Image courtesy: telegraph.co.uk

I did take on to Social Networking in a big way — joined FB almost 5 years back, started blogging almost 4 years back and tweeting too a few years back. Suddenly an all new world opened out. I could reconnect to childhood school friends, college friends whom I had lost touch with and relatives living far away. It was all so wonderful! I was an active participant, criticizing, being judgmental, bitchy, witty, humorous all rolled in one. Ah, my blog, for somebody like me who has so many opinions and talks nine-to-a-dozen, it was just the perfect setting. Write as much and whatever you liked, spew venom, destress, who cared about what I wrote. But slowly, I read others’ blogs; they read mine, and then this wonderful world opened out where I could read wonderful stuff, some of it helpful, some informative, some plain fun and some other mundane! I loved social networking. There was a time when I had a twitter timeline going on and kept actively reading tweets for hours (not anymore).

 

But, somewhere it became unhealthy and damn addictive. Logging into Facebook and checking what someone wrote, expressing opinion and then getting back if there was a difference of opinion. Checking to see who commented what on my photos or commenting on someone else’s pictures. You have to see some of the really heated discussions that take place on FB. And, I had some nasty commenters too on my blog. Those I handled better, perhaps because I didn’t actually care what they thought. I didn’t know them and didn’t mind them thinking the worst of me. But, my posts became a little restrained when I came to know that a next-door neighbor was reading it too along with my husband’s friends. When you put a face to your reader, you are a little sensitive in what you write. At least, that works for me.

 

And then I realized that is it really worth getting into all those heated arguments, expressing stupid opinions that actually mean so little and actually jeopardizing years of friendship or relationship for  a misunderstood opinion? If you comment on something and someone does not reply, you feel bad. If you don’t comment, they might feel bad. What is this new hazard of communication? And then so much precious time goes in just jumping from one blog to another, one article shared to another that could have been utilized in a much better way. Priorities are getting sidelined, and yes a narcissistic, bragging culture is being promoted. Do it, click it, and put it up on FB. I am bigger, wiser, more intelligent, have better kids, better dog than you. I have this gadget, do you? There is no end to this, and it gets more bizarre all the time. The fatigue begins setting in, and I really feel the need to stay away. I mean how does it matter if I miss a few status updates or pics or if I don’t make my big point. I am giving too much importance to myself; frankly no one cares :).

 

The part I find most stressful is exposure to so many depressing stories and events. I mean really, I have enough tensions in my own life, I don’t need to reason threadbare issues I have no control over and can do precious little about. So, why surround myself with so much negativity? I want more positivity in my life. I want exposure to more humor and fun. So, I’ve cut down watching senseless news debates (read Arnab) :) and going to depressing blogs (no offense meant to anyone).

 

So, what I follow these days is staying away from unnecessary controversies. Seek more positive influences. Definitely spend more time away from all social networking, just login sparingly to FB. Basically, spend more time in actual contact than via social network. And, yes a little less bragging is good too ;-).

The following two tabs change content below.
Hi! I am a professional Content Writer and co-owner of a Technology startup, Tranquil Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. I am a Major in Chemistry and MBA in Marketing Management from NMIMS, Mumbai. After having worked in Brand Management, I took a sabbatical when I had my kids. I did dabble in Teaching and Medical Transcription in my quest to balance my work-life after my kids. And finally I stumbled upon writing. Having started this blog in 2008, I ventured into professional content writing. And I continue to grow and work with some amazing people in the field of writing. This blog still continues to be a strong reflection of my thinking, opinions, perceptions and wisdom. I am mother to two bratty boys and a Labrador and loving wife to a wonderful man. I go the extra mile for friends and love a good conversation. Uncomplicated, I tend to open up easily to those close to me. I have lived around the world including the US and Europe. I don't have it all figured out, but I am enjoying the journey that is life!

Latest posts by Rachna (see all)

Comments

comments

68 Thoughts on “Social Networking — Why it isn’t working for me!

  1. A big resounding AMEN from me Rachna! You said it all and you said it perfectly!

    • Thank you Colleen :). Glad you could relate. Why have you cut down your blogging. I love reading your posts. Or is it that you are really busy with painting?

  2. True Rachna. But to get to this level of ‘nirvana’ we have go through that honeymoon, restless, obsessed and enough-of-it stages :)

  3. well, getting involved in these social networking is not that bad as far as one is not in ADDICTION of it….thats how i feel..:)

  4. :) well thank god i did not get addicted to FB I find it complete waste of time and useless , people spend so much time on it they can do much better and more worthwhile stuff if they dont waste there time here …

    Take care.

    Bikram’s

  5. A nice honest post Rachna – it is difficult sometimes to step back from obsessive checking … I have all three accoutns too but I find Twitter just one step too far. For a while i followed some popular comedians but really they maybe said something amusing once a week so I cut them out. I don’t watch (or own) a TV but I do go out with friends a lot – the real world is quite a nice to place to be. Where you can say something and people can see immediately that it is a joke or serious!
    Have a good day – I’m not offended if you don’t comment by the way!!

    • Well pointed out, Jane. One just feels the compulsion to check back after a little time. It is just so crazy that even on holidays, you cannot stay away. When we actually look at it, what are we really doing?

  6. Wise decision as it doesn’t seem to work for you .Keep blogging Rachna ,I love reading you :):)

    • Thank you Kavita. I really must cut it down. It works in some ways, but I don’t want it to become this overpowering monster. I want to control it. And thanks, blogging will always be my first love :). I love reading your posts too.

  7. agree with you.. still blogging is one arena I guess you would never ever wanted to leave … and as far as FB is concerned, it’s all about knowing and gossiping about others.. I use it to promote my blogs though :)

    Weakest LINK

  8. Everybody goes through the stages you have described, but how many of us can stay away from these things, maybe a few of us may take well deserved break, while others would continue doing what makes them feel happy, and some would be back after their break.
    At least today we have so many choices, one can choose to go with the flow or move away from the flow, we always have a choice.
    Yes these networking thing is not for everyone, one must be aware of one’s priorities, and make a matured choice.
    For me when it becomes addictive , I tell myself I could lose a few pounds exercising instead of wasting precious time in FB/ blogs/ Flickr etc.

    • Yes, many of us just go with the flow till we are spending most of our waking time sitting on the internet. Luckily, it never got that bad for me ever. But, I want to wean myself off and like you pointed out do something more constructive. As it is, I have a lot of work so it would help to cut off this purely wasteful activity.

  9. Agree with you completely!! For me the only addictive thing on FB is FV!! Somehow, all these social networking sites, actually alienate you from the real world!

    • Yep and that is why I removed it a long time ago :). Yes, they alienate you from the real world and sometimes a stray word or comment can have long-term implications too.

  10. I’ve been slowly getting to the end of my FB tolerance too…so as they say in my home land…everything new is new for 3 days, then forgotten. I guess FB and I simply grew apart…haha

  11. I never had an FB or a twitter account. No time, no interest I guess. I like “real life” better :-)

  12. yeah the addiction sets in and the de-addiction follows quickly too – at least sooner or later. the time away from it is really necessary otherwise, yeah like you wrote very well there, it all boils down to showing off. i still find all these – FB, twitter – fun maybe because i spend very less time on it. ‘open, check, close’ ritual basically. blogging is where a huge chunk of my time goes in.

    very nicely written post because you covered it from so many angles

    • So, your ritual is balanced and that is how all this makes sense. I have decided that I will only login once into FB and twitter. Emails are my lifeline, as I am online when I work, but I am adding filters to keep away obnoxious elements from my mailbox especially those belonging to mailing lists.

      Thanks dear :).

  13. The case is same here also. I started social networking with orkut. At that time it was so addictive. To tell the truth, majority of my friends were those whom I met in communities..Now I am, as you mentioned, facing a kind of addiction to FB. yeah, blogging and YouTube, twitter, etc also r there..

  14. To some points i whole heartedly agree.sometimes some comments bring unnecessary tension in our life..so I have also started going to those blogs only where i will find something interesting to read, because reading is addictive to me and always opens my eyes…secondly i read many, but not always comments,and i nevr bother about the no of comments i get..to me a few like minded people are better than a whole lot of …

    • Yes, I know Renu. I left some heated comments on some controversial topics on your blog too. But, I realized how futile doing that is. Yes, we will eventually only read what or whom we want to read. Some people are great at going across multiple blogs and reading everything. I just don’t have it in me. I am always open to reading exciting posts, but I wish to stay away from negativity.

  15. Good, I am not addicted to nay one of the sites.I visit FB oncew a day,Twitter three times a day and read blogs for about an hour.
    I dont get emotional,i dont react to any unparliamentry language.
    It is we who decideded to joinn these sites,without any external pressure.Hence,decisions are ours

    • Absolutely, I aspire to spend that much time too and no more like you do. I agree about the language bit too. I don’t intentionally try to hurt anyone or use bad language. I think that is in real bad taste. Another very useful site is LinkedIn; it is very helpful professionally. Surely, the decision is ours to make the best out of social networking and not letting it dictate our lives.

  16. Can;t agree more. as adults we are very childish. x comments on Y’s pic but not on Z’s pic.I wonder how it would be if we have dislike button on FB

    That having said, I got my job thro linkedin. so its up to us how we use the internet.

    • Yes, LinkedIn is really wonderful to be on. It is focused and all you have to do is connect with someone for them to have your whole professional life in front of them. And, it is not time consuming at all. That I like the best about it.

  17. we are forever adding friends , even ones we met only in school, or colleagues that sit next to you in office. I had this guy in office, with whom I did one proj, he sends FB request and follows up on me accepting the request :-)

    IN real life, would you persue some one for friendship like that, So as we share, we need to exercise caution on what we share and how we share,. these days am cautious to use the custom option where I select my thoughts with custom few. There are jealous people out there.

    That having said, i am the one that posts the most I guess and trying hard to kick the habit.

    • Yes, very rightly so. We are adding just about anyone on our profiles to have more friends. I use a lot of privacy settings to protect whatever little privacy I have left over FB. And, I have become more careful on the blog too though I have already put out a lot about myself. Yes, there are jealous people or those not really wishing you well. And any such information in their hands can be dangerous. We really need to wake up to many dangers of being in the virtual world.

  18. A lovely post Rachna!As for anything in life, a heady balance is what is just needed to keep sailing on an even keel!

  19. When you put a face to your reader, you are a little sensitive in what you write.
    Me too. I became very restrained in my views and content once I came to know my MIL was reading my blog.

    I have phases where I become really active on social networks, and then I just drop off for a while.

  20. I agree. Click it and post it. Clever FB strategy of Like and comments to get readers hooked. But we all have to draw lines somewhere and decide on our own agenda and time to be given.

    I guess everyone goes through the graph.. peak and then the plateau. Plateau is where we should keep it.

  21. I totally agree wid u fb will be wasting much time n people will be so many things like I am going to sleep,eating breakfast even posting their daily routines n lots of like n comments for that too which surprises me :) u have chosen the right way dont’t waste time on fb…

    • Thank you Kala. And then people blatantly pointing to caviar that they are eating or iPad that they possess, it is so cheap and downmarket. I sometimes wonder to what depths we are plunging.

  22. Great post as usual Rachna. I have been following your post for quite some time and recently i needed to nominate few blogger for an award and so here is an award for you. The link to the award is http://ramesh-randomrambling.blogspot.in/2012/02/liebster-blog-awards.html. All the best

  23. Rachna, completely agree with you- both blogging and FB are terribly addictive. I found that I was unable to read books after I started this love affair with the internet. I am also trying to restrict this but it is easier said that done! It is easier to restrict the blogging but FB- now that is something that I just cannot get out of. I have met all my school friends through it and we just have to keep at it..! But you are right -the show off culture is getting promoted through FB. I see some people constantly posting pictures of themselves or their achievements on FB.. my husband calls this “life as presented to and by the inhabitants of the virtual world”

    • And your husband just hit the nail on the head. I am actually logging into FB just once a day sine past two days and not really feeling any withdrawal :). I mostly use FB or Twitter for promotion of my business. I am going to stay away from putting up inane updates or commenting on inane ones from now on :).

  24. I got addicted and de activated it months back :)
    Great post !

  25. Ha! Yes they are very addictive Rachna! It took me 2 years (and am still working) on reducing my social presence in fb and Flickr..Thank god I’m never active in Twitter!
    And when you have these goddamn relatives peeping into our page, and commenting on what we wear and bitch around, it totally annoys me! sometimes I regret for adding relatives into the FB. And let alone not being able to write what I wanted to write! What freedom do we get if we can’t even express ourselves in our blog and feel cautious on what people think of us!!
    Loved every bit of your post!

  26. Interesting point you make. Yes, sometimes adding everyone actually restricts and defeats the purpose of social networking. That way google+ is a better option that allows you to create circles and post to them. That way you can share different things with different people. With FB, there are just too many mindboggling settings.

  27. I got into these pretty late but got disillusioned double quick. You are so right about the compulsion of commenting on statuses of friends on FB and their posts. Belonging to the previous gen too is a handicap since it is hard to be so quick to respond. I wonder how kids these days do it. All in all, I am happy with the few blogs I read regularly and comment on and happier with those who like what I write and comment on it. Blogs are fine for me any day, but that too only in moderation.

    • Yes the disillusionment sets in eventually. And, I sometimes wonder how some people manage to keep commenting and replying and putting up new statuses and new pics all the time. I mean don’t they have anything better to do? Do they realize the futility of all this? I am in the same boat as you for blogging. I blog when I want to and have time. And, I am happy to read a few and have a few read me. I only want to spend maybe an hour max on blogging or reading blogs, nothing more!

  28. Sighs! I warmed up to Twitter a few months back. And I am hopelessly addicted. But that’s where I get news updates, read a cross section of opinions, sharpen my wit.

    Too many distractions, too little time? This too shall pass(hopefully).

  29. Would certainly agree on a few things but then as far we don’t reach the “can’t live without” level it’s fine I guess. But then a line definitely needs to be drawn.Somewhere.

    Not a bad policy you have of a single login a day and less of into controversies and more of actual contact. Seems appealing :)

  30. You’ve learnt to be selective which is very wise. Musings of ordinary people are very interesting but to find the gold, we’ve often got to go through the dross. FB (family and friends only) once every couple of days works for me.

  31. Nice post Rachna. I see a lot of bragging on fb, attention seeking tendencies and so on. It’s okay among close friends, but when you have schoolmates you haven’t even talked to even once on your friends list, it starts getting on your nerves. I guess it all depends on how we use it. If I forget the bragging and bitching part, I quite enjoy it…

  32. I like the interactions on Social Media. They are usually fun and engaging – a great timepass.
    But I like it better that I know that I can stay away from it if I choose to. And for days on end without missing it.

    • You are absolutely right! I like it better too that I can stay away and not miss it. The scary part was when I was loitering on FB and wasting precious work hours. But, every time I slip, I come back more disciplined :). It is a great place to have fun conversations; that is why we are always back :). But it is a time drain, and I recognize that!

  33. Hmm! I sure hope to count among the positive mood-setters of the Social networking arena :)

  34. Gosh, Rachna, your second last paragraph so said it. Really, who wants to know what went on in your life……..it happened like yesterday, so get over it! The negativity is a killer. That will explain why I am such a lazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy reader….lol. My Dad used to say, if you can’t spread cheer, then don’t distribute your tears. No one is interested for each one has their own quota……

    But most importantly, you are back………………..now I know so many ladies can breathe easy….

    • I guess taking a step back is a reality check in ridding us of our delusions and helping us see those of others with more clarity :). Yep, I am back with a new-found discipline hopefully :)!

  35. Mine’s the same story, Started facebook discussions as if I am going to change and improve the womanhood of India/ But started to feel I should chose my battles. There is no point in arguing with someone who have not even met me in their life time. It sounds ridiculous now that I am thinking about it again. :-)
    But sometimes I put my toe out of line and start to comment then I realise, I should not have.
    Same goes with my photos, videos. These day I have almost decided I am not going to put my photos as much as I was doing earlier. I like to say I will be pleased with myself if I will never put photos at all. I am tired of some people doing voyeurism and other just liking it for the sake of it. Same goes with my FB shares.
    No point. Better is meeting face to face.

    • Exactly Bhavana! Those discussions take so much out of us, don’t they? They keep us simmering with anger and frustration too. I guess we all begin to see light after the honeymoon phase is over. I have so many of my close friends who have rolled back now. Some have even deactivated their profiles. For many, the apprehensions and distress are real.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Post Navigation