UPDATE: It has been 36 hours since my beautiful decision to remove the parasitic influence of social media from my life. I am happy to say that thus far I have not faltered once. I quit cold turkey, and I am staying that way. At least until the new year.
I believe I left off talking about my first experiences with Facebook. Facebook was amazing. When I was in middle school and I had sleepovers with my friends, we would gossip and confide in each other about which boy we “liked” and poured over the previous year’s yearbook and pick apart all recent interactions we had with these boys and speculate over whether they “liked” us too. Occasionally, one girl would have inside information that she “swore” not to tell anyone, and we would spend the majority of the evening trying to pry this third or fourth hand information out of her, only to have her reveal it in the early hours of the morning, causing great elation or major devastation. This was our bread and butter. This gave my meager middle school existence purpose.
Facebook took this to the next level. Suddenly, there was an online log of his interactions with EVERYONE: me, his friends, that super cute girl that he seemed to be friends with in English class but she allegedly has a boyfriend. We spent hours analyzing his page, deciding if we had a chance or not. And GOD FORBID he became “Facebook official” with another girl. We would look through every one of her pictures and talk about how she wasn’t as good as us, although wondering deep down how she photographed so well all the time, and how we could get our eyeliner to look like that.
To be continued…
I finally did it! Tonight, December 5th, 2015 at 12:48 AM, I effectively went off the social media grid! And before you ask, blogs don’t count.
For the last few weeks, my social media presence has been weighing on my mind. I kept asking myself questions, like “What are you trying accomplish?” and “What are you getting out of all of this?” Finally it dawned on me: social media has been slowly sucking the life out of me over the years!
It all began in the 5th grade. That was when I got my first email and my first instant messenger screen name. I proudly introduced firstname.lastname@example.org and the AIM screen name mydogmyra into the interwebs (I was (am) still obsessed with my dog. Can you tell?). It was completely innocent at first. I would instant message my cousin, and email back and forth with my friends from camp.
But when I began 6th grade, everything changed. Suddenly people were sending mass emails to everyone in the grade and a lot of people had my email who didn’t before. I was starting to talk to boys over AIM; I talked to boys I liked and boys my friends liked. So much drama happened over AIM; the AIM profile was the precursor to the modern day Facebook profile. You would post song lyrics, quotes, AND a list of your friends, or their initials. God forbid you list someone’s initials and they don’t list yours too, the ultimate betrayal. Any and all of my middle school relationships began and ended with AIM. It was our generation’s texting. Then Facebook happened.
The summer before my freshman year of high school, I started “dating” a guy named Paul. He was my first kiss, and I liked the idea of him more than I liked him. That’s the way it’s supposed to be when you’re 14. He kept bugging me to make a Facebook profile (probably because he wanted to update his relationship status), and finally I gave in and made one. It’s so sad that that was a turning point for me.
Facebook was the most amazing thing to happen to my high school self. Suddenly, in the middle of the summer, I knew what every person I knew was doing with their lives and how they were feeling. It wasn’t like instant message where you had to know someone’s screen name. Suddenly I could find everyone I had ever known and communicate with them whenever I felt like it. And I did. I felt closer to people than I ever had before. It was wonderful. The newsfeed updated every couple of minutes with everyone’s activity. This is what social media is meant to be. A way to connect everyone in the world together and make the world feel like a smaller place. But it quickly spun out of control.
To be continued…