For a very long time it was my business to have an account with every new social media platform, post regularly and share whatever was going on in my day – I was in digital advertising and marketing, and social media marketing was what kept the elevator doors opening at our office.
Social media changed my life. I went from being a relatively private person to opening my kimono every chance I got. At a race or swim meet – post a picture. Sunset at the cottage – post a picture. Twinsie day at the office – post a picture. Have a good laugh at the office – post a picture. Eat a meal – post a picture. Sharing these moments started because I was proud of my family’s accomplishments and wanted my friends and family from all over to stay informed of what had been going on in my life. Over time and after so many comments about how people loved seeing the fun I was having (and I promise you my profiles are 100% real and not staged for effect) I became ecstatic with the thought that I was making people happy or giving them a good chuckle. It made me appreciate the fun I was having and I admit, I loved seeing what others were up to and watching kids I’d known since birth grow up. Social media became more than a paycheck – it was a place I could be happy.
Yes, I saw social media as a “place”. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were real life for me… they were my friends. They gave me news, updates on family that lived far away and shocked me when I saw those ‘going back to school’ pics each September (I still marvel at how big the kids get over the summer!) It was a place for me to retreat and soak in some goodness on a bad day. No joke – I could spend two-hours on Pinterest and not even notice that anyone was home. Oh. how I love Pinterest. 🙂
Fast forward a year and a half and I’m no longer working in marketing/advertising and I no longer post as frequently – the change didn’t come because I lost interest, but because I’m tired of how negative people have become – and the US election doesn’t help. I’m tired of the Trump vs Hillary crap and the comments that go along with these posts/ads. My opinions of people have started to change based on their comments and that isn’t a good thing. The positivity I once clung to has been replaced with unnecessary negative expression and hateful rhetoric. It’s as though social media – Facebook in particular – has become a dumping ground for racism, ignorance, false news and sadness.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
A few weeks ago I got to a place where I needed a break from Facebook – the negativity. I had posted what I thought was a funny, sarcastic comment but the smack down that proceeded this was my tipping point. If my posts – my harmless, usually very happy or funny posts – can result in upsetting people (who are unrelated to my posts), then clearly this was no longer my “place”. Unnecessary drama is not, nor has it ever been, a place where I like to be. In fact it makes me sad and uncomfortable – so I’ve been staying away from Facebook (other than sharing the odd Birthday wish) and have found that to be a really good thing. I know I’ll be back (especially after Nov 8th), but in a different way.
For now I will continue to partake in Instagram and of course Pinterest – everyone is much happier on these sites, but visit them less often as I’m finding that I don’t need social media to be my happy place – although I do love a great motivational and/or inspirational post (!) – I’m so much happier in my offline reality. I don’t need to post an experience to make it real or to know that others care about what I’ve been up to.
I still care about and love seeing your happy, proud, everyday posts…and maybe I’ll get back to posting too, but for now, I’m going for a walk with my puppy.