I quit social media around 2011, and it wasn’t until I signed up for LinkedIn in 2017, to find a job, that I realized once again why I don’t like social media. On LinkedIn, I added people I knew, but then people I had gone to high school and university started to add me. Sure, I accepted their request, but now I see posts by them which, if I’m being honest, I could give a shit about. “Random High-school Friend just got promoted to Middle Management”. Congrats. It was the same with Facebook and Instagram. I don’t care that you just ate a blueberry scone at Starbucks and are living a #blessed life.
I run my company’s social media, thankfully only limited to Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and yes, it's a weird thing for me to do. I thought Facebook went downhill when companies started making profiles. No Coca-Cola, I don’t want to be your friend. Sorry Doritos, but I’m going pass on being your ‘fan’ on Facebook. These days, Facebook is dealing with ways to combat fake-news. What happened to it being a site where friends could catch up with friends? When did Airbnb start allowing branded businesses to have a chain of similarly designed rooms instead of renting directly from the tenant? What happened to taking a picture because you thought it was beautiful instead of taking a picture in anticipation of the likes you would get? Instagram models get paid huge sums of money to promote products or advertise for their sponsors instead of focusing on sharing creative & interesting pictures. It drives me crazy.
From a business perspective, I get it. The most important thing for a business is to keep growing, much like a virus, doing whatever is necessary in its path for expansion. However, at what cost? They’ve invaded social media, which used to be peer-to-peer networks. Now, people track likes, page views, clicks, and retweets like their job depends on it, and most times, for social media managers, it does. That’s the problem right there, “social media manager”. Almost every company has one and speaking as someone who does manage social media for an organization, I sort of hate myself for doing it. I’m helping promote a company I didn’t build, on a platform I don’t believe in.
I think someone should make a Facebook solely for companies and businesses and let them spew their bullshit and advertisements on each other's timelines instead of muddling up the consumers'. With today’s technology, there doesn’t seem to be any safe spaces left. Even Kindles have advertising.
With all that being said, I’m thankful I don’t have any social media except my blog and LinkedIn, which again, is just for finding jobs. I don’t feel inundated with all the updates and announcements. Social media, for me, is like that tv show that never ended, and its been downhill since season 8, but somehow, you keep watching. All the drama, stories, and funny moments somehow keep you addicted, even though you know there’s a better use for your time. That’s what I realized, and now, I practice the piano daily, I spend more time reading, my workouts go uninterrupted by notifications, and I feel lighter. Let’s be honest though, I knew Facebook was dead as soon as my father sent me a friend request. Will I sign up for social media in the future? Unless there’s some new universal messaging app, probably not. I’ve lost my interest for social media, allowing me to spend more time and energy on things that matter.