I don’t use social media.
The social media sites I do subscribe to are rarely used, and I only have them because of family. Not being active on social media has definitely affected my life because everyone around me does.
I have used Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit. But I’ve only ever posted on Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook. This is not including things like Skype that are mainly messaging programs.
My first experiences with social media weren’t great. The first social media I was exposed to was Facebook. I made an account at Christmas at a young age when I got my first email. This was because my mom’s side of the family uses it regularly, and my grandmother spends a good portion of the day on Facebook. I hated that Facebook never stopped giving me friend suggestions. These people were usually random people I had never heard of. To my knowledge, they were people who knew my family’s friends. I also quickly became aware that Facebook gathers a lot of personal data, which seriously bothered me.
My experience with Snapchat was much different, and I was on it for only three weeks. I mostly interacted with my brother to see his unflattering pictures of friends and family that he took without permission. I didn’t like it, and most of the people who would add me were people I didn’t really like. So there was no real reason for me to keep using it.
Another reason is paranoia. I don’t like the idea of people able to track things like where I eat and my preferences. So Instagram, the land of food pictures, is out of the question. I never liked the idea of Instagram, as it was where I realized that social expectations on it can make many people feel really bad about themselves. You may be wondering since I don’t use it, why do I have two accounts? It’s because at the time my girlfriend couldn’t imagine a world without me having an account, so she made me one on two different occasions. Some people might say just don’t post things you don’t want people knowing about you, and that’s a good idea to have, but the world is weird and anything can get hacked.
For example, one of my computers at home was hacked by someone in India and was held ransom as they asked for money in the form of bitcoin. There was no reason for them to target me specifically, but it happened. It all turned out okay, as I just factory reset the server, but I lost all the data. The irony of this is my writing about my experiences with social media is putting information out there.
There have been some exceptions, as I used Pinterest for around half a year. I was introduced to it by my grandma, where we had a page of random crafts to do. We would usually do a craft every week or every other week. Eventually the front page became just memes where I eventually stopped looking at it altogether.
Not having social media has affected my life. I’m usually late to trends which I don’t find bad. I’m late to memes, but by the time I see the memes in recent they have been filtered so that only the best remain, so I don’t feel like I’m missing much.