with my girls or with my boyfriend mean as much even if I don’t post about it on my page? To me, yes it does. If I didn’t stop to post a pic on Instagram, doesn’t that mean more time I have on the dancefloor? More time for another great conversation? Maybe I’ll just post things after the fact #latepost.
I’ve seen social media cause so much drama. Girls wanna know how her boyfriend knows this girl and that girl and “Why is she liking all of your pics?” “How come you haven’t changed your relationship status?” I’ve been victim to this, it will drive you crazy, you’ll be wanting his password, searching for clues, checking the phone. You’ll be convinced you could be the next Sherlock Holmes because of your investigation skills. It’s not worth it. If you’re insecure or your relationship has no trust, facebook and instagram won’t help.
Oh and facebook arguments. #icant. You look dumb and if there are any typos in your argument, then forget about winning that one at all.
I’m getting older and I crave deep, meaningful relationships with people, my people. My circle is small and I love it that way. I don’t want to spend my life staring at a phone or computer, faking friendships. I want to get out there, live life, laugh, dance, write, and take a lot of pictures. All for myself, and the people I love, not for the world. I’m working on this…really, I am.