Before you roll your eyes and judge me for the title, let me tell you what this post is not going to be:
- I won’t ostracize regular social media users.
- I won’t be priggish.
- I will definitely not try to plant seeds in your head and won’t take a black or white stance regarding social media.
Okay! So the primary reason this post exists is because sleep eludes me, and I have work tomorrow. Disaster impending amirite.
I spent the better part of the past 2 hours aimlessly hopping from Instagram to Reddit to Twitter in an attempt to bore myself to sleep. Obviously reading a book or watching a TV show is not gonna happen, because I think it’s too engaging.
Let me remind myself that brilliant minds and rich people have gotten together to devise applications and websites to keep me scrolling for hours till my battery conks or my sanity wanes – whichever goes first.
–A little back story–
I’d quit Facebook in 2016 and then Instagram in 2018. Facebook might seem obvious; the incessant raving of ‘friends’, constant bump-ins with idiots and their worldly views (read bobs and vagene) and a deluge of ads that just won’t quit was reason enough to run to the hills. Instagram was quite insidious, in a way. I didn’t plan on quitting it, but when I did, I didn’t feel like coming back to it.
Funny story — I have a trash account that my best friend and I had created a long, long time ago that we’d both forgotten the password for. Just this week he asked me to get back on it so he can share memes and I was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I love a good meme and I know sharing screenshots on WhatsApp is pushing it too far.
In the past hour or so that I was on Instagram, I realised why it serves as a means to let people have their 40 seconds of fame in another mad rush to stand out when they’re really just another brick in the wall. You’ll find these types of Instagram users:
- People you admire or accounts that are managed by more than one person (Google, Natgeo etc.)
From what my experience has been both as a regular user and… a lurker now, I honestly can’t stand following ANYONE other than friends that I’m in touch with (which is basically 3 people), or people I admire/accounts that post quality content. I guess it’s because all the people that I kinda-know-but-not-really have their journey out there for everyone to see. From a dorky first post to what their followers expect now. A snazzy filter and clever captions, thousands of likes and plenty of validation later, I know that this person is terribly far from this in real life. I know that and it cringes me. What are you trying to pull Cheryl, your life is in shambles and there’s no filter for that.
As for how I think Instagram has redeeming qualities; I follow a few women on it that I absolutely adore. They’re smart, accomplished, candid and real. There are pages that I follow and people that post just their work. Photographers and artists that capture images that don’t just have fantastic tones, but an origin story as well. I am a sucker for well thought captions.
Accounts like that give me something of value, they are mindful of the audience and seek to inform, educate and uplift rather than seek validation, publicity or some hedonistic agenda.
The only other platform I use more than that is Reddit, mostly for its anonymity and the fact that no one on it bothers to take digs at you because neither of you have enough info to call out the other person on superficial grounds. People react based on what you say not what you are.
I like Twitter too, actually. Plenty of smart people to follow, that follow other smart people and so on. A chain reaction of great ideas and clever quips, Twitter is quite a nice place to find a niche and stay on top of things that matter to you.
I can understand how Facebookers tend to defend their usage on wanting to stay in touch with family and friends, but how can that not be achieved by a phone call? Or if you’re really feeling it — a letter? I know your 700 friends will forget when your birthday is, but who cares, you know? A few people will, and that’s better than a notification reminding your old classmate you borrowed a pencil from in 6th grade that it’s your birthday. Unless you have a business on Facebook or need Instagram’s reach to put out your work, why waste your time?
No one cares man. The people who do will let you know and those are the only people you’ll ever need to get a double tap from (no pun intended).
Sleep is beckoning. This was a good idea. ‘Night!