November 4, 2016

Why I Don't Have Personal Social Media Accounts

I don't have a Facebook profile or a personal Instagram account. I have a private Twitter account that I haven't used in months and that I likely won't use again, at least in the near-future; the same goes for an old Tumblr page, left over from high school. Pinterest is by far my favorite platform and something that I loved using long before blogging, so when I started TIOTP over the summer, I just added my URL to my existing Pinterest profile. My only social media account that is truly personal, that I keep private/separate, and that I use daily is my Snapchat.

So why don't I have/use personal social media? I'm glad you asked. The answer? I just don't. I created a FB profile back in eighth grade and deactivated it two years later. I resurrected it my senior year of high school, thinking I'd use it to "stay in touch while in college," only to put it down for good January of last year. I don't miss it at all, not that a lot of us college kids are really using it for anything aside from group chats and textbook exchange pages. Whenever I opened up the app, I would find myself annoyed with whatever I'd see: links to pointless articles, grammatically incorrect rants, photos featuring lots of people I didn't know. Even after I purged my friends list, I felt the same way. I also felt sort of weird posting random thoughts and whatnot online when I could tell a friend in person or via text the same thing. So I deactivated. 

As for Instagram, I couldn't see myself using it. I liked the idea of following along in an entirely visual way with my friends and my favorite bands, bloggers, and brands, but I knew that I'd probably never post a photo of my own. Ironically, as it turns out, I've discovered through blogging that I absolutely love the platform (editing pictures and having a theme is so fun) and sharing photos that I've taken. I grew tired of all the negativity on Twitter, and the only content that I put out was retweets. 

Social media wasn't contributing anything to my life, so I cut it out. And I don't regret it. On a daily basis, I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything; I have the phone number of anyone whom I care enough to stay in touch with or to talk to, and that's enough for me. I will say one thing, though: blogging has sort of forced me into spending more time on social media— on my phone— than I ever have. As much as I enjoy blogging and interacting with all the people I've met online because of it, I sometimes hate the fact that I've become "that person." 

That person Instagramming a brunch-laden table before anyone is allowed to touch their food. That person taking 30 shots of the same thing in square mode just to make sure that there are enough options. That person constantly checking her phone. As someone who hardly used social media before blogging (excepting Pinterest and Snapchat), I found having to be active online a weird adjustment to make, and it's something that I still struggle with. Maintaining an online presence as a blogger is key, but there are some days when I kind of just want to throw in the towel and go back to a socials-free life in which I don't feel like I need to post a picture on Insta every day or open up Twitter to make sure I favorite all the popular Tweets in my feed.

I'm glad I found a personal balance that I'm happy with; now, I just need to work toward a blog balance! Do you have any tips for me? What are your thoughts on personal versus blog social media?

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