I am bidding goodbye to social media unofficially. I didn’t actually deactivate my social media accounts (yet). But I consciously decided not to post anymore stuff in it (or as much I used to). Let me share with you my history with social media and why I am somehow creating boundaries with it.
My History with Social Media
I used to have the good ol’ Friendster (remember that?) like everyone before – the testimonials, the feature of knowing someone is viewing your accounts and yes, keeping up with what is going on with your “friends”. I also just created a Facebook profile that time due to the encouragements of my cousins from Canada for us to keep in touch. But during those times when I was in my internship year of medical school and I wasn’t in a good place in my life followed by a bad break up with my first serious boyfriend, so I deleted my Friendster and Facebook account and never thought of about it.
But when I was in my residency training in Family Medicine, I took a trip to the United States for my friend’s wedding. Her husband is a game programmer and has created online games for Facebook. They persuaded me have a Facebook account for us to share photos of the wedding and for us to play games in Facebook. So I eventually did. I started enjoying posting status updates. And slowly but cautiously created photo albums in it. Around that time, I created a blog in Multiply which I transferred to an official blogging site, Blogspot. I eventually but shyly started posting links of my blog posts in my Facebook account.
When I was already working in Singapore, I got so serious with my blogging and I became more aggressive with marketing my blog. I often would share my blog posts in my social media channels: personal Facebook, my Facebook page, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. I even try my hand with Snapchat. I enjoyed being in social media; getting updates from everyone; interacting with friends, followers and online strangers ; getting likes and acknowledgment. I did struggle trying to keep up with my blogging peers who seems to get the magic formula in increasing their social following in Instagram while they all reached to 10k, I was still hovering at 7k. So besides the pressure of being online all the time, to be visible, to get more exposure for my blog, gathering more followers from Instagram and keeping up with the commenting & like-for-like, social media has become such a second nature to me that I have to keep everyone updated what is going on in my life. It also became my sort-of escape from boredom, loneliness, anxiety, frustration and many emotions inside me that I refuse to face. It is almost like a tic that I cannot shake off. I need to see that notification. I need to reply to that comment. I am embarrassed to say, that my hubby even observed that I even brought my phone going to the bathroom when I was about to take a bath. I have to post all the foods I have to eat for the day. I have to share all the cute things my kids to the world. I have to share all the quotes I love to everyone. I would often reason out that the reason I am always on social media is to market my blog. But is it, really?
I previously wrote a blog post why I blogged. It is because of my love for writing, never about wanting popularity or validation. So am I just using it as a “reason” for my over-attachment with my social media and my phone. The start of 2021, one of my resolution was not to use the phone when I am with the kids which I don’t think I follow through with. Besides social media and constant documentation of my life in Instagram stories, I always have constant conversations with family and friends on messaging apps which makes me ignore my kids who are with me. I should be more conscious that I should allot a time for me to reply the messages especially when the conversations are not so important like celebrity gossips and sharing funny links with each other. Also late of this year, I got more serious with increasing followers in Instagram that I was constantly in it and creating content.
But just a week ago, I woke up to the reality that social media and my phone has taken over my life. I am so busy documenting my life with it, updating it, creating content and being constantly in it that it seems like my phone is an extension of me. I realised that this got to stop. I don’t need to be in social media all the time, broadcasting my life and creating content for people who barely know me. So I stop sharing in Facebook, not even those quotes that people would guess what is in my mind or what I am going through. I already have stopped way before, posting my thoughts in Twitter and even privated it. I recently stopped posting Instagram stories and has pending 2 more parting Instagram posts.
How About My Blog?
My husband, my number one supporter of my blog, asked me, “Why did you unpublish your Facebook Page? You love blogging!” I do love blogging. I love pouring my thoughts over it. I love articulating my thoughts and documenting my experiences with paragraphs & photos. I will never give it up. But I don’t need to market it at all. I don’t feel the need to. Besides, I am blogging for me. I think of my blog to be like a message in a bottle, floating in the vast sea of the worldwide web, no specific address, just happily floating. No exact address to send the message. No urgency to be read or need to be recognised. Grateful if someone picked up my “message” I sent out into the vast sea and feel inspired after reading it.
If you happen to stumble into my blog, welcome. I can come and visit anytime. I try my best to post weekly. This is a place where I share my musings of life, my family adventure in our current country of residence: Oman and things that inspire me… Say hi in the comment below. I am glad you found my blog….