I’ve only recently started being active on Facebook. Well, let me qualify that statement. Now I can say that I check my FB account regularly. There used to be a time when I treated FB like that second cousin twice removed that you see at a family reunion that your mom dragged you to.
“We should do this again some time.”
“Totally!” or not (you mutter under your breath).
I post thoughts and musings occasionally. I’m not nearly as active as other people. At most, I can stand being on FB for 10 minutes. But hey, it’s a start. My account is no longer as dormant as the Taal Volcano. And no, I don’t have Twitter and Instagram.
Why not? Well, to be very honest, I don’t want to. I already have enough social media to drive me crazy. Also, I figured all this “follow me!”, “like me!” can not be healthy. It’s like we’re all trying hard to impress people. “Pleeeeeeeease like me! Do you like my new dress? Do you like my trip to so-and-so? Do you envy my fabulous life?” It’s like every day is performance level day. Well, I guess that’s good because we’re forced to really live life. But at the same time, there’s this unending competition that is so exhausting.
On my part, I just really like writing. What better way to put it out there than to post it on FB? At the same time, if you don’t like what I write then I have no problem with you moving along. I don’t enslave myself to the desire to please. I don’t expect people to like my face, my career, my clothes, my thoughts, my food. I will admit, however, that if I post my thoughts on FB and it doesn’t get a lot of likes, I get hurt haha. I feel like, “Surely, this has got to be better than someone’s selfie.” Then I boink myself on the head and remind myself a lot of people appreciate the same stuff that I do and that my genre of creative writing is not for the masses . It’s not about me. I guess photos of one’s gustatory adventures and another’s foray into the world of fashion and all things frilly are infinitely more interesting than my thoughts. Period.
But a lot of us do get affected. We take it personally. “Does no one like me?” And it struck me that the theory of operant conditioning is at play in social media. That’s why people are so addicted to social media. Every ‘Like’, comment or share keeps us salivating and wanting for more. I must admit the less frequently I see something valuable in my stream i.e., no likes/few likes, the more I keep checking FB. It’s scary to think of social media this way. There are times when I catch myself and force myself to just let it go. We can’t base our self-esteem on what other people think or don’t think, like or don’t like. We are not here to entertain (unless you’re an entertainer haha). We are here to learn and love and live and laugh and serve and work with purpose. I think that’s the best thing about social media. We use it to reconnect with long lost friends and family, to share love and laughter over distance, to spread information, to help a cause, to promote our passion and career. Social media is a wonderful tool. Just remember it’s just a tool; it isn’t you!