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I’m proud to say I just spent a few months clean off Social Media.

There is no sugar, calories, alcoholic toxins or preservatives in any of these platforms; but time away from any screen is a detoxifying experience for both the body and mind.

I observed that the way Social Media works, is almost a paradox. Its intent is to bring everyone closer together, but I can’t help but feel it pushes us apart.

As quality of friendships are sacrificed for quantity, with our finite resources and time, we spread ourselves far too thin. What would be a few deep developed friendships sustained by regular lengthy conversations, can now be replaced by a single scroll of the newsfeed to get all the answers to conversational topics such as “how are you”  and “what’s new ?”

Sure it’s easy and we stay well informed. Sure we get the same answers, but the problem is we don’t actually ask the questions anymore.

Social Media is deteriorating the prestige in being considered someone’s friend as it becomes an obligation that technology is making easier and easier to fulfil.

Asking a question directly shows a genuine sense of interest, that as social beings, makes us feel a range of positive emotions that a “like” can’t substitute.  These positive interactions are better kept by our memory, and overtime, an affinity for the person keeps developing. Essentially, we feel human and connected.

Personally, I realised that ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ mean very little. So little – and I felt ridiculous for thinking that such buzz metrics were any sort of indication of my worth as a person.

A private text message or having just one person call or wanting to catch up cause its ‘been a while,’ would mean a lot more to me. Letters are in a league of their own; I keep every single one I receive. (Some of the most touching words ever written to me have also become tattoos.)

This is because I know there is a real level of genuine interest – as compared to when  someone’s simply pressing buttons out of boredom while on the bus, or more concerned with making an impression on everyone who’s watching the conversation take place.

I’ll acknowledge there definitely is a lot of great things about Social Media: families keep in touch; class mates find each other years later; it’s helped me to connect with other bloggers and readers. I didn’t mention these before as I wanted to explore the negative effects we don’t notice.

And I hope I’ve given you some food for thought. Just think about how Social Media has effected, not only how your friends interact with you; but how you’re interacting with your friends.

I will also say that I’m back on Social Media, but I’ve also changed how ‘I’m using.’

(Image credit to www.zenpencils.com)

2013-09-05-maron
Tags : depressionfacebookmindfullnessoptimisimSocial Mediasociety

7 Comments

  1. There were a number of reasons why I quit the Facebook ‘phenomena’, and one of the main reasons was what you mentioned about how it is actually “pushing people apart” paradoxically (another reason was from reading about other people who had given up social media, after thoughts about it, dominated their normal day to day life).
    The biggest change is the peace of mind I often experience at night – i.e. no more thoughts such as “I have to go post something to reconcile something else I said that might have offended someone I wasn’t thinking about when I posted such and such” ad infinitum; ad nausea-tum. Also, when I graduated from High School, one of the greatest feelings was that I wouldn’t have to deal with what I personally refer to as “circles of power”, which is groups of people who use power in numbers to bully around other people in High School, and I noticed that a number of people are just never going to give that up, so Sal La Vie.

    and… “We all know that person who goes way too far!” yeah, sometimes that’s me 😉

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Rain. I agree – there is certain peace at night when you’re not scrolling and rolling. One thing I’m glad for is NOT growing up in this era with social media. I can only image the pressure teenagers now feel under!

  2. I agree with what you’re saying. but you can limit your use in facebook and to use it more productively in number of ways.
    What I did is basiclly to unfollow 95% of my friend list , and then my news feed is more nice, useful and most of the stuff there are from highexsitence , 9gag and more…

    then it’s up to you what you’re going to do there, and this basic adjusment makes you more aware what you’re doing and looking for.

  3. I am a loner and it use to be a choice……now it’s just something i can’t change .
    i try facebook for the first couple of years as the place i will share my mind .i quickly grow tired of likes for what i was looking for was a conversation with……friends.
    It definitely pushed me away even further.
    I don’t stop using it ;i use it as the place i got my news and i get into fights with strangers. ..a human interaction of any kind is better than nothing i guess.
    And i use it as my dairy i keep track of my mood and emotional needs…….i share a lot with myself and i learn a lot about me.

    1. Hi Zaga. thanks for stopping by.

      I agree with you. Not all technology is bad, I mean its given me a blog and made you able to read it! There are many better sites than Facebook I’ve found for interacting with people. Especially ones where the people seem more ‘real’.

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