*Social media here refers to facebook/twitter/instagram/snapchat. For me it excludes blogging because I don’t really interact much with people on wordpress.com, I just use it as a journal for me to rationalize my thinking and keep my memories. But of course the stuff I write below makes me sort of a hypocrite, because a blog effectively “shows” people my writing. So I do apologize for that because I’ve grown used to wordpress.com to rationalize my thinking; I find it very rejuvenating to see my thoughts pinned on a nice backdrop. I also like the whole editorial/opinion/op-ed stuff in general; I read a lot of that, and thus I guess this gives me a desire to write content similar to that of real journalists.
Today I again got the urge to use social media. Thus, again, I have to remind myself why I don’t use and refrain from using social media.
I remind myself that I need to learn to live for myself, and not for others. I shouldn’t be overly concerned with how others perceive me. I’m living life to enjoy the whole human experience, to search for the elusive holy grail of life: happiness. I’m not living life to “show” or “create” an image of myself. I mean, I think it’s a personal problem. Back when I had social media, too often I’ve found myself timing my tweets/instagram posts. I do care a lot about planning choices and planning life, but I find it difficult to be happy when I’m always thinking what my next post will be.
I remind myself how easily I get addicted to things. That’s why I don’t touch things like football, or Pokémon Go, or Twitter. When I use twitter for some time, I often get what I call “twitter thoughts”, thoughts with 140 characters that I find apt to describe my current situation. This effectively enslaves my life and my thoughts to social media; they get so intertwined that I think they shouldn’t even interact at all.
I remind myself that I don’t actually want to know every detail of someone else’s life, especially through social media. I don’t want to constantly see the best part of people, and feel inadequate. I’ve seen enough people lose confidence after reading all those “bragging” posts so prevalent on social media platforms. I’m not saying that I don’t care about people; I would rather hear their stories from them, in person (or through phone calls). I mean, to think– what’s the point of knowing every single detail of someone else’s life? Do I want to know how a bunch of you went out and had a whale of time, evidenced by candid shots of you guys lying on the beach? I’d rather not. I care about my friendship with you, and I want to accept our friendship as it is presented to me, and not through a lens that can often instill jealousy in me (cuz who can help thinking: wow, so these are your real friends. Does that make our friendship superficial?). Superficial or not, I’d rather decide in real life, in real time. Do I want to know that you ate pizza for dinner? Maybe not, unless it’s good pizza, then which I’m sure you’ll tell me in real life. Do I want to see my former best friend enjoying her life with her boyfriend, who she has neglected to tell me my heart? Tell you what– it actually breaks my heart, so I’d rather not. Social media reminds us of all the things we don’t have, and makes many things, especially friendship, feel like an illusion. Maybe I’m easily jealous, I don’t know. I just see social media as this insidious dark force that warps your mind to perceiving many things that are not there. Not sure if “warp” is an appropriate word, but that’s how I feel sometimes. I don’t think I’m mentally strong enough to be constantly disillusioned, or decide if it’s real life, or the social media world that’s actually the illusion.
Lastly, I remind myself that social media friends mean little. This is one of the biggest reasons I quit social media; in fact, it was the trigger. I can’t stand the thought of having someone like your pictures and comment or whatever, and subsequently, speak ill of you behind your back. It’s despicable. But then the question always comes back: did you assume that the person was your friend just because s/he liked your pictures and followed you and seemed nice on social media and bantered with you? Then again, maybe yes. That’s why social media is such a dangerous thing; it creates illusions that mislead you and makes you lose sight of reality.
So, I stay with my stand– no social media. While my desires sometimes scream out to social media, I steer clear away from them. I don’t, and I don’t want to get hurt twice. I rather use the time making some real friends, in real life.
Side-note: I’m not saying that people can’t make friends on social media. I’ve met communities which I have had a lot of fun with, but sadly this will always remain on a virtual level, so can virtual friends be called friends?