Monday, July 16, 2012

On Unplugging and Another Reason Why I Can't Have Nice Things

10. I can't have nice things because I'm too preoccupied with Internetland to appreciate them (you can read the other nine reasons here). 

I had to delete my Facebook. Whoopee.

  This isn't the first time it's happened (obviously). My usual reason is that I realize after ten posts in one day for days in a row that I'm spending too much time on the internet instead of focusing on my studies. This is followed by an unsuccessful attempt to just not log on for a few days, which is then followed by a two-week-or-so Facebook deactivation to get myself refocused. Once I begin to stay focused and the work/goof off balance has been restored, I reactivate my Facebook. It's a vicious cycle that happens repeatedly as a means to stay productive. But this time it's over a far bigger crisis than three rigorous exams in the same week (hard to imagine a crisis larger than that, I know).
  I'm not going to get into details of what happened, but I'm am going to say that I sometimes think social media is ruining my life. Sometimes might be an understatement. Slowly and surely, my ability to have a personal relationship with people is deteriorating and being replaced with a 'Like' button, comments from people who barely know me that I really don't know, and random pointless hashtags. It's very unsettling to me. Have I really lost my ability to keep in touch with people while still keeping a productive daily life? It really looks that way.
  What's even worse is that 3/4 of my friends list consist of people I've met once or never see. I think that's mainly because I am connected to close friends and family as well as business connections. As an actor/marketing professional, it's crucial for me to keep all these connections, and what better way than to add them on Facebook? The annoying part is that as much as I want to be myself, I really can't be completely because it costs me job opportunities, and sometimes friendships. Sure, I could make another Facebook for business and keep the other one for close friends and family, but with school and work I really don't need or want the extra hassle just yet (that's what I made this blog for!).
  I have to admit, nothing is more freeing than deleting my Facebook, even if it's only for a short while. It's almost like some mystery has been established between my life and other people's when they don't see me in their news feed or on their friends list anymore. When I'm on one of these hiatuses, the important people always text me and ask where I've gone. I always appreciate that because I know they're thinking of me.
  The whole thing is also dichotomous. It's freeing, but at the same time I've never felt so alone and disconnected from the world as I do right now. It hits me every time and is usually the reason why I cave and reactivate the damn thing after two weeks. I don't why this is, considering all the important people know that I'm okay and that's all that should matter. I need to be back "in touch" with all three-hundred and eighty-something people, almost like I'm using this impersonal virtual thing as a means of knowing I'm not really alone in the world. Most of these people aren't even my friends, either. Less than one-tenth of them are going to be around for the most important events in my life, and vice versa. But I get this sense of security and validation from interacting virtually with these mostly unimportant people. It's a very false sense of security.
  This is where social media is ruining my life. I've forgotten how to make an effort to maintain my friendships and I'm starting to miss out on actual real things and actual real people. And it's pathetic. In no way should something this impersonal be destroying the foundations of my life, my relationships with people, the people who ultimately matter the most. Once it gets to this point, I need to unplug and rethink my priorities in my personal life as I do with my schoolwork. So I will need to cope with this false loneliness for a little bit while I sort out my personal life and learn that I'm not really lonely. That's fine with me.

On the plus side, my Twitter (@Miss_Lexi_Lee) doesn't ruin my life. Because Twitter is silly. But you should follow me anyway.

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