I have been an avid user of social media as far as I could remember. From Friendster, to Yahoo! Messenger, to Multiply, then eventually to Facebook, plus a few blogsites – name it, I would have at least started an account with it.
As a natural introvert, I surprisingly found social media to be a cozy venue and outlet for all the musings and rants I cannot voice out in person. I jumped into it during my teenage years, thinking that I would somehow “fit” into social circles, and find myself “up-to-date” with the latest events about my friends’ and other contacts’ lives. I convinced myself that it’s a great way to stay connected especially to long-parted friends (since I really don’t like burning bridges or ending communication with them).
For me, back then, social media is one of the greatest human inventions ever made and I was glad to grow in an era when it bloomed.
However, right now, I don’t think I am enjoying it the way I used to years ago.
It feels like I’m outgrowing it. There are a few times this year when it dawned on me that FB in particular was childish, worse, pretentious in a lot of ways, and finding myself trying to “fit in” still, makes me feel like one.
Experts say that FB impacts self-esteem. I realize how it’s true. Each day now, when I am all exhausted after an over-time of work, I would browse through my newsfeed and would see posts of people travelling, going places, achieving much, shopping luxuries, and eating gastronomic food. I then would wonder if they truly lead the kind of life they want or are supposed to live. ‘Cause they make me feel like I don’t.
When I first joined social media sites too back in high school, people who love to post a self-captured photo of their faces are teased as vain. Now, this gesture is sugarcoated as a #selfie – a trending “hip” thing which currently floods my newsfeed. I hope it’s only a fad which will go away eventually. Or I’d suggest that FB should just give out mirrors to the most publicized faces to satiate vanities.
These are few of the reasons I am really considering to quit FB – to get away from the noise of a seemingly glamorous, fun, and perfect world everybody are pretending to be in (yes, including me).
Through years of FB-ing, I finally felt how FB really impairs genuine interaction among people. Honestly, I don’t interact with my closest friends through FB a lot. To achieve depth in relationships, you need to really work on breaking the walls created by time and space between you. And the FB wall is literally a wall which gives a false sense of intimately knowing a person. As I read through most of my friends’ posts, I just feel more and more alien to the kinds of lives they lead now and wonder if they are still the same people I’ve known before. The answer is obvious.
NOT TO QUIT
Facebook is indeed a genius in making all sorts of people stick to it. Even though I’m almost being turned off by so many posts in the newsfeed, I can’t bear to erase my account due to the wide array of articles, links, and videos being shared which are actually helpful and informative.
Also, the timeline format which satisfies one’s nostalgic feels also serves as an archive which you cannot afford to burn in one click. Add to that messages and conversations which are a level deeper and more “real” than public posts.
In a number of ways, and with the right amount of self-constraint, spending time to filter for what’s really substantial can still make facebook time a worth—it time.
Some worthy reads:
5 Questions to Ask Before Posting to Social Media by Relevant Magazine
5 Reasons Millenials are Quitting Facebook by Mashable.com
*image from guardianlv.com