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 with 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, de-stress, 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 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 may 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 ;-).