Have we got what it takes to stay (and survive) in social media?
I asked the question myself recently. Such a seemingly simple question turns out difficult to answer. It is even more difficult when matters of heart are involved in attempting to answer the question.
Let me share my experience with you.
I started this year with several personal downside events, one of those was a very messy breakup. The first thing to do was to disconnect myself with the other party, meaning Twitter block, Line block, WhatsApp block, but remained “friends” on Path at the time. If you are not familiar with those names of applications, consider yourself lucky.
However, having still been connected in a social-media application where people tend to be more freely throwing their opinions, expressing their thoughts and preferences, it began to sink on me the danger of having a lack of clear mind while participating in social media. I often lamented my mellow state of mind through song I posted, through long-winded status I wrote, while the other party seemed unfazed in seeing my posts. I began to think, did I really write the posts from the heart, or simply to attract attention?
Then, as the other party starts a new relationship already, people start commenting on them and whatever they share in common together.
For weeks, I’ve gone berserk, crazy, mad. Finally, we unshared each other.
Talked to a very few friends about what I felt, and one of them offered this blatantly truthful comment: “It is even hard these days to break up and be connected in social media. People in social media take sides. Friends take side in social media. Unfortunately, sometimes what people choose to side, they may not be in your favor.”
He further told me that it’s best to step back, while digesting slowly the bullet I had dodged while dealing with hard-hitting facts.
I translated stepping back as quitting, thus I took a sabbatical leave from Path, despite already having unshared one another. I thought, while not being a “friend”, but we still have friends in common, and we might “see” each other when we posted comment in these common friends’ posts.
I took the leave for slightly more than a month, on which by the 3rd week, I began receiving texts, like:
– “Hey, where have you been? Haven’t seen you on Path recently!”
– “Are you okay? You haven’t posted anything on Path!”
– “We miss you on Path! How are you?”
Come to think of it, this is funny. You have been away from social media, and people presume that you’ve vanished completely from life.
Quite the opposite, I managed to have lunch with few friends, went out to dinner, caught up with latest events and films in town, all through simple personal chat or texts.
There is no so-called moral of the story to the lengthy post, as I was just rambling my share with you. Sometimes it’s best to disconnect for a while. Yes, social media allows us to get the latest news very fast, to be updated with the latest happenings. But stepping back and smelling the real air outside allows us to greater thinking.
Sometimes, to stay sane in social media, one needs to be away from it for a while.
I have returned to Path for a few days now. Talk about sensory overload on the first attempt.
I still “encounter” my ex on friends’ comments, yet I made no move about it at all. Just let it be.
The recovery is not completed yet at the time of writing, as it takes God knows how long it will be.
But I do know that it is important to stay afloat surviving in this game of social media, and be firm as well as be responsible with things that you share there, because you have no idea if they will work for or work against you.
And that requires a big heart and greater mind to do.
I haven’t gotten it, but I’m working on it.