Yes, that is the question! I must say I really do enjoy social media. But I don’t think the appeal for me has ever quite been for the “social” part. Years ago I joined Facebook to see pics of my children and their schoolmates and to feel a little closer to their world. There was a very sad point in my life when my younger daughter moved in with her dad when she was 16 and she never spoke to me – goodness for almost a year and a half. I was able to have social media to catch a glimpse of her and know she was ok. I am soooo very thrilled to stay that 4 years later she has given me a beautiful granddaughter, and my daughter and I are closer now than we have ever been. Anyway, I would see my kids pics but I found that I enjoyed Facebook for “liking” news sites, entertainments sites, hobby sites and so on. I could view interesting articles that pertained to my liking all in one place. I still do that with Facebook and Instagram and others. I do waste more time than I should scrolling through these pages, but honestly, I am ok with it.
Then there are the so-called social media friends. People that you may have met, once, people you work with, and other random folks. Our sites all of a sudden can have hundreds of “friends” that we hardly know. We see little snippets of their lives scroll through our news feeds as they see snippets of our lives as well. Why? What are either one of us getting out of this? We don’t really know one other!!
I have cleared out my Facebook acquaintances over the years. I am usually around 100 people on my list. Even that number seems high. I am a naturally more introverted person, so my social circle is pretty darn small. Looking at those 100 names made me think, “hmmm.”
I came to a realization about a week ago that maybe it was time to go through my friends list and update it. As an aside, I think I may be feeling a wee bit sorry for myself right now since I have had such a rough go with this hip replacement. Anyway, the day before my surgery I made a post and there were the usual, “I’ll pray for you,” “good luck,” ” let me know if you need anything,” etc. Don’t get me wrong, the sentiments were nice. But what surprised me is basically not a single “friend” asked how I was doing (except a few workmates). It rather surprised me and made me a bit sad. My oldest daughter reminded me how that is a problem with social media…. people really don’t interact with others like you think they might or you hope they would.
So, I have done a bit of clearing out on my Facebook account (my other social media doesn’t have this “friend” problem). I of course have kept all of my family, I still have coworkers on the list, and a few random folks. I feel strange hitting that “unfriend” button with so many, but truly, I don’t know them or if I do we have no contact on social media. I don’t want them to take offense or get mad at me removing them from my page. Is that silly? See what Social Media is doing to our brains?
My list is down to 64 people and that seems ok with me….for the moment. I still feel worried that I have upset the people I got rid of. I feel unsure about how they will now feel about me. But, I KNOW this is the part of me that talks when my brain wants to be goofy. It’s that part of my self-esteem, or rather lack up that haunts me. It’s part of managing my Bipolar and BPD that is so crucial in positive mental health.
I will be OK.
And so will YOU!!!