When I’m fired up about some new concept or cause, I shout breathlessly about it to everyone in earshot- by everyone I mean my husband. He usually rolls his eyes and raises his brows, humoring me for as long as he can stand it. About this, though, he is definitely first in this race. I’m talking about the concept of abandoning social media. I’ve tried to keep up with the Jones’ when it comes to social media, quickly adopting a facebook profile and later on an instagram- also tried my hand at tumblr for a few weeks which was shortlived. I have even kept up with the mandatory baby pictures, holiday family shots and announcements about my life’s events. My husband, on the other hand has dragged his feet reluctantly through these social networks, which doesn’t surprise me as he barely even checks his email. He gave up facebook, shutting down his account, over 6 months ago and he says he couldn’t be happier. I followed suit soon after, cancelling my account without warning. Some of my friends were worried because they couldn’t find me, others who tried to connect thought they’d never hear from me again. I was happy with my decision and didn’t miss it, until I wanted to sell something that was specific to a group I belonged to. Getting my account back, I was swarmed with a gargantuan stream of overwhelmingly unnecessary information. The ads, the banal, the disgusting, the disturbing, the offensive, the pretty, the educational. All mashed together in a loosely threaded grotesque quilt of two dimensional social exchanges. I don’t want it getting back to me that my ex thinks I look hot in my Halloween costume. I don’t want random old people that were friends of my parent’s parents commenting on every thought I type out into the cyberworld. I’m tired of posting things that really mean something to me just to hear a virtual world of crickets chirping. Seeing one of my friends refer to this movement- that champions a greater degree of honesty and transparency in social media has really sealed the deal for me. I applaud it’s founder, Essena O’Neill, a former instagram model who has come out against the vapid, consumer-driven motives behind popular social media posts. I don’t want to be advertised to- whether directly, indirectly or through peer pressure and groupthink. The few individuals that I stayed for have recently terminated their social media accounts as well. The truth is that someone typing “happy birthday” doesn’t have one percent of the same meaning that a quick phone call does. Even if it’s just my family- I want the people that reach out to me beyond the screen to be where I put my time and energy- because they are really there for me. When the choice comes between authentic and trendy, I will choose the real deal every time.
So long facebook, instagram. It wasn’t nice knowing you.