I wanna talk about why I deleted over 800 people from my Facebook.
I am sure by now some have noticed that I no longer show up in their feed. Some have probably been following me for awhile now through so much of our personal drama. Even I can admit watching my life must be like watching a dramedy or something.
However since my cancer diagnosis, I started to take note of those who cared enough to reach out. I watched who liked posts, who commented, I noticed who sent flowers, who provided meals for my recovery. While there are no words that are adequate, if you care about someone as a friend you should reach out during a time like what our family has gone through.
I am sure there are some people out there that feel offended that I deleted them.
I just want to ask you this:
Why are you friends with someone on social media if you aren’t going to be social with them?
What drives that desire to have them on your friend’s list?
Do you genuinely care about this person, or are you just sitting there behind the screen eating popcorn and enjoying the entertainment from afar?
I venture to guess most people who by now have noticed my posts are no longer showing up in their feed probably feel offended. In all reality though, why? I have always been extremely open on my facebook page @ The Real Ashley Simmons. It is really easy to catch up what is going on in my life from there. If you don’t want to have a back and forth relationship there really is no point in being on my friends list. You can always keep up with our family in other social media outlets.
The last 3 plus years I have been on social media full time for my job. Our financial well-being depended on it. In that time I dove deep into studying ever changing algorithms, creating content, going live on Facebook and Instagram, taking course after course to learn and try to get ahead of the social media game. With that, my mental health started to decline. Being 31, a full grown adult, even I struggle when any given post has low engagement and reach. I mean.. when you work hard to create something and it flops, it is painful and it feels personal.
Instagram is removing the visibility of likes come next week from some US users.
I am here for this.
The pressure in social media is literally taking lives.
We have taken the popularity culture, and made it accessible any time, any place.
I can’t imagine what it must feel for a child or teen in today’s society to feel the constant pressure of winning the engagement game. Being a teenager is hard enough and now we have constant contact and judgement coming from all sides. It is exhausting! Mean girls have always been around y’all, but the access to social media we have today takes that “mean girl” game and takes it next level.
It will be interesting to see if removing this one feature will create a cultural shift.
“Right now, we’re testing making like counts private, so you’ll be able to see how many people liked a given photo of yours or a video of yours, but no one else will,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram announced Friday. “It’s about young people,” Mosseri said. “The idea is to try to ‘depressurize’ Instagram, make it less of a competition and give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.”
We have a mental health crisis on our hands. Our kids are killing themselves because of the pressure that has been created by social media. It is a constant rat race of one upping the next account.
Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,069 attempts by young people grades 9-12. If these percentages are additionally applied to grades 7 & 8, the numbers would be higher.
If that just doesn’t stop you in your tracts and hurt your heart, I don’t know what will. But its not just our kids… Suicide is the also second leading cause of death in postpartum women. I can get online any time any place and see article after article telling me that I am a terrible mother. There are hateful, damaging words coming from all angles and parenting philosophies.
Is it just me or can we just not win?
Social media is powerful, the way it has been used in our day to day has become damaging. It is damaging our friendships, our marriages, our children, our society. I hope that through changes like Instagram removing likes we can find a healthy balance online. It is possible… difficult, but possible.
As far as my own friends list goes…
I want people in my life who want to be intentional being in a relationship with me. Personally, I am working on being more intentional with those in my life, as hard as it is in the chaos of being a mama to two energetic boys battling my own health crisis.
Being intentional with my social media is creating balance.
I went from being on social media at least 60+ hours a week due to my online boutique to now finding myself mindlessly scrolling instead of living the life that is in front of me. Let me be clear, I absolutely love social media. There is something beautiful about being able to meet incredible people worldwide, there is something inspiring about seeing places my friends and family get to visit. We can live vicariously through them, as long as we are intentional to not allow the joy to be overtaken by the jealousy.
My cancer diagnosis has been such a pivotal point in my own life.
I have struggled deeply, but I also feel so enlightened and inspired.
Life is too short and we owe it to ourselves to be happy. We will not find happiness endlessly scrolling through Facebook.
We find happiness in knowing that we have people in our lives that will do life with us.
We are happiest when we find community.
Social media was meant to be a social tool, not our social lifeline.
Do you believe you have a good balance with social media? What simple steps could you take to improve your social media balance?