Life before social networking seems like a dream nowadays. Before Facebook, we bought disposable cameras and took photos that we knew we’d have to put in an album and carry with us if we wanted anyone to see them. I wasn’t obsessed with people knowing what I had for lunch until Twitter made it easy for me to tell everyone. I was even less obsessed with people knowing what an empty plate looks like after I finish my lunch. Photography museums of the future will feature a gallery of empty, greasy plates and silverware with bits of food stuck to them.
I deactivated my Facebook and Twitter accounts the other day. I felt like it was time. I just have to be reminded to reactivate my Twitter in thirty days because who’s ever really serious about these sort of things anyway? It’s been an interesting week because so many things have come to mind for me to tweet or post a status about. It would be difficult when I become world famous and don’t have a Twitter. Everyone would want to know what I’m thinking, but no one would. I should tweet that.
In the early 2000s, no one ever even thought about publishing their 140-character daily observations. Fewer people thought it was necessary to proclaim their distaste for someone else publicly but also in a vague, passive aggressive manner. If I wanted my friends to know that I went bowling last night and had an amazing time, I’d have to wait for them to ask me what I did last night.
If we’re not careful, social networking can become our way of letting the people we’re jealous of know what they’re missing out on. But why should we be jealous of anyone? They’re only publishing the photos, statuses, and tweets that make them look awesome. They only “like” the music and movies that give them a more comfortable sense of who they are. You and I do the same thing.
It’s because our online social profiles have become an extension of our identities. We have built and formed them in such a way to make other people see us how we want them to see us. It’s funny because social networks could be an uninhibited form of expression, but rather they are entirely built upon the opinions of others. So I deactivated my Twitter and Facebook because I was tired of having another thing to be insecure about. I shouldn’t rely on my ideal online self to tell others who I really am. I ought to express myself fully in person and in writing. I deactivated my social network profiles for better interactions. I did it for better quality of life. I did it for peace. I did it for self-worth. I did it for freedom!
Not really. I was actually just tired of feeling like a creep.
UPDATE 11-18-12: I reactivated Facebook. Twitter and I still haven’t gotten back together.
UPDATE 12-12-12 (Oh my gosh!): Twitter and I talked it out, and we’re cool now.