The amount of likes and followers you have is a currency in today’s social media driven culture. Apps like Twitter allow you to gain followers into the millions but how many of those people are actually your friend? Recently, I thought about quitting social media. I didn’t seriously consider it, but the idea crossed my mind.
“Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.”
– Brené Brown
We may have tons of followers online, but can you think of who would come to your aid when you’re sick? Coincidentally one of my best friends introduced me to Twitter. I’ve been a user since 2007. A time when I had no idea what a tweet was or a hashtag for that matter. I think at the time I was saying “pound.” My friend suggested I join a new website he heard of. Once I joined I quickly shot out my first status update I could think of in 140 characters.
About to go to scoot to Bazaar with Michael for the drinks.. then off to Blake’s for the queens!
— Dustin (@dustinshelby) March 29, 2007
One of the main points people make about the pointlessness of social media, is the question if we really need to know about each other’s mundane daily ongoings. We probably don’t. But we still read, like, comment and favorite. On the other hand there is a lot of potential in social media. It also has led lots of people to job opportunities, missed connections, and allowed them to meet new people. Social media has also become known for reconnecting people during tragedy or natural disasters. It is a common and easy place to access no matter where you are. But when does access to social media become invasive?
How much do you know about your coworkers? How much should you know about your coworkers? These questions recently came up when a coworker of mine cyber
researched cyber stalked me. This person somehow found my YouTube channel. It is important to note that my YouTube channel has no videos I uploaded, nor does it really have much of anything on it for that matter. From my understanding, it only had playlists I created and favorites I saved. I confidently made playlists private that I wanted to lock down. But, somehow this clever sleuth of a coworker, found my Recently Watched History. There wasn’t anything crazy or incriminating in my history, but to me, it seemed like a very odd way to get to know someone located less than 300 feet from you. What happened to conversations? In case you were wondering, you can view and delete your YouTube History here.
Elizabeth Gilbert says she uses “words to get closer to the truth.” She used to consider just working on a book as her writing, but now she looks at connecting with fans on Facebook the same way.
On the other hand, Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and director of the Avengers movies, recently quit Twitter. In an interview with BuzzFeed, he explains,
“I just thought, ‘Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place,'” he said. “And this is the least quiet place I’ve ever been in my life… It’s like taking the bar exam at Coachella. It’s like, ‘Um, I really need to concentrate on this! Guys! Can you all just… I have to… It’s super important for my law!'”
“So many people have said mean things, but so many people have said wonderful things. But how much approbation do I need before I become creepy? I so appreciate when people took the time to say something nice. But for my own self, it’s like, at some point, you’re just like a little compliment leech. That’s not going to help your writing any more than people slamming on you.”
Maybe you have an addiction to social media? How often do you update your status? How many likes do you get? If you’re not sure if you have a problem, try tracking your usage with the help of an app. Couldn’t hurt.
Everything in moderation. That’s what they say. If you do decide to quit social media, you’ll have a lot more time on your hands to tackle other things. Like maybe dust off old projects you’ve been avoiding, or maybe actually use that gym membership. Or just keep those status updates coming and wait for next like! Whatever makes you happy.