social_media

Does Social Media Have a Negative Impact On Your Life?

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A couple of years ago, I deactivated my Facebook account.  First for a couple of weeks or months, and then I would inevitably get sucked back in.  A few months would pass and I would deactivate yet again.  I repeated this cycle over and over again until last September I decided I was done with Facebook.  Why?  It wasn’t doing anything for me.  I was feeling depressed, and even if that wasn’t the reason for my depression it was certainly contributing to my feelings.  It’s been over a year and I don’t miss it.  Honestly.  I will outline some of my reasons in this post, but I definitely don’t want to go back.

I was late to jump on the Twitter bandwagon and  I tend to be a consumer when it comes to Twitter.  Rather than tweeting out my own thoughts or feelings, I consume media from others.  I do enjoy Instagram, mostly from a consumer perspective as well, but I do post some pictures from time to time.  The pictures I post are of my nephews or my travels, but this leads me to an interesting question about social media.  Which is – does anyone care what you’re posting?  I would argue that most people don’t care about my nephews.  Sure, they’re cute, but overall I doubt no one really “cares”.

As someone who consumes more than they produce, I am constantly looking at what other people are posting.  Aside from media outlets, I don’t find value in what people post a lot.  I’m strictly talking Twitter at this point.  I’m not trying to be harsh with this assessment, but I don’t necessarily feel like I’m gaining anything from these posts.  And I’m sure people would think the same about me if I were to post.  Which is what I alluded to above with the pictures of my nephews.  And that is one of the reasons I deactivated my Facebook account.  I stopped caring about being that involved in other people’s lives.  Does that sound heartless?  Absolutely, but let’s look at it in a different way. Why am I using social media in the first place?

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I use Twitter to get the news or find out what’s going on in the world.  Instagram acts as an escape for me.  Sometimes I see motivational posts about people who have lost a lot of weight.  Or how they’ve overcome something incredible, and that motivates me to do better in my own life.  When I was on Facebook, it just felt like I was being “nosey”.  Like I was peering into other people’s lives in a creepy kind of way.  Yes, they were inviting me in, but it felt salacious.  Some of these people I barely knew.  Maybe I had met them once, and this was a way for me to get to know them.  But that doesn’t seem right either as I never reached out to them, and they never reached out to me.

Yes, I could have scaled back my “friends”, but then why have Facebook in the first place?  Another big reason I decided to deactivate Facebook was that I was secretly becoming jealous of people.  I had recently gotten out of a long-term relationship and I  wasn’t feeling good about my life in general.  I would see people getting married and having babies, and deep down I felt jealousy and even resentment.  The latter wasn’t aimed at them necessarily, but I wondered what I was doing wrong that I couldn’t have all those joys in life.  Which is why I think social media is inherently negative.

There are so many people online who are hiding behind their Twitter handle.  Their goal in life seems to be to harass as many innocent people as they can.  For no apparent reason.  Which makes me feel poorly about social media as a whole.  This validates my reason for leaving Facebook specifically and scaling back on Twitter in the recent months.  Some people suggest that you’re not living life if you’re constantly checking your phone.  I agree with that.  My motivation for leaving Facebook was bigger than that though.  It wasn’t that I felt like I was missing out on life.  It was because I had so much to do in my real life, that I no longer had time for Facebook.  And like I mentioned, I didn’t feel good about being on there.

I didn’t purposely do a social media cleanse, or detox.  But I have heard of people doing these and whether or not they can be beneficial.  In my next post, I am going to discuss what I think are the benefits of taking a break from social media.

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