03 September 2012

My Beef with the Internet

I recently deleted a ton of online accounts and minimized the ones that I do have down to a very select amount of content.

I deleted over 50 boards on Pinterest, and combed out the remaining ones with links that didn't work or things I really didn't need to have pinned right then and there. Half the fun of Pinterest is looking for a cool new craft or recipe to try anyway. How often do you look through your current pins?

I deleted hundreds of friends on Facebook I never really talked to or who posted things that I didn't care to see. I went through my posting history and pictures and deleted anything that could hinder my character. How many friends on Facebook do you talk to or interact with regularly? Have any unbecoming pictures up?

I unfollowed Tweeps I always skipped over, who spammed my feed, or tweeted things I didn't care to see. Do you see your follower count as a popularity contest?

The internet -- and namely social media -- is not an extension of self, as the websites we subscribe to would have us believe. It's not a crime to not have Facebook (or Twitter, or G+, or Pinterest). It's not a crime to delete people off of a social media site because you do not talk. It does still mean you can be friends. These sites do not rule the world, though it certainly seems that way.

When a website is automatically telling everyone what articles you've read, what music you're listening to, who you're playing a game with (and the score), where you are, who you're with and every other move no one really cares about, it can be quite overwhelming.

Remember when we were teenagers and our parents always asked who we're going with, what we'll be doing, how long we'll be doing it, and then when we came back, they want to know every detail? That's how I feel about the internet. And quite frankly, it's as annoying as it was back then when I didn't want to tell my parents every single little thing I did.

Everytime I post something, I think about why I am doing it. Do I want attention? Do I want people to perceive me a certain way? Do I keep a certain friend or subscribe to certain things because I want to be associated with their characteristics? Am I hoarding sentimentality by keeping a stranger with memories as a friend, when we rarely talk, even in chat?

Believe it or not, but there is a world outside of the internet. It's big, full of beauty, and way more interesting than spending all day on these websites with your "friends."

True friends will pick up a phone and call or text instead of whining about why they can't message you in a little box or see your every move on a white and blue website.

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