When social media first started, I admit I was slow to jump on board. But when Yahoo! Created their own social media platform in the form of Yahoo 360, I was hooked. And by “hooked” I mean I hooked up with a couple of friends I already had, and created a lot more friends. We would blog about our day, post pictures and spend hours adjusting our avatars to fit our current moods or how we wished our hair looked that day.
When Yahoo 360 disappeared I reluctantly joined Facebook, and then Twitter. An obsession was born. Suddenly I was getting text messages with the latest tweets from friends and celebrities alike, as well as the latest news headlines. I would rush home from work to check out what Facebook had to offer, obsessed with finding as many friends as I could. I discovered Farmville, Fishville and Farkle and would spend weeks plotting out my bushels and schools and rolls of the dice. I “liked” every page I thought I might be interested in. My free time, and some family time, was spent “checking in” with the online world. It was a release, a place where I didn’t have anyone complain about trivial things like copy paper being too white or lunch being too hot.
Then I stopped working. You would think with all this free time I’d get even more involved, but I found myself not caring. A family crisis kept me off a computer completely for two weeks, and other than a couple of inquiries if I was doing okay from genuine friends, no one seemed to care. I had over three hundred “friends” and only TWO actually cared if I was okay. Maybe it was time to scale back?
Now every six months, I find myself reviewing my social media and getting rid of pages and “friends”. If I scroll past you, then I don’t really need you. Some people have noticed, but most don’t care. For such a “social” platform, in reality these sites are really based around YOU. Every time I cut back I find myself not really missing anybody, and more time to focus on the people I do care about. I also have limited my accounts. I don’t use most sites. I stick mostly to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and if I go 24 hours without checking in, that’s okay. I’m okay.