I received a text message from a friend yesterday, asking if everything is alright because he hasn’t seen me posting anything on Facebook lately.
It took me quite by surprise, because (1) I haven’t been actively in touch with said friend; and (2) despite (1), said friend actually noticed that I haven’t been posting much on Facebook.
I told him I am doing fine, and I am just spending less time on social media.
One surprise led to another: he started telling me that life isn’t all about work and money; it’s about family and friends.
He honestly thought that the reason why I am no longer active on Facebook is because I am spending too much time at work!
This exchange made me realise how people equate having a “happy meaningful life” to what we posts on social media. If we do not post about us having a good time with our friends, it is evidence that we are not having a good time. Or worse, we do not have a life.
I told him I am not spending any more time at work than I used to. I am only cutting down on social media because personally, I am finding it to be an unhealthy addiction.
He gave me a thumbs up emoji.
Not everyone will understand the reason behind why I am doing this. Most of us probably do not realise how addictive social media is. How once we start scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, we can never really stop.
I then asked myself, how am I going to be a good blogger if I do not want to spend time on social media? Look at all the bloggers out there. In addition to their blog posts, most of them update almost daily vlogs, and they Insta story almost every single thing! How do I stay relevant and connected if I do not do all these?
Then it dawned upon me: I blog not to become a “social influencer” or a “famous lifestyle blogger”. I blog to write. And I write because it is what I love to do. I don’t enjoy taking hundreds of selfies and photos, only to choose 3 to share with the world. I don’t enjoy curating and editing videos and posting them online. I don’t fancy people staring at me whilst I take 5,000 photos of my food. Or 5,000 photos of me with my food. Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse.
I shouldn’t let what most bloggers do determine what I should do with my blog. Sure, being connected might drive more traffic to their blogs. By putting themselves out there, they are easily discoverable, and given how people are more interested in pictures (both moving and still), people will definitely gravitate towards their Instagram or YouTube account, and not actually bother to read the words in their blogs.
But that is not who I am, and I should never let go of who I am just to conform.
The only reason why I started this blog is because of a desire to do what I love. It should then be limited to only what I love and enjoy doing. If I enjoy taking #OOTD pictures, then that is exactly what I should be doing. But if I love not taking #OOTD pictures, then I should do just that.
I am not saying social media is bad. It is a good tool for us to stay connected and to discover others who are like us. It opens up a whole new world for us. What I am saying is, I do not want to be addicted to it. I do not want to crave for “likes” to feel validated. I do not want to post something and worry whether it will be well received. I do not want to spend most of my free time just scrolling mindlessly through my news feed. Life is more than what we see on screen, and what we perceive others’ lives to be. Life is about being present, and experiencing our surroundings.
Posts on social media only because what you post truly means something to you, not because it is what you think others would want you to post. It surely isn’t about what you want others to think your life should be. That will just be you living a lie online.
Post for yourself, not for others.