Essays

Another social media edition

I hate social media.

Haha, no, that is a lie. I don’t hate social media, but it is often thrown in my face that it is a thing that has a subtle power that a) can and will grind you down if you’re not careful, and b) one needs to choose for herself what works and doesn’t work.

A few weeks ago, I put my Facebook account on ice and it’s been such a relief to not have it chittering in the background like rats in a wall when you’re trying to sleep.

It is not that Facebook, in and of itself, is “bad.” I’m not talking about the Russian ads drama or the Facebook makes you suicidal pain, or any of that. Facebook can be a really great way to keep in touch and up to date with friends and all that jazz.

For me, the problem was that I had too many “friends” who weren’t my actual friends. While I could spend hours pruning or shutting people off my newsfeed or dealing with the random “blasts from the past” that would never have remembered my name except for how easy (read: too easy) Facebook made it for them to find me, I could also just do what I did:

Shut it down.

Me being me, I shut Facebook down and IG, but I love pretty pictures and the latter got restored in a week, tops. But, the former, after that slight period of “but what if something happens that I want to go to or I want to hear about or–” (FOMO), it just stopped.

The noise, all of it, just stopped.

I no longer was filling my momentary down time with stupidity or watching “friends” rant at each other and tear each other down, watching communities I’d known and loved disintegrate into ratchet troll farms. I no longer had these zombie hands reaching out of long lost cemeteries with “Hey Cass, remember me” or Facebook doing it for them with that stupid and irritating “Memories” function.

Nope, all of that noise and all of that funk was gone. In its place, I kept the pretty pictures, but I also made space in my actual life for actual things and people that enrich my days. Not 800+ people; maybe around 10-15? Not a neverending cacophonous stream of news and notifications and announcements; just lots of texts, some emails, and Skype.

This is not my final word on social media. One day in the future I’m sure I’ll get on a soapbox about Snapchat, LinkedIn, and what in the world Sarahah is, but today, all I’ve got is: Facebook out. Instagram still in. Dark social (text / email) me if you want to find me. Call me if you’re daring.

And, I still don’t know what to do with Tumblr. Or Pinterest. Or–

Whatever. Did you see that gorgeous picture of that bridge in Lofoten, Norway? Yeaaaaaa–

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