[Warning: This post is one of my most informal rants ever. I apologize & you have been warned]
I’ve been off and on with social media like an unhealthy high school relationship.
A Brief History
I have three social media accounts currently: Facebook, Instagram and Linked-In. I first got a Facebook account in High School, but after three years I had enough and deactivated it. Flash forward six years and I was required to get it again so I could manage multiple pages for my current job. I was able to stay under the radar. No one knew I had an account, so no “friends” to accept or deny. But Ashley began tagging me in pictures, and the friend requests started coming. I’ll delete it the second I am able to. I first got an Instagram account while in college in 2011. It was a new app at the time and Ashley was the only one I knew who had it. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. It didn’t take long for Facebook to see the potential of the app and acquire it. It’s never been the same. I’ve been off the platform for as short as a month and long as a year over the last 8 years. I’ve never deleted it. I had a Twitter for several years through college and a bit after, but got sick of it and got off. There isn’t much to say about my Linked-In page except, do I look hire-able?
A 3-Point Rant
One of the most annoying things about Social Media is that strangers (acquaintances) are required to do absolutely no work to know (virtually everything) about our personal lives. Because of this, I have made a constant effort to make my accounts less and less personal. I know too many people for every one of those people to have the same amount of access into my life with little to no work. (Yes, clicking on my profile and scrolling through is no work).
Another annoying thing has more to do with me than social media, but I find it frustrating how much I compare myself to others. How can one blame them though? People put their highlight reel and at times my highlight reel (yes, highlight reel) doesn’t seem to measure up. Another reason why I work to depersonalize my accounts, I don’t want people comparing themselves to me. I’m not perfect. I don’t have a perfect life, and I want to do my best to not give off that vibe.
Also, isn’t social media supposed to be social? Maybe it’s because of my 20 followers or whatever, but I never find a good conversation on social media. I love to hear different ideas and opinions, but when they’re poorly laid out in the comments, I’m left with more dissolution than any kind of fullness I would otherwise have in a face to face encounter. I’ll post opinions on Facebook and Instagram only to hear the sound of crickets, but then again this could be my fault because of my lack of friends. Whatever.
All this ranting to say, don’t delete your social media accounts. Or, do delete them, it doesn’t really effect me. What I do want to encourage you to do is not take them too seriously. In 2018 I came to the realization that most of social media is a lie. It’s a hard truth, but truth nonetheless. Whatever you do, don’t tell us you’re “taking a break” (as if anyone really cares) and then come back in a week. Did you really take a break? Did you?
So why do I stay on? Not sure. I’d have to go deep down to find the answer (sad). I guess I think it will be some value to me down the road. (You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to let go of my perfect @louisholstein twitter handle). The main platform i use is Instagram and instead of updates on my life, it is now where I showcase my art musings thematically, three frames at a time. I try not to get on the app unless I’m posting or have something to say. That may sound narssasistic, but I just don’t get inspired by the various accounts available anymore. Inspiration for me is found in Gods presence, nature, people (face to face conversations), art museums, my wife, and music.
I don’t know how long this social media wave will last but I’m thinking it’s here to stay. People want meaning and they will turn to the dumbest things to find it, social media just so happens to be one of those things right now.