As the former Facebook anti-Christ, I was a latecomer in joining the masses who would ask, “Are you on Facebook?”, to which I would reply, “No. I’m busy living my life and don’t have time for that. I don’t see the need.”
That was around 2013 or so when my work duties expanded to include digital marketing, which of course meant getting social. How would I be able to lead a young team of hipsters if I wasn’t well versed myself in the nuances of posting and tweeting, liking and sharing? Book knowledge and studying algorithms wasn’t enough. I had to gain some real-life, hands-on practical experience.
So I packed away my reluctance, pulled some enthusiasm out of storage and skeptically hit Facebook.
I was leery and paranoid, having prided myself on being an open yet private person – a walking oxymoron at her finest! The thought of sharing my day to day moments, special times and milestones with the world at large was somewhat unnerving. Even as a writer who would tackle some controversial topics that most people wouldn’t touch, I didn’t like the idea of putting myself out there, naked, to the world.
Quite frankly, I couldn’t understand why people did check-ins at the supermarket, posted their fine meals or let us know they were out of toilet paper – which has turned out to be one of the biggest deals of all in 2020! My first thought was, “Who cares?!”
So I treaded lightly and moved slowly with a generic share here, and a personal share there. Friend requests started to flood in from some I hadn’t seen since kindergarten, and others who were never my biggest fans. If I didn’t meet you at some point, you were deleted. And if my curiosity was piqued, you were confirmed.
Like calories you don’t count until the jeans won’t slide over your thighs, it all added up. And in that moment you acknowledge, “I’m officially fat.” That was the equivalent of my epiphany when I began to understand why people liked it. How they became addicted. And more importantly, saw the good it could spread far and wide.
Donating to causes I hadn’t known existed. Connecting with people who once made such an impact on my life. Sharing a story that I knew would influence others. And announcing my own volunteerism in an effort to bring others on, promoting that specific issue. There was so much good.
Over the years, I ebbed and flowed – active at some times, then MIA more often than not.
Recently, when I started actively writing again, I reengaged on social media. My proof that it was rare was when a friend texted, “What’s up with you? You’re never on FB and now your on all the time.” And that friend was right. I was.
Yet this reengagement has raised more questions and provoked more soul searching than I care to admit. Yes, I’ve found the reasons why I appreciate it, yet I’m feeling less inspired and more exhausted day after day. I’m reading into the emojis, contemplating the lack of post engagements and allowing comments to fester within my psyche for much longer than the time they deserve.
I’ve observed and judged those who comment on posts in a nasty, hateful and rude manner. And most recently, I’ve read many examples that I could share if you ask for references or supporting evidence.
Why the haters?
There are many things I see and read – then scroll by. I don’t agree. I may not like it and it may not be my thing. But I don’t shit on somebody else’s post. I don’t risk making them feel inferior because they fancy something I don’t. Yet there are so many – too many to count – that seem to live for that. Really?! Is that your goal to project your miserable existence onto someone else?!
And this takes me back to the beginning. I know social media now. I understand digital marketing. But I was the anti-Christ – and now I’m on the fence of where I want to go. Some days it’s “I’m done.” Other days it’s, “Let’s hang out and evaluate what’s worth responding to – and what’s not.”
Because at the end of any day, if you don’t like what you see – just keep scrolling. Keep your hate, misery and opinions to yourself.