The Social Media Conundrum
Posted by Linda Sharon Connelly
Social media has become a vaccuum of opinions and unfriendliness. It has sucked me in and took over my mind and soul for a while. Especially with the election this past year and the eventful first days of our new President. Having this constant stream of news and opinion without much time to digest is not healthy for me. So much is coming at me so fast that I find myself feeling shaken and torn.
Social media can be wonderful, don’t get me wrong. It is a great way to peek into the lives of those we care about, like a photo or learn some news. In fact for my birthday party next month I created a Facebook event since it’s the easier way to keep up with people able to come or not. I have learned so much about this world, expanding my view on social issues and opposing views from mine.
However these platforms have become a place full of half truths about our lives. Posting photos that reveal part of our lives but belie our struggles. There have been times when I have hesitated to post something because I simply don’t want to deal with the fight in the comment section. At least on my personal FB account, Twitter is where I get more politcal. I feel free to do so since I don’t have as many followers and have yet to encounter any pushback on my tweets. I’m sure that day will come, but for now it’s what works for me.
Using social media also takes so much energy from me. Engaging in this way, especially if it is of a political nature. It takes energy to read through comments or finding myself getting angry at what someone has posted and so on. I have wasted so much time scrolling through multiple platforms when I could of been reading or (ahem) writing. It becomes the great time suck ( I’m looking at you Pinterest!) that hours can go by and I wonder what the heck did I accomplish today?
The reality is I often look to using social media for a bit of distraction from my own life. I admit to posting things and then checking obsessively to see how many likes or comments were made on it. When it didn’t garner the attention I had hoped for, there is disappointment. Afterall it can feel like a popularity contest. For me it has often feed into the lie that I’m not cared about. It can be so easy to do when you see posts of your friends out without you. It can lead to assumptions and often bitterness about feeling this way. I have to remind myself that a post only shows a portion of the whole picture.
Never before has humanity have so much information at our fingertips. From our phones we can see what others are up to, peek into the lives of those we admire. For me though, I need to step back a bit. To not engage quite as much and be more intentful about how I spend my time. I have many goals for this year and I believe less time spent on all of them the better it is for me.