For Years, We Have Tolerated Social Media’s Role In Our Lives. Maybe It’s Time To Admit It’s Lost Its Relevance
I thought I’d need to go cold turkey but it turns out social media has lost its luster.
“She Facebooks every day,” was the opening line one of my best guy friends said when he and the husband met for the first time. Contrary to what many people said about me, I wasn’t hooked on Facebook. At least not in the sense where I would be mindlessly scrolling through my feed, checking out what friends posted about.
There was a period of time when I used Facebook in a very considered manner. I divided my “friends” into lists and I would use the privacy settings to control who could see what post on my profile. The idea was really so I could bitch about someone to everyone without that person being able to see it. Controlling who saw what was also necessary because I did not want my family to read my super-emo posts and worry about me.
Then it came to be that social media wasn’t all that sacred anymore — at least that was what it felt like to me. Maybe I just stopped caring what people thought of my outbursts on Facebook. Most of my posts are now set to Public.
In the last 6 months or so, I have found myself muting or unfollowing people on Facebook. First, because I honestly am not interested in what is going on in their daily lives. Second, because a lot of people are best ignored on social media. These days, I couldn’t even be arsed if a post was liked or commented on. If friends liked a post, yay. If a post wasn’t getting any reaction, I move on.
That’s just how I use Facebook. I have very different relationships with other social media platforms.
Twitter — I’ve tried several times to form a tweeting habit. I always end up finding it a very pointless exercise after a month or so.
Instagram — OK. It’s a good place to share some photos of your life, of your dog’s life, still has some potential as a marketing platform, generally requires very low emotional investment.
LinkedIn — This is still useful because it’s a professional platform and you can use it to maintain a profile to attract future employers or prospective clients. But because people generally are well-behaved on LinkedIn, it’s not the place to go for your mindless goss and incendiary news.
Which brings me to the point of my post today:
Given my apathy and ambivalence towards Facebook and its influence on my life now, I think I’m going to cut some people loose. The people whom I’m likely going to remove as friends fit into one or more of the conditions below:
One, we connected on Facebook because the women’s magazine world demanded that we needed to pretend to be interested in each other’s lives.
These are probably “friends” made in the beauty and fashion industries. Brand managers, marketing people, PRs, etc. It was fun hanging out and thanks for the freebies. But ever since I quit magazines, you’ve not really made an effort to stay connected so I’m guessing I’m just making up numbers on your Facebook profile anyway.
Two, we went to the same school and for some reason, we thought one day, we might need to reconnect.
Maybe because you thought if we ever had to attend some alumni dinner, I might want to make up a table with you. Maybe because we had this hope that social media would melt away years of not keeping in touch. Anyway, I hardly see my old school “people” like or comment on my posts so I don’t think they’ll notice if I removed myself from their Friends list.
Three, I’m no longer interested in what’s going on in your life OR, have found myself annoyed by the kind of news you’ve been sharing.
Life is too short to stay friends with people you don’t want six-foot from your front door.
I’m not going to post one of those, “Heads up, I’m going to declutter my social media! If you are still interested in staying friends, please like or comment on this post.” I mean … it would be really embarrassing if no one responded!
But ego aside, I think my reason for not doing that is because, with the people I want to stay in touch, we have our own ways of remaining connected.
Real friends don’t need social media to remain in each other’s lives.
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A little about the author:
My day-job is that of a CEO of an edtech startup. When I’m not working at trying to make the business succeed, I’m mum to a 4-year-old rescue dog named Toufu, and wife to a personal trainer with an insane love for ultra-marathons and Quentin Tarantino movies. I love my food so the only way I can blaze those calories is through a mixture of spinning, bootcamping, and rock-climbing. I have 7 tattoos and was chased out of an onsen in Hokkaido because the one of my shoulder looks too “yakuza”. I host a podcast on Learning called “Humanizing Learning” and you can find it on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
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