Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. LinkedIn. Tumblr. Facebook. I am no fan of social media. My Facebook page only sees moderately more attention than my garden, and seeing as my “garden” is a single Venus flytrap—dead, mind you—it’s not hard to disinterestedly paint a picture of my usage. That said, I have an account on all of the aforementioned sites.
My lack of activity on Facebook (though this can apply to all sites) isn’t due to some self-imposed narcissistic exile resulting from a dearth of notifications, but rather because of the exact reason all of these “social” media sites exist: I enjoy interacting with those in my social circles.
As one may infer, my idea of “interacting” consists chiefly of the “physically present” variety. Given the choice between the two, one can only hope that I’m not unique in this thinking. I simply don’t see the point of devoting untold hours, whether by constant browsing or billions of quick check-ins, to quasi-hanging out virtually. Yes, I’ll pop on Facebook a few times a week and like, comment, and such on whatever’s relevant at the time, but it’s definitely not a regular occurrence. I’m on Facebook when I’ve absolutely nothing to do or there’s an event I should be aware of.
Why be on these sites then? Why bother having several accounts if I’m barely going to acknowledge their existence? My mother, a wise woman, has always said, “Be informed if not interested,” and it’s a saying I’ve always taken to heart. No, I really don’t care if someone tweets #greatesttweetever, nor does it really matter to me if someone managed to get over 400 likes on their Instagram photo. However, if I do want to find out, I can. For the most part, checking in those few times a week allows me to stay on top of whatever’s relevant.
But what if people message me on said sites? What if there’s a photo that needs my approval to be posted? I’ll respond. I’ll approve or disapprove. It just may not be immediate. Life is busy enough as is without having to worry about whatever’s going on in cyberspace. Those precious blocks of free time that we have aren’t to be squirreled away on frivolous searches as to how your ex is doing. There’s so many better things to be doing with your time.
But what if there’s an event to plan or go to? What if it’s soon? If it’s that important, someone can text. Or call. Or even see me in person. I don’t view social media as a primary source of communication. No one should. That’s what phones are for—and they’re annoying enough as is.
And even phones, as a friend once noted, are incredibly invasive. Iphones allow you to see when someone has received and read your text. There could be any number of reasons you don’t respond right away: on a short break at work, didn’t actually read it and just accidentally opened the message, want a moment to think, or just don’t want to. A text, by nature, is a casual form of communication. It lacks the professionalism of an email and the personality of a phone call. However, most emails don’t inform you when they’ve been opened and it’s no great crime to intentionally miss (whether they know it or not) someone’s phone call.
End side rant.
I must confess to having been a rabid fan. Lately though, I have come to muse on how much time is actually whittled away in the process, and have come to be wary of it, lest actual socializing be forgotten.