I went all Brenda from Bristol last week upon hearing news of the latest social network predicted to be a big deal that I simply had to sign up to. “Not another one!” I whined as, within one short morning, half of my Twitter and Instagram feeds were keenly signing up to Vero, sharing their profile links and instructing current followers to go ahead and follow on Vero, too.
Whether or not Vero will turn out to be the next big thing, or whether or not we need another social network are conversations for another time, but hearing of yet another platform that I was expected to sign up to just felt utterly exhausting. Yet another platform to maintain, to post on, to figure out what to do with, and to figure out how much of myself I’d like to commit to. Doesn’t that just not sound like any fun, at all? Despite my reservations, I signed up. Admittedly, I was curious, but more practically, I saw a lot of my favourite bloggers sign up, and I thought perhaps it would be a handy platform on which to peddle growth – I’ve currently got one follower, so you could say things are off to a shaky start. My skepticism and general *sigh* towards Vero isn’t anything personal. I’ve realised that recently, I’m fed up with social media – ALL – social media platforms, I might add.
In the distance, I think I just heard the sound of a Boomer gasp. I, a self-obsessed millennial, cannot be bothered with social media. I feels as though social media has become such an enormous part of our lives that it has become all consuming – even if you’re not a big poster, you’re probably still scrolling away in the background. Did you really have fun if you didn’t post a picture on Instagram? Do you even have an opinion if you don’t share it on Twitter? Are you even alive if you’re not on Snapchat?
This weekend I spent some time in Brighton with a few friends from university. We played Mario Kart, went for dinner, watched an entire season of Peep Show, cooked food, went to a club, got drunk, and we didn’t take a single photo. By Sunday I found myself fretting that I hadn’t found a single moment to grab a mate and take a drunk selfie, or even head to the seafront to capture something a little nicer. No soon as I began to fret, I felt repulsed by my own worries about capturing the moment. I had a lovely weekend, a really wonderful time with my friends that I’ll remember clearly for a long time, so why was I so worried about a lack of evidence? Social media, of course.
The ‘pressure to post’ isn’t my only bugbear. Social media has changed lately, Facebook and Instagram seem to think they know better me what I want to see, and now I don’t see my entire feed of friends, but rather a strangely ordered set of highlights. Facebook is no longer about keeping up with old mates, all I see are memes. Don’t get me wrong, I love memes, I’m just not sure I love 50 memes in a row. Snapchat is obviously a total car crash after the most recent update, and LinkedIn makes my skin crawl; so full of endless self satisfaction and supposed ‘wisdom’ packaged neatly in 250 word posts categorised by short sentences, gaps between lines, and the necessity to expand the post merely to reach the disappointing flannel at the end. Social media has started to feel less like a fun way to reach people you might not meet or see every day, and instead like some sort of endless mission to keep up with the online Jones’, and I for one, cannot be fucked.
“Why don’t you just delete social media then?” I hear you very fairly question. Well, it’s kind of a “can’t live with it, can’t live without it” situation, I suppose. Because absolutely everybody has accounts on various networks, it now feels very odd to be out of the loop. Without Twitter and Facebook, I would have to change the way I consume news in order to stay up to date. Without Instagram, I wouldn’t know what some of my best friends are up to, and without LinkedIn I’d be much harder to get hold of by any potential employers wanting to get in touch. I suppose this is my frustration, I can’t be without social media even though I often feel it is a healthier and more productive way to live.
I’ve already rid my phone of LinkedIn; I’m just not that in demand to bother keeping it only to put up with receiving umpteen notifications a day that someone somewhere has liked someone else’s post. Snapchat, meanwhile, is treading on thin ice – I’ll be deleting it as soon as I’ve mustered the confidence to take a selfie without the need to cover my mug with a dog’s mouth and ears. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feel a little more challenging from which to bid a more permanent goodbye. All three play key roles in my everyday life (offering perhaps an alarming glimpse into my meme consumption), and as such would leave bigger holes in my day to day boredom busting. Twitter particularly is a useful platform on which to direct people onto this blog, and is an absolute necessity in my professional life, so that’s certainly not going anywhere.
Perhaps I’m just getting older, and sharing my life’s highlights isn’t as interesting or necessary as I once thought it was. Perhaps i’m having a blip and i’ll feel differently next week, or perhaps Vero is going to reignite a passion inside me and will prove to be useful for blogging. Who knows.