The Social Media Minimalist

social media

Do you hear that? That noise that won’t shut off no matter where you turn? Did you know that there is an off button? But you have to log out first. I’m talking about the noise of social media. It gets so loud and crowded in that bubble that it feels as if you’re standing shoulder to shoulder in a crowded bar.

I love Twitter. Out of every social media site out there, Twitter is my favorite. I do love the others for various reasons, but I love the freedoms Twitter allows us. But like every social media site, there comes a time when you just need to stop everything and think about what you really want to see. I’ve never been a fan of following over 100 people on Twitter. In fact, my current list of people I follow is only up to 33. I am a social media minimalist, and I am proud. Here’s why:

I find that the more accounts I follow, the more overwhelmed I feel. People have a lot to say and while most of it is trivial, I just don’t really care what others are eating, who they’re eating it with and where they are off to next. When you really think about it, social media is nothing but unnecessary noise. Sure, I may tweet a lot (hence my username) but even I have to admit that it gets tiring after a while, writing to a screen, hoping someone will listen. Blogging is the same way. Who are we talking to and are they really absorbing everything we are trying to convey?

My brain goes on an information overload when I check social media sometimes yet I can’t seem to stay away. Enjoying the silence is so rare nowadays yet when I find a moment to do so, I’m already crafting a witty tweet to send out. What kind of society are we becoming? What happened to the mystery? Will my phone ever ring, rather than vibrate with a notification?

For me, being a social media minimalist is key to keeping things balanced. Hearing about one’s constant successes (I’m still happy for them) while I’m still down in the dumps isn’t healthy and it sure isn’t helping my confidence. I’m very picky in choosing who I follow. They have to add something positive to my life. I’m not a fan of big crowds – in real life and on social media. How many followers I have does not affect my personal well-being and I’m tired of being told that it matters. It does not matter. Get your priorities in check and let me be with my small army in tow.

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4 thoughts on “The Social Media Minimalist

  1. I think you should take pride in it (: You have every reason to do so. I don’t see the need of keeping so many people in your life, which includes the social media.
    It’s already difficult enough to filter the kind of people you’re meeting in real life so I think it’s important to actually keep an eye on your social media friend list – for the sake of your own well-being. I’m also kind of picky when it comes to choosing who to approve so that I make sure my life isn’t being surrounded by negative people or people who add me for the sake of adding. I mean why on earth would I want to keep someone on my list when they don’t event talk to me in real life?

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  2. After I started meditating in 2008, I really started noticing how my computer use affects me. Increased anxiety, scattered thoughts, increased heart rate. And that’s without being on Facebook, twitter, etc. πŸ™‚ I tried Facebook for a couple weeks last year, and then deactivated my account. I found I could communicate well enough with my friends and family by the usual means, and that it was too “easy” to allow myself to be sucked in by Facebook and the mental stimulation it can provide. But still, my typical computer use consists of catching up with emails, writing, looking up information, online shopping (albeit usually for things I need, or gifts for other people).

    And then when I stop using it, if not much else is going on at the time, like other people in the house are busy and I’m caught up with stuff, I have trouble forgetting about the computer. Often even it gets more difficult to meditate, to quiet my mind without it going in circles, or suddenly thinking, “oh, I should send that link to so-and-so,” or “Oh, I forgot I wanted to research this-and-that.”

    In effect, I periodically have to take extended breaks from using the computer. The first three days are the hardest. I’m serious about that. It’s like I have withdrawal symptoms from an addiction. Typically, after the third day, it’s much easier to forget about the computer, my thoughts are generally quieter, and suddenly I don’t “need” to send as many links, or “need” to look up some facts about something was interested in. And my piano and I get more time to spend together. πŸ™‚

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention (it’s somewhat relevant)… I’m 41, and have been using computers since 1991. The first operating system I used was PC DOS 2.1, then soon after, MS (Microsoft DOS 3.3. A few years later, Windows 95…. from there it’s get easy to figure out. But I got into programming (around 1992) too, BASIC, then C (I was… 18). Then with the help of some co-workers and friends, I learned how to troubleshoot and fix computers. At some point I was introduced to Linux-based operating systems (I was frequently getting frustrated with Windows), and eventually switched over to that full-time.

    So I’ve had a strong interest in computers for most of my adult life. I’ve also had problems with anxiety since I was … 18… hmmm… funny coincidence. Never thought much of that because I’ve strugged with depression since I was 10 years old. I honestly don’t know how much my computer use played in a role in my anxiety and stress management skills; I still have a bit of a problem. I guess my point would be that when discussing how my computer use affects me, I realize that everybody is affected differently by different things so I acknowledge that my story isn’t everybody’s story. πŸ™‚ I like to share though. I’ve noticed sometimes people come along and say, “Oh yeah, I can relate to that. It’s nice to see it in writing. πŸ™‚ (Like you, Tina, I’ve been blogging for a while, though not consistently, since 2001.)

    P.S. I’m sorry if my comment isn’t “well-edited.” Somtimes I rush to finish and get some pain in my forearms. Feel free to edit any glaring problems, or not, whatever you think is best for your site and its readers. Have a pleasant weekend.

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