When Social Media Becomes Too Social

Today’s world includes the all-too popular distractions of social media, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Between seeing people’s worlds change through Facebook, unattainable “goals” while scrolling through an Instagram feed, and seemingly petty drama between Twitter conversations – social media can become a trap for many people. 

Social media is both a blessing and a curse as people become more familiar with each network and their comfort levels on each. Myself, for example – I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat and tumblr – along with an 8tracks account for playlists. While I use each account a bit differently, sometimes social media can be a bit too social in my every day life. Twitter is my main account of choice – I have two accounts on the site, a personal twitter which I share openly and a “fandom” account that I discuss my favorite shows and music artists and such on. It is also the account that I met a lot of my close friends and my girlfriend on as well. But, out of them all, Twitter is the least of my problems.

My real struggles with social media is not the distraction of “minor” news stories that can be exaggerated by tweets, or the notion of becoming Twitter famous, or even finding followers. Instead, my struggle when it comes to social media can be the drama that can unfold, or the unrestrained nature of sites such as Instagram or Snapchat. A lot of people my age are in their early twenties – navigating the ups and downs of heartbreak, universities and the work force – and often, their posts contain much more information about their personal lives than the average Facebook user should share.

Sometimes, I find myself feeling bad about these posts, whether it’s heartbreak or moving, or even my own jealousy that it’s not my life that’s enjoying an experience that someone else is sharing. Other times, I’m pleased to see former classmates enjoying their lives, growing up and embarking on new journeys. But the majority of the time, I find myself asking if what they’ve posted is really worth sharing. I see posts detailing every minute of their day, or long winded rants about their days at work, or the occasional detailed description about a night where they went out drinking or smoking with their friends. These are the kinds of posts that your entire Facebook feed doesn’t need to hear about, and these are the kinds of posts when social media can become too much.

In our world, many people wake up in fear of what new political drama has unfolded overnight, or what rights of theirs may be taken away next. And in this world, social media can exacerbate the worries of what may come next for us. It can be nice to forget about the political mess that the majority of the world has descended into by focusing on friends’ lives, but at times, even that can be overwhelming when their favorite hobby is oversharing.

So remember to take care of yourself. Delete that Facebook app. Turn off your Twitter notifications. Blacklist those “dream goal” Instagram accounts. Mute your phone for a few hours. Or even take a weekend off from social media. It can set your mental health at ease in an already chaotic world.

AN: As a side note, I am currently taking a break from Facebook to ease my own peace of mind. Though I did happen to check it today since a family friend posted events of a climate rally that was held in my city. And as I scrolled to find the photos, I happened to find a “missing dog” posting on a Lost Dogs site. Thankfully, I had heard about a missing dog in the exact location earlier that day at work, and after a suggestion of calling my work to find out more information, the dog was reunited with her owner.

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