The above article I would say is far from really scientific but I think anyone who has spent time on social media and then stepped away from it will understand the gist of it. I can’t recall tell if my depression and anxiety tainted my view of social media or if my personality as a whole just doesn’t like the idea of it. I’ve never been one to seek attention and the whole structure of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to me felt like one big rat race for popularity.
The notion that likes don’t have value made a lot of sense to me. When interaction is a “click” is there still meaning in it? It’s one of those things where if it mattered there would be communication, not just a thumbs up/down check box. The need to feel liked drives a lot of folks but I’ve always wondered to what end? When the process of divorce started I terminated my social media accounts. I no longer parade my daily life out, with the exception of this blog. My reasons for The Long Road however aren’t to be liked, it’s just another variation on my therapy. If people have meaningful things to say, I certainly hope they engage me but it isn’t the driving force of my writing. Facebook has some positive uses but I feel like it’s gotten mired in the need to create image and branding. When businesses wanted employees to use their personal Facebook accounts to promote product I realized it was just another tool being used, it wasn’t about being true to yourself or wanting meaningful interaction it was about attention, visibility and optics. That world isn’t for me and deactivating my accounts was one of the best choices I made to keep myself from feeling worse.
If you find that the toxicity of social media is affecting you more and more, think about pairing it down. Don’t rely on FB. It is entirely possible to keep communicating with others in a format that isn’t about a popularity wall. It isn’t easy but personally, I find that when I’m engaged by people who genuinely want to speak to me, it’s a much more fulfilling process. No likes required.