Social media is not enjoyed by everyone

Victoria Miller, Opinions Editor

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Social media is a big part of people’s lives, particularly for young adults, like myself. So it strikes many people as weird when they learn that I do not have any form of social media.

However, this wasn’t always so. I did once have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’ve been without both Facebook and Twitter for almost four years, and I had an Instagram account until last April.

The main reason why I was driven to delete my social media accounts was because of the blatant disregard to privacy. I feel the majority of my peers have forgotten the meaning of privacy and that it is no longer valued the way that it once was.

Some people seem to think it’s acceptable to hash out arguments on social media for everyone to see. While this is admittedly entertaining, it’s also a little unbelievable that these people are comfortable with putting their personal problems on display.

Personally, I’ve always felt awkward sharing thoughts and pictures on social media. It’s not that I’m insecure with myself or unsure about how I will be seen, it’s the fact that I was uncomfortable with sharing my private life with casual friends and acquaintances.

People are associated with these old friends or even people they’ve met once only on social media. Think about it, if it weren’t for Facebook, you wouldn’t have the slightest idea what that one guy you went to high school with was doing with his life. And why should you? While you may be curious to see how these people from the past are doing, it’s not important and chances are, you probably don’t care that much.

In fact, I think keeping tabs on people that don’t matter is taking up valuable time in people’s life. I found out after deleting all my social media accounts that I have all this extra time on my hands to focus on my own life, or to just be in the moment.

How about all of the countless birthday wishes you receive on Facebook? A notification gets sent to every “friend” you have, and people you haven’t talked to in years feel the need to wish you a happy birthday.

I’ll admit it’s harder to keep track of my friends’ birthdays without a Facebook. But that effort that it takes to be thoughtful about others’ birthdays is meaningful. I’d rather be wished a happy birthday by a few people that obviously really know me enough to know the date than by a bunch of people impersonally.

My friends always tell me it’s hard to keep in touch with me because I don’t have social media. My response is that I still have a cell phone, so text or call me if you want to know how I’ve been because I’m not going to broadcast it for the world to see.

I don’t feel like I’m missing out on my friend’s lives. When we talk and I ask them what’s new, they’ll tell me if something significant happened, or show me some pictures. For me, this kind of interaction is more satisfying because it’s more personal.

There seems to be this problem with my generation (and I’m sure the younger generations), where they feel the need to document every aspect of their lives. It’s like it wasn’t real or meaningful unless there’s a picture or video posted online for everyone to see. They seem to be seeking constant acknowledgement for everything they do.

I understand social media has some benefits, and can be used productively. However, all of these annoyances were enough to make me cut it out of my life completely, and I haven’t had any regrets.

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