In the age of the internet, social media is the platform in which you sell your image, your ideas, your personality, and the “you” that you think the world needs to see. Likes, shares, follow-backs, retweets, you name it — it’s about attention and affirmation, in whatever way that platform has to offer.
As most new technologies, ever since things like MySpace became popular, and social media took over, there’s been opposition as well as praise. Some people argued that people were becoming too egotistical with their profiles and “spaces,” while others said that it’s dangerous via means of identity theft, cyberbullying, and even poor time management, were you to become addicted.
However, social media is generally regarded as a great thing. It’s given the world a level of connectedness that’s never been available to any other generation. We’re able to share ideas, opinions, and communicate faster with more people. When used correctly, it is a powerful tool. To quote Queen Rania of Jordan,
Social media are a catalyst for the advancement of everyone’s rights. It’s where we’re reminded that we’re all human and all equal. It’s where people can find and fight for a cause, global or local, popular or specialized, even when there are hundreds of miles between them.
So to get to the question for this blog, what social media do I use?
Like just about anyone my age, I do, in fact, use facebook. However, I can’t say I use it a whole lot. When I was a teen, facebook seemed like a much bigger deal. As with most teens, I wanted more affirmation, and social media was a great platform. As I’ve gotten a little older now, it’s meant less and less to me, to the point that I don’t use it anymore. However, I think part of the reason that I’ve used it less is that I’ve also moved a couple times, and have a different friend group now than I used to. If I’m perfectly honest, there’s only a couple people within my friend group on facebook whose posts I allow to even show up on my timeline.
Right now, about the only thing I use facebook for is messaging some people. I can’t say I pay a lot of attention to what people post, but I still have a couple people on facebook who I have group chats with and talk to every day. Because of this, facebook is still my most used social media platform. For all of my devices, I really stick to the computer. Not to come across as a 65 year old, but I do find internet on phones to generally be a bit of a hassle.
A pretty close second to facebook is twitter. I don’t follow anyone that I know on twitter, but I follow quite a few celebrities and sports players that I care about. I’m a big fan of esports, and there’s a lot of players in games like Dota 2, Super Smash Brothers and CS:GO who I follow. I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve gotten a couple of them to even tweet back at me and favorite my tweets. I know, I know, get in the autograph line people.
The last one that I actually really use is Instagram. This is another service that I used to use a lot, and don’t really anymore. I used to use Instagram a lot more when I was in New York growing up. Ever since I’ve moved away, I haven’t wanted to touch my instagram a lot, and now really just look and like my own pictures, because I haven’t been able to visit back home in years.
I’m fairly satisfied with what social media has to offer me right now. I feel connected, and it’s fun to be able to follow some of my favorite larger-than-life personalities, and sometimes talk with them more directly. It’s something that our generation really is lucky to have.
If I were to change one thing about my facebook though, which is the one I use the most of, I think it would be to filter out entire topics. Every once in a while, when an event happens in the world that everyone feels they need to share their opinion on, it’s hard to ignore everyone’s opinion manually. The next time a lovable lowland silverback gorilla gets shot, I’d prefer to filter out octomom’s opinions that she formed five minutes ago.
For me anyways, I think social media was a bigger deal at a time where more friends mattered more. As you grow up a little bit, especially as I’ve been in a more serious relationship for a few years, your friend group gets a little smaller, and you’re a little more selective about who you really open up to and care about. I’m not as eager to share myself with the world anymore, because to a point, I really don’t think I care as much. I’ve sold myself to the people in my life who really matter.
Let’s be honest, would you rather post a status update to 3,000, or go out for a beer and some laughs with just 3?
Thanks again to Pexels.com for the stock photos, as well as Goodreads for the quotations. I’m lucky to be able to use social media and internet as much as I do, and hopefully don’t take either too much for granted. Let me stay, Mr. Zuckerberg.