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Dev Log #5 - Antisocial Media

I've grown up with social media platforms. Even before Facebook or Myspace was things, I had country based social media websites with name like Lunarstorm and Bilddagboken (The picture journal). I am a child of social media, and I, now 32 years of age, am getting really tired of it.

That aggressive red...

Part of my job now is dealing with marketing and social media presence. I'm a member of several discords, I hang out on reddit, I post on two different twitter feeds, I manage a Facebook site, and is thinking of getting into Instagram. That's all well, it really isn't anything new for me, as I've been doing similar things before. But I've realized that there is something destructive about social media. Or maybe I've always known but just never really wanted to admit it. Call it fear of missing out or whatever, but I like some aspects of social media, but have grown to despise other.

There is something to be said about being part of something larger. I frequently chat with people from all over the world, connections that I've made because of different platforms of social media. I can check up on and interact with my entire family, including more than thirty cousins. I love that I can do that! You're supposed to connect with a multitude of people on facebook as well. I have almost a thousand friends there, through connections I've made in my life. That is a massive network. To somehow think that all of them are listening to what I am writing is pretty amazing.

It's a good episode, watch it!

Only, that's not really the case, is it? Instead, you are supposed to have an eye on a thousand people. Like their posts so they like yours in return. When you think of it like that, an exaggerated future like that depicted in the episode "Nosedive" in Black Mirror (Season 3, Episode 1), doesn't seem that farfetched. Not probable, but like with all sci-fi, it contains truths of the world we already live in. At least this is what I think our fear is. That friends will leave if we leave social media. What if one of my friends becomes pregnant or engaged and I'm not aware, because I'm not on social media.

There is this need for people to always be connected and available. I've had friends be angry with me because I don't answer messages right away. But I've always said that if there is something important, call me. The phone, that is the actual telephone, used to call up others, seem to be the bane of a lot of people. We don't like making phone calls any more. It's like we're afraid of it and instead of learning not to fear it and to be comfortable in calling people we just use messages instead. Somehow that's just accepted, because messaging works. But it means that you're supposed to be constantly connected, to make sure that you are there if someone needs you. Always available.

There was a lot of pre-orders...

Somehow social media has made us less social, because we're learning to connect with people through screens, which means that we miss a lot of parts in connecting with others, things like voice and body language. Not that we never connect to people like this, but even with our closest, communication is mainly text based. When I started working at GameStop back in 2012, I had the envious task of calling every single person that had pre-ordered Diablo III. I hated the phone even then, and did not want that job. My boss was hard on me then; learn to use the phone, get used to calling people you've never met. It will help you here and the rest of your life. He was right.

Yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. Not really, but is was really bad, in a good way. I needed to come to some realizations, I needed to take a good look at my life and what it has become, and change aspects of it. That hurt. Change hurt, but it is necessary. That's not really here nor there to be honest, but one of the smaller changes that I needed to do was to get social media away from my spare time. I work with social media, which means that if I also connect with social media during my off hours, I will never disconnect from my work. That's not healthy. So I made rules for myself. No social media during my off hours. No discord, no Twitter, no Facebook and no Instagram. So I turned off all notifications on those channels. Yeah, I'm a bit afraid I'll miss something but it is what needed to happen. I also made the plea to put my phone away from me, at my bed or somewhere I can hear it ring, but not have to look at it all the time. I answer messages in the morning or in the evening.

There really is this freedom in doing this I've felt. I'm barely one day in and I feel it. I don't need to be on all the time. I'm not always disconnected, but I am some times. It would probably not take much for me to rid myself of it entirely. Maybe. Still I think it is worse for us that actually work with it. But I think it's just the thought itself, that I don't need to do any of it. It's not like food or water to me, but that's how it felt before. From a marketing standpoint, social media is such a powerful tool that you can't not use it. Just make sure that you limit your use of it in general as well, so that you can feel that you are free when you are not working.

I hope you all take care. Here's a jazzy pop-song to get you through the day.

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