“Whenever you check for a new post on Instagram or whenever you go on The New York Times to see if there’s a new thing, it’s not even about the content,” Ansari said. “It’s just about seeing a new thing. You get addicted to that feeling. You’re not going to be able to control yourself. So the only way to fight that is to take yourself out of the equation and remove all these things. What happens is, eventually you forget about it. You don’t care anymore.” – Aziz Ansari
After hearing my daughter talk about how many “likes” or “hearts” she gets on Musically I knew something had to change. She’s nine. My kids have to learn that life is more than “likes” you get online. I need my kids to step back from their devices and I know that needs to start with me. Which got me thinking about life before social media and how much more I enjoyed those days. If you wanted to know something about someone, you had to ask them. There was no checking in and letting the world know you were out to dinner with your husband. You just went. And if it was a fabulous place you shared it with your friends through phone call.
It was very hard to have “look at me” moments without looking like an asshole. Now it’s completely normal. There certainly were no “did you see on Facebook…” moments. I don’t remember there being a “did you see on MySpace” time either.
Over the years when I’ve taken myself offline no one has really understood why. And I don’t expect anyone to this time either. And it’s really hard to explain why you’re going against the social norms. Especially when it’s for peace of mind.
What bothers me the most about social media is honestly the fakeness of it all. The unnecessary need to be passive aggressive so whoever you’re talking about doesn’t directly know you’re talking about them. And the memes, all the memes; all the time.
I am getting so tired of seeing everyone’s very best selves. Their perfect mom moments. Their perfect family moments. Their perfect marriage moments. Their perfect life moments. Just so many perfect moments it sometimes physically makes me ill. Like really, can someone other than me just have a bad day. Not even a bad day, just a normal day. Show me something real. I mean, we’re “friends” after all, aren’t we. Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
I turned off my notifications months ago and make an earnest effort to not check-in anywhere when we’re there, if ever. If you really want to know what I’m up to there’s a good chance you have my number and can at the very least shoot me a text.
I was never one to show off. Or brag, so maybe that’s why I have such a hate-hate relationship with social media.
Do not get me wrong. I love the internet. I grew up on the internet (hello dial-up and AOL chat rooms). The internet is a great source of information. It’s where I spent the last several days reading all sorts of articles on people ditching their social media pages. Which gave me the push to write this. To hold myself accountable. But overall, I just think I’ve outgrown the whole thing. I have so many people blocked and filtered that I don’t even know why I’m on some of these sites anymore. I’m “friends” with people out of obligation, not because I’m actually friends with them.
I’ve got social media fatigue and I’m ready for a good nap.