Nearly everyone I know is embracing some form of social media these days whether it’s Facebook or Twitter or Reddit or Goodreads. Some of these are obviously more involved than others. For example, my Google Reader can easily slip over 1000+ unread items in a single evening if I don’t keep on top of it. And while I LOVE Reddit (sorry Digg boys), I can be consumed with the plethora of information on there. Some days it’s all so overwhelming!
While these devices are awesome for keeping you connected, it can also be a deterrent. I’m finding it more common that people assume what is on Facebook is what’s going on in your life. I hate to break it to you, kids but what is on my Twitter or my Facebook – hell, even what I publish here – is not the be all and end all of my life. And yet people believe that to be true.
I have a friend who recently went through a breakup. Every miserable day of her life during that time was documented online while my recent breakup barely made a blip in my social media world. Perhaps I’m fiercely private or maybe just distrusting of the media, but I didn’t think public forums like that were ideal spots for my own personal drama. And let me tell you, after awhile, no one wants to hear your sad bastard tales anymore.
I cannot tell you how many times this year alone I’ve heard the phrase “Well, I have been keeping up on your Facebook. I assumed things were good”. See the clue word there: ASSUMED. If you’re doing using social media correctly, you shouldn’t be putting everything in your life out on the web for others to consume. And you shouldn’t assume others are doing the same.
I finally hit my boiling point earlier this year when I fiercely unplugged from nearly everything that connected me to everyone else.
I took some time off and when I came back, I could appreciate the medium for all of its good qualities and temporarily forgot about how much it can skew your real reality. However, lately I’ve been feeling that shift coming again.
I need to remind myself that as a mass consumer of information, some of the most interesting finds come from my peers. They share it in our Reader or someone will post a link to it on Twitter. And so while I may have to shift through some BS to get to it, social media still has a great value in my world.
I just wish people would stop assuming that my world is only made up of that.