I’m sure (like many people) I have a love/hate relationship with social media; the difference for me is that social media is a huge part of my job.
When Facebook first exploded on to the scene I was strangely late to the party – unusual for me as I love a new communication tool but my loyalty lay with My Space at the time – why would I want the same page but without music playing, on Facebook? I finally relented and joined Facebook in 2007 when everyone but me had left My Space. I was temping at the time, with my friends Kev and Roxanne and its safe to say the minute they set me up on it I was hooked and we spent all day posting pics of ourselves and messaging eachother! I had become recently single so loved looking up old flames and adding old school friends and messaging in to the early hours.
I loved school so it was an absolute treat finding all my old school chums on there – we even set up a big reunion that was great fun and brought about new and fabulous friendships with many more reunions.
Twitter was a different story; wanting to broaden my horizons career wise, when applying for a PR job they required Twitter knowledge, so I logged on immediately and again was instantly hooked. It was a quiet place at that time (early 2009), a few media types, no one you really knew in person which was exciting (aside from a few journalists). I made some great friends on there and loved the fact that none of us knew each other in real life! Most tweeters from that time I’ve met in person now but there are a couple I’ve tweeted since day one and still never met – like having a pen pal really.
Now the world and their mum (literally) are on Twitter and despite the fact that I love it, I can’t help but wish for the times when everyone used to talk to eachother all the time. If you tweeted something, at least one person would respond and you’d have a lovely chat. Now everyone follows so many people, celebs and real life friends that its too crowded at times to take much time and enjoy this platform as it was. Plus a lot of people’s tweets are maybe more thought out than natural now, as the world is a little more self concious than it was 7 years ago.
It was a wonderful place for interaction on those lonely nights or long working days. Now I find it a bit soulless and even with my 3,000 or so followers can still feel like I’m talking to myself. It’s a treat these days if anyone gets involved for a light chat.
And as for Facebook, it’s now a sea of adverts and mayhem from a timeline that is full of friends ‘likes’. Where are the lovely holiday photos and chatty statuses? Now you don’t even know people are on facebook until you see they have liked an article or something. I understand people don’t have time for updating statuses and the novelty as worn off but I used to love seeing what people were up to and a holiday snap! That was the whole point of facebook wasn’t it?
There are friends on facebook I forgot I had on there until they say in real life “oh it looks like you had a lovely holiday”! Hardly anyone likes photos or statuses merely preferring to scroll through quickly I guess.
I enjoy liking and commenting on a photo but then I’m a big communicator, though if it wasn’t for a few regulars I would feel like I had no facebook friends.
Obviously it’s a good thing that people are too busy having lives to faff with facebook but I’m just pointing out that I miss the days of interaction. It all just seems a bit pointless at times.
On a positive note – I love catching up with old friends and family on facebook, seeing what they’re up to as some do update every now and then. I don’t have the luxury of living near my best friends and some close family, so find Facebook so valuable for staying in touch visually.
As for Twitter, it is still a great place to read articles and blogs and to meet new people, its just in a more superficial way now. Whereas at the start we were all clueless together just talking about what we had for lunch!
On the upside things do have to change and nothing stays the same, we would all be bored if it did. I do hope that the small group of people that tweet for fun or use facebook because they like it rather than feel they have to show they have a great life – continue to enjoy it and use it in the right way because I would miss them if they didnt!
I have a social media addiction fuelled by the fact it’s my livelihood and I really am trying to implement a 10am – 10pm rule but it’s not easy! What if I miss some breaking news?!
Secretly I would love a life without social media, I can’t remember what life was like before it – that’s a scary thing. I love a good book and a magazine but it takes me ages to finish them as I have to check social media before I settle down to one – then before I know it hours of my life have gone.
Finding a happy medium is key – dip in and dip out – ‘like’ a few statuses, chat to a few people, be social then turn it off and live your life.