Welcome back to another Self Care January post!
Today we will discuss social media, and what it means to me now after being part of social media for 11 years.
The 2000s were a pivotal time for social media, it is when the internet was becoming popular and social media was starting to make its way into the internet world. It began with MySpace, Live Journal, and then the birth of Facebook. MySpace was a big deal in the 2000s, you could decorate your profile in a way you liked with fancy wallpaper. You could add music, create a funky username using emojis and symbols, and the famous top 5 or 10 friends. I didn’t have MySpace until 2008, by that time MySpace was losing its popularity. So I didn’t keep my MySpace account for too long and I deleted it quickly. Another social media website I liked was YouTube, I was very interested in anime at the time and Youtube was my source for anime videos. I saw fellow YouTubers making anime music videos, short creative video montages and I thought, “If they can do it, so can I.” I created a Youtube channel and began posting music videos, and within two months I gained 200 subscribers. At that time the word ‘subscribers’ meant nothing to me, today it means profit for full-time Youtubers.
At that time I was very careful and skeptical to let people into my personal life, I used a fake name and a random photo as my profile picture. I was very wary of random people messaging me and eventually, I deleted my Youtube channel because I wasn’t used to having strangers on the Internet messaging me. I created my Youtube channel in Fall 2015 and I closed it sometime in 2006. After a while, I joined another social media site called Veoh to post my videos. I still have the account, but I can’t log in because I forgot the password. I created a Veoh account in 2007, and that same year I found out about Facebook. I was in class at the time, I think it was computer class, and most of my classmates were on Facebook. I asked them what is Facebook, and they said: “Like MySpace but better.” Literally, everyone befriended each other from school on the website, so I decided to join it too.
I was instantly hooked, I loved it and I was on Facebook all day, every day! Fast forward to 2009, Twitter came along and I signed up to join the website. I also made a Youtube account again but as a regular user. That was the beginning of signing up for more social media websites, and I couldn’t stop. I signed up for Tumblr in 2011, I created my first blog on Blogspot in 2010, I joined Instagram in 2012 and I signed up for Pinterest in 2013. Then in 2013, I switched to WordPress from Blogspot to gain a bigger audience.
Social media back in the day was very simple, everyone was doing it for fun but then it started to change. It felt like a competition, Youtube turned into a platform for potential artists and content creators to profit from posting videos. Facebook added the ‘like’ button, and people started to become obsessed with likes and followers. Social media went from being a fun carefree activity to do in your spare time, to a competition. That led to people comparing their lives to others on social media, making them feel as if they are not accomplished. Not only that but cyberbullying is now a problem on social media, the comments I see on Youtube and Instagram are atrocious. Social media does not feel the same for me anymore, but I still use it mostly to promote my photography work. At one moment, I got caught up in the comparison mentality and feeling like my life is really dull. The thing is these people on social media post only the highlights of their life, it doesn’t mean their life is perfect. On the contrary, they could be going through a lot of challenges but they won’t share them online. Why should they? However, you’ll be surprised how many Youtubers post very personal information about themselves online.
I think social media has made people very conceited and the element of privacy is not present. Everything about our lives is online nowadays, that’s why I decided to change my approach to social media. From 2015 I started deactivating my Facebook for three months, I started doing this because I wanted to teach myself to use Facebook less. It worked and honestly it felt so good to get away from Facebook for a while. I will do it again this year too, I try not to miss a year. Last year, I didn’t post on my personal Instagram for four months and it felt so good to keep my life private for the first time ever. Why do we feel like we have to post every little detail about ourselves, in all honesty, who cares about our lives so much? The truth is social media affects people’s mental health in a negative way. According to Forbes, social media triggers sadness, jealousy, depression, and anxiety.
No one needs that kind of stress in their lives, no one needs to feel like they are not enough because of social media. So here is what I recommend:
- Limit your social media use to a few hours per day. There is a whole world out there and you are missing out on creating memories and a great life.
- Delete any unnecessary social media accounts, that you do not need. Keep the ones that are essential to you.
- Post less about your life, maintaining that mystery and privacy about yourself is refreshing.
- Do social media detox. Just get away from social media, you do not need it to be entertained. Go out in nature, take a book and go to a coffee shop. The possibilities are endless.
Social media is not bad, there are many advantages to it for anyone wanting to start a business, make themselves known as an artist and connect with people around the world. However, do not get caught up in the negative mentality and side of social media, be careful and take care of your yourself.
I hope you enjoyed this post and got a glimpse of what social media means to me! I love it but it’s to detox from social media.
Let me know what’s your favorite social media site, let me know in the comment box below!
See you soon!