I've never been one to be social, or to rally the troops, as it were. Sometimes, you sort of get thrown in to a position where you have to. I'm a wall flower. I keep my head down so others don't notice me. I'm fine with not being noticed by the general population. I have tried to keep a presence online, but that has done little for me up to this point. I know no one reads my blog or pays attention to my status updates. I'm used to it.
But it sucks. I want people to notice me and that is how I can speak up.
My gut is telling me the reason that it bothers me so much to be ignored on social media is because I'm connected to people I know, people I would consider to be friends, or at least familiar with. People I have come to know and love. When I'm ignored on there, it makes me feel little. I share my feelings, my passions, my interests, and some humor. Next to nothing is there.
As an experiment, I decided to step away from social sites like Facebook to see how life is. Here is what I found out. It sucks, just in another way.
In many ways, I'm happier being unplugged. I'm not bogged down in the daily gossip of others. I'm not being forced to block 90% of what I see because its annoying or meant to spark debate. It has lessened the amount of politics (seriously, can we go a day without talking about the election please?), religious discussions, and social debates that I find tiresome and close minded. You're a die-hard Republican that wants to post about guns and how much Obama-care is screwing with millions of people? I don't care. I don't respect the opinions of people that are deeply rooted in one ideology or another. I'm a moderate in most things. There's good and bad in everything. There is never a time I want to be associated with one side and sling mud on the other. I can't trust people sourcing politically or socially skewed news articles. Great, they support your viewpoint. Hooray and all that.
Are you trying to get me to support your cause, share your business, or spread the word of what you do? Give me a reason to. Is it something I can truly stand behind? Will you pay attention to what I have to say? Do you even care as long as you have my support? I can't join these things if I don't feel like I'm a part of them.
Do you like spreading images of things that you believe in without actually contributing to the cause? Does spreading a hashtag around make you feel like you are making a difference? Does changing your avatar to support some cause really affective? Do you just want to do the bare minimum without actually getting involved. Slacktivism is a real problem and too many people participate in it. Just posting about it without context, without adding anything to the discussion, how is that helping?
I don't miss any of that at all.
So why does it still suck?
For many people, its the only way they communicate what is going on in their lives. If you aren't following them, you may not know at all. You don't get a lot of opprotunities to talk to people in real life, so you tell the most people you can in the most efficient way possible. That's fine. When you leave social sites, you miss out on that.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? Only time will tell.
I'm not clammoring to get back on social sites any time soon. I'm fine with my little blog and nothing else. It does increase the feeling of isolation, but it also has been better for my overall viewpoint of humanity, if that makes sense. I just don't know anymore.
Sorry if this seems unorganized, I just needed to get these random thoughts out.