As a blogger, I rely on social media to get my posts in front of more eyes. I use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. The more I blog, the less I like the social media aspect of it. If I didn't have the blog, I'd get rid of Facebook and Twitter immediately. They are evil, if you really think about it. Dangerous even. You put your life out there for the world to see. And for what? Or maybe you spend hours browsing through the lives of others. Again, why? Because humans are social creatures? Ha! I don't think that's the case for the vast majority.
There have been numerous times that I've heard of studies conducted to determine the impact that social media, especially Facebook, have on an individuals life. You know what they find? Facebook can be so depressing. How so? Let's break it down. First of all, what do you see when you check your news feed? What do you look for on there? You check out your connections and what is going on in their lives. And how many times might you be tempted to see their lives and compare it to your own? "She met the man of her dreams!" "He has an amazing job!" "They get to travel all over the world." "I wish my house looked as grand as that." I could go on. Parents compare kids. Adults compare houses, jobs, spouses, vehicles. Smiles are abundant. But do we ever consider what hides behind those smiling faces? Not at all. We are too busy comparing our own lives to the fake one before us on a computer screen. Twitter is as much of a waste to me now as I knew it would be when I started using it. The only posts I put on there are for the blog. And that's the only reason I started one. What is the point to Twitter?? And why do people share so many stupid details of their life? I don't care what food you cooked. I don't care what movie you are watching. I don't need to follow the details of your day as they happen. Give me a summary in a blog post, if you feel so inclined.
So as we compare, we start to falter. We begin seeking to mimic the lives of others. "If I just do this..." "Maybe if I buy that too..." "Why can't my kid be as talented?" Depression hits a lot of people when they spend too much time surfing social sites. Its why there are so many campaigns encouraging "unplugging" from technology. Open your eyes to life away from a screen. Or maybe you should look at this way... Are you stalking? Creeping? Are you checking an individuals page to have something to gossip about later?
YouTube is great. I love being able to look up music from various authors and just let it play one after another of my favorite songs. I subscribe to my best artists. But in the midst of so much amazing, you have so many idiots posting crap too. I don't surf YouTube. I'd lose brain cells if I did. I started a channel way back when to post Lego building videos and blog review clips. But there are so many crazy things your eyes can stumble over on there.
Pinterest is my electronic best friend. I can search for new recipes. I can get hints, tips, and pictorial advice on just about anything I can think of. I can create boards and save pins for later reference. I have to be careful or I get too carried away and think I can do anything.
I think we all need to evaluate our usage of social media. Question what it is we are getting from it. Is it worth our time? Are we on too much? Are we simply following the crowd and using it because its the "thing" to do? More importantly, you should ask yourself, "Am I satisfied with my life, no matter what I see of others' lives?" Remember to be happy with what you have. To appreciate what is going on in your personal life. And also to know that there is more than meets the eye on those sites. So much more.Don't let social media steal your joy. Not talking about happiness. Happiness comes from something happening in your life. It is a fleeting feeling. Joy is something deeper. Something that you can hold on to in the darkness that you face. But it can be silenced when we look out and feel as though we are less in life. Are you falling down with a bad case of the social media blues?