I almost struggled 10 years to make a decision about whether to use social media or not. I created account and deleted it several times due to confusion. An insight that I got recently helped me in making concrete choice – that I shouldn’t use social media to express myself.
Previously I was confused because I believed that Social Media provides a platform to create and share content. I also believed that I can stay connected to my childhood friends or friends who are away from me and also my extended family. I also liked the features that social media platforms offer for free of cost. They allow us to upload unlimited number of files. Platforms like instagram provides an opportunity to edit photos and add music to videos easily. Tasks that are almost impossible without proper software becomes easy and possible when we use social media platforms.
But still I am not willing to use the social media platforms and benefits that they provide! That is because I realized few things. Relationships and connections that I perceived while spending time on social media are completely fake. For eg. I was seeing all updates of one of my best friend. It made me feel that we were in touch. But she never calls or talks with me in real life. When we met, she didn’t entertain intellectual discussions. She didn’t share anything with me. There are some unresolved issues between us. She never tries to address or talk about them. She stops me when I try to talk, by saying that I am giving her stress. That means, she is a person who would choose denial over self awareness. But on social media, she posts several personal stories and insights. That kept me in an illusion that she is a person who is interested in self exploration. This is just one example. There is another friend of mine who shares inspiring stories and motivational messages. In real life, she gave up everything! She is so depressed and living life by thinking that nurturing her child is her life purpose. Like that, there are so many examples. Most of the people make posts on social media to strengthen lies that they tell to themselves.
I also figured that I cannot do friendship in real life with more than 70% of people who are my friends on social media. On social media, it is easy to ignore messages that promote or impose denial, theism, irrational beliefs and judgemental nature. But thats impossible in real life.
I felt attacked several times. When I made posts that are not in alignment with socially norms and stereotypes, I was questioned. More interesting thing is, people never dared to comment on my post publicly. I noticed that all the people who are against me never respond to my posts. But they do read, remember, wait for an opportunity, when they get chance to talk to me personally, they either question me or they pass on sarcastic comments. However, I am open to questions. Only thing that made me bother is their approach and strategy.
I realized that social media cannot act as a platform where 2 people discuss about their ideologies in most of the cases. Because, both the parties need self esteem and open mind to publicly discuss about something that can negatively affect reputation of both the parites.
Social media platforms provide opportunity to edit photos and add music. But after that, I will not be left with a choice of shifting content to other platform in most of the cases. For eg: if I create a reel, I can’t download it with music. That means, in order to edit my content for free, I have to compromise on freedom of posting my content. Its like conditional love of a parent who says that he will love his son only if he stays with parents.
Moreover, technical errors and issues never get resolved. No one responds to query msgs. That makes me feel helpless. I lack control on my own content when I upload it on social media.
Social media creates imbalance between 2 people who are connected. Even when one person is not interested, other person can stalk and know what is happening in a friend’s life. Other person can assume that they both are friends and important to each other. In real life, stalking is so difficult and a person has to take several actions to stalk. That needs lots of courage and effort. Even after doing so much, stalker can only see his/her friend or relative or crush or enemy from a distance. On social media, stalker can stalk anyone just by clicking on profile.
People share only about happy things on social media. They hide their pain, struggles, journey, progress, etc and share about achievements, happy moments. Where as, in real life if we live with someone in proximity, we get a chance to see everything happening in their life.
One particular insight helped me in taking decision about whether to be on social media or not. I realized that platform to express and platform to connect can never be same. I only need my own platform to write, post photos, poems, travel videos experiences, etc. I should be the one and only one important person on this platform. I need more control. I should be able to allow like minded people to view my content if they are interested.
But me being in relations is different. Both the people in relationship are important. I can discuss about my interests only if other person is interested. I decided that I will handle relations separately, but not by merging them with my own space. That is when decided that I will stop using social media and start using wordpress and Youtube platforms.