I Hate Social Media And I Won’t Do Anything About It

“I wish I could just quit Facebook and Twitter,” I told one of my best friends over a basket of tortilla chips at our favorite Mexican dive. “I am so tired of it.”

“Me too,” he said. “But… we can’t.”

I’m tired of that.

I’m a millennial. I watched social media start up in the early 2000s, with the evolution of websites like Xanga and LiveJournal. Next came Myspace and Facebook in the mid-2000s, and then Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Vine, as the 2000s became the 2010s. So here we are, a generation who has spent our formative years paying no mind to giving play-by-plays of our lives, to laying out step-by-step instructions on how to anticipate our every move. I’m tired of it.

I’m tired of feeling an unspoken responsibility to post about every detail of my life online, and I’m tired of that sort of heavy feeling when I get no likes or retweets on a post I worked hard to construct. I’m tired of needing approval of my day-to-day activities from old classmates, distant friends or complete strangers. But all that’s been said.

I’m tired of the passive-aggressive status updates. I’m tired of reading other people’s tweets and wondering who they’re talking about, because it really shouldn’t matter to me who they’re talking about, because I don’t actually care who they’re talking about. I’m tired of wondering if that sad tweet from a friend of mine is subtly directed at me, or at another of my friends. I’m tired of dedicating mental and emotional energy to negative feelings broadcast into the world by negative people. And I’m tired of the fact that someone, somewhere, will read this paragraph and think I’m talking about them. (I’m not. But hi.)

I’m tired of feeling unable to remove myself from, specifically, Facebook, because having one is so ingrained in our idea of what it means to be a “real person.” We’ve all done it. We’ve all gone to look up that person we just met at a conference or a party, only to discover they don’t have an account, and we judge them for it. Most employers check applicants’ social media accounts before considering them for hire. I have at least half a dozen friends who have multiple Twitter handles, to keep their private and public lives separate. Stemming from that: I’m tired of the sense of obligation we feel to keep our lives publicly private. We update our privacy settings on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, so people can’t see in, while still giving them something to see: a padlock icon or a “Request Follow” button, which still says a lot about us, even though we intend for them to say nothing at all.

I’m tired of the assumptions that acknowledging something on a social media platform (sharing or liking on Facebook/favoriting or retweeting on Twitter) automatically equals endorsement for the largest possible overarching definition of whatever slant that particular post took. (You made a funny joke about Obama? You must be a Republican. You retweeted an article from MSNBC? You must be a Democrat. You follow McDonald’s? You must hate vegetarians and chickens.)

I’m tired of being annoyed all the time. I’m tired of hating the absolutely ridiculous, incorrect crap that goes viral and gets circulated. I’m tired of game requests (here’s looking at you, Baby Boomers), and I’m tired of “Share this or the devil will force you to give up your soul in exchange for a muffin!” I’m tired of people giving less than half a thought to what they share before they share it. (Just as a note: “The Onion” is not real. “The Daily Currant” is not real. Those headlines about Obama getting impeached? Not real. That one story about the Affordable Care Act being released on floppy discs? NOT. TRUE.)

But most of all? I’m tired of knowing that, at the end of the day, I will feel like a hypocrite, because I just can’t let it all go. I can’t give up Facebook, because what if an employer needs to look at it? I’d like to think my resume would stand on its own, but I know I won’t allow it the chance. I can’t give up Twitter, because I’m a millennial, so my every thought is unendingly important! There are so many pros to having social media, like keeping me connected and providing me with quick news updates, but those pros are overshadowed by the cons, and those cons are overshadowed by my inability to detach. And I’m really tired of that.

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View Comments (20)
  • I ended my FaceBook because it does nothing for me. I don’t want to see pictures of babies of people I don’t know, or news of people I’ll never meet..I need real people and real conversation in my life and screw employers who think my life outside work is their business! We have become slaves to the business of making money and run our whole lives around our paychecks. Not me!
    I will have time to myself, and real time with friends and work time that ends each day at the same time. Social media is not social, it’s all about business and phony connections for making money. Glad to say, my life still belongs to me.

    • I tried too, but I just couldn’t figure out what I’m supposed to do. I don’t think I’m the right person for it, because I just am not compelled to comment on photos and updates of people I could just call on the phone or avoid altogether.
      What, tell people what I ate? Who cares? It all comes out looking the same after 24 hours.

  • I am an 80s child, always grew up tech savvy. Your post was a good explanation of the ills of social media and its effect on us. I opt out of FB.

    I have to ask….it’s probably a generational thing, but…
    Why would you ever want an prospective employer to look at it? That would seem to just sell out your life in order to make money, which then begs the question of whether what you were posting was authentic or a designed identity,

    No employer should want to or ask to look at your personal life, nor should you offer or grant that permission, in my opinion. That they want to cross those boundaries for their own selfish reasons is no different from when bosses wanted to harass their female employees. Wrong wrong wrong. Let’s keep this professional. When asked, Impress them by saying, “I believe you should give me a chance to let my job performance tell you what you need to know.” If that doesn’t fly, ask to see theirs too.

    • Nope. It is incorrect to expect people to be something they are not. Morons in real life are still morons on the internet.

  • I empathize completely! I was born in 85, so I too saw the rise of myspace/facebook etc. I erased my facebook about two years ago, and I will never go back. The only one who really complains about me not having one is my mom and my wife. I think, people have really lost sight of what to keep to yourself- and those you know closely, and what to make public.

    Employers using facebook to make hiring decisions is a whole different can of worms.. It really makes my blood boil. In the end it is just discrimination, not to mention highly unethical! As a previous commenter Cindy said: your life outside of work is entirely no ones business, period.

  • Try abstaining from it for at least a week. I promise, the world won’t end. You’ll probably feel the equivalent of that miraculous feeling of finally not being sick after a week or two of feverish illness.

  • Love your blog. I found it in a search because I’m feeling the same exact way. Well I’m going to do it… right now. And I have two small businesses I want to promote. Well you know what, I’m going to buck the system, and prove em all wrong. You DON’T “need” a facebook page, or Twitter account to have a respected website. This is all made up fallacies that are eating away at our “real” lives. Just do it. I am.

  • Social media is a time-wasting, mentally debilitating straw man to curb real action in one’s life. Stop falling for it.

  • Its more about the quality of the average person. The gripe is that average people are morons! The probability that you are one of those morons is over %70

  • I 100 percent agree with the author.

    I’m confused though…isn’t a blog social media? Why are you so important that you feel that people would want to read your opinions? Hey, just calling it like I see it.

    • Hi, TL! Thanks for your comment. I definitely think that, to a certain extent, you are right. It’s very similar. But, a few things are different. For one, we consider LD to be an online magazine. We do news posts, music/TV/movie/product reviews, and social, political and health commentary, in addition to our personal essays and perspective posts. So I’d say belonging to LD is a step beyond having my own personal blog (which I do not have). Secondly, choosing to embark on a journey to become a writer, which I did when I enrolled in a journalism program in undergrad, can be a pretty egotistical choice. It’s basically saying that you’re smart enough and capable enough to put what is happening in the world, and what other people think and feel about it, into a clear, entertaining piece of prose that people will actually want to read. That egotism is taken a step further when you want to get into the world of online publishing and online magazines, because much of that is made up of first-person essays and perspective pieces. I think the difference between what you are saying (“Why are you so important that you feel that people would want to read your opinions?”) and how I feel is that I don’t think I am the factor in why people would read what I write. I’m sure my mom or other family members might read my writing purely because it’s got my named stamped on it, but for the majority of the people visiting LD, that’s probably not the case. I think people would read what I write based on whether it discusses something they have thought about or want to think about. Or, at least I hope that. That’s the goal.

      Thanks for commenting! I hope my explanation made a bit of sense. :)

  • I joined Facebook at 12 and quit at 13 out of boredom (I did not find it addicting). Life was fine at first, but as the years have gone by I’ve realized how much society can punish someone who lives without social media.

    I have virtually zero contact with friends who have moved away/whom I have moved away from, despite trying to maintain communication using email. I’ve missed several networking, school-related, and even scholarship opportunities because of my lack of social media. I have had to depend heavily on others for updates about events, and this has cost me. And I recently realized that a program I have just been accepted into uses Facebook as its primary means of communication between members.

    I strongly dislike social media, but I plan on re-joining Facebook by the end of the month.

    • Try being 52, I could never handle FB for longer than 6 months. I quit FB twice now. Quit Linkedin this morning,
      G+ I’ve hung in with but that is useless for getting a job. My social media usage would have been more profitably
      spent on a game of Cards and drinking.
      I do neither of those things.

  • Social Media is retarded. I don’t care what you ate, what your butt looks like, or what kind of relationship you are in. You realize the NSA collects all this information that you willingly pour out, and pretty much anyone can get ahold of your address and your photo? Heck, there are whole sites dedicated to galleries of scantily clad underage girls comprised completely of photos ripped off of facebook. Isn’t Social Media dandy?

  • I had started developing problems with social media a while back, the problems that are stated in this article and more, although I’m a teenager and it seems everybody half cool my age has a social media page. It caused me a lot of anxiety in which I thought SCREW NORMAL and deleted my page. However after a year of people asking me why I don’t have a Facebook, this caused me a lot of anxiety too and I eventually got my Facebook back. However I will never be a person that constantly uses social media so people were still judging saying why don’t you ever post on Facebook/Snapchat? That’s when I realised everybody is going to say something regardless of what I do, I am never going to be an online social savvy queen but I don’t have to be! I have friends off of the internet and I am actually quite popular regardless of me not updating my Facebook page, Instagram profile or Snapchat story. The online life isn’t for everyone so if it’s not for you, KEEP DOING YOU. Personally, I like my Facebook now as I can communicate with my friends a lot easier as I don’t have to have their phone number, and I’ve used this to my advantage and it’s made me more social IN THE REAL WORLD, not the online one!!! Develop a nice, social REAL life and don’t abandon it to make your online life perfect, do YOU, and don’t give in to society’s pressures. I recommend a Facebook page to message friends and a Snapchat account to check stories if bored, or say to people ‘bored, talk’ as this would be an advantage to your REAL life when a forgotten friend pops up and you become closer and meet up in the REAL world. However it’s up to you, you can stay completely social media free but either way if your choice has caused you anxiety, such as comparing yourself to everyone else on social media and their live’s seeming so much better, or not having a social media account and having people asking why and judging you or thinking you’re uncool, just remember you think so much worse of yourself than other people do and you are 200% judging yourself more than other people are, as they’re too busy judging themself! Sorry this is a long rant but I feel really strongly about this. Thank you, and have a nice day :)

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