Periodically, I question the value of social networks. Every few months, I enter into sort of a personal decline, the source of which can generally be traced back to an event on a social network. Whether it’s so petty I’d never admit it, or so obvious I couldn’t deny it; they’re more-often-than-not the source (the rest of the time it’s an email from a client).
My problem is in quantifying things. Social networks force you to quantify everything, which causes you to place an irrefutable value upon everything you put through them. How many likes a tweet got or how many hearts a photo got. It’s all bullshit, naturally, but it’s the currency of the system in which you invest so I don’t feel I can ignore it. If you’re not attempting to generate currency (in the form of positive social interactions), I’m probably not on your wavelength.
Negative interactions are much more difficult to quantify but a lot easier to accrue. Someone you like says something that irritates you? Negative. Something you’re proud of is met with indifference? Negative. Social networks are full of this, and it’s mostly passive or meta which makes it very difficult to predict or rationalise.
Of late, the negatives have begun to outweigh the positives so I’ve got to take a break from it all. I need to remember that the things I do are done because I enjoy them, not as a gamble on whether other people will inflate my self worth through them (either genuinely or out of pity!). I should be taking the energy I put into Twitter and Instagram and trying to make something real from it.
I am awful at interacting with people in real life, and even if I were doing OK at it, my brain wouldn’t allow me to believe it. So I’m going to work on my real relationships (yes, some of which started on social media, but the last time that happened was so long ago) and see if I can’t get better at that because working on my social network status is starting to feel like working on my varial heelflip when I can’t yet propel a skateboard forwards: pointless.