Being A Social person vs A Social Media person

I’m sure almost all the readers of this article have some or the other form of social media presence, so no one is oblivious to the addictive effects of these different platforms. But that’s not what this article is about. This one is about ‘Why we can’t consciously let go’.

By now we’re all aware of why we should control our social media usage, the troubling question now is- HOW? An important first step is to figure out why we joined these platforms in the first place. It could be for various reasons that are different for each individual. Some common ones may include-

  • FOMO (fear of missing out)

  • Peer pressure

  • Business/ work

  • Socialising and staying connected

The first two reasons seem more harmful than the last two, but all four lead you to the same behaviour which you’re trying to overcome

Now that you’ve identified your incentive to join social media, ask yourself if this reason is worth the amount of time you spend on social media. Assess how much good or bad it does for you.

FOMO entails that you feel the need to be involved or aware of other peoples’ lives. Ask yourself why?? Does knowing where your friend vacationed help you in any way? If yes, do you think there’s another way ( a more healthy one perhaps) that you could get to know this? Maybe by calling her and talking to her about her trip? It’s quite evident that FOMO is a product of insecurity, possibly social insecurity, something that takes immense awareness to curtail.

Peer pressure is when your companions compel you (could be unintentional) to do something, in this case, force you to be on social media and to have an active presence on the platform.

When an individual is forcing you to make a decision that is not good for you, it’s safe to say that they do not have your best interests at heart. You have to take a stand, move away from them and take a conscious step in the right direction, uninfluenced by them.

A more challenging incentive to have an online presence is your business or your work. This is more challenging because you might think that you’re doing the right thing attempting to grow and market your business. But if you’re concerned by the amount of time being spent on this, it could mean that your time investment is not reaping satisfactory benefits. Maybe your business is not growing as expected. This should urge you to rethink your marketing strategy and explore other, more efficient ways to expand.

Personally, my motive to join social media was to stay connected ad socialise. Every time I thought about leaving, I’d convince myself that “I needed to socialise with people because I’m a socially outgoing person”. It took me a while to realise that being a sociable person doesn’t oblige you to have a social media presence. You can be sociable without social media.

To be sociable means that you enjoy interacting with other people, holding conversations, sharing ideas and talking. A social person is someone who effortlessly engages with other people frequently and has many friends. It is possible to be both of these without social media.

Social media is a lot like a parallel universe or an alternate reality. It’s another world altogether where people behave like someone they’re not. How much can you tell about a person from their social media page? It’s nothing but fragments of their personality scattered in posts and stories. So how can you really connect with fragments of a person? You can’t. Even when you chat with a person, without body language and expressions, you can’t tell what their real emotions at that moment are. So even if you believe that you had an interesting conversation, did the other person feel the same way? Can you be sure?

You might agree with someone’s opinion on a matter, but there might be 10 other matters on which your opinions are polar opposites (that’s not always a bad thing, but it shows how much you really know about them).

Hence, being a social person in real life is far more valuable than maintaining a social media presence. Having a few friends that you connect with on a spiritual level is far better than having a superficial connection with hundred others, especially if it leads to nothing but a waste of your time on a bottomless, scrollable platform.