How to manage the "unsocial" aspects of social media.
By: Naya Dukkipati
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it” Erik Qualman.
Ugh, Social Media. A genuine love and hate relationship. I have found myself deleting Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest more times than I can count in the last year. In one moment, I deleted the apps and didn’t go back for three and a half months. I wasn’t trying to do a “ cleanse” or focus on school more; I just grew tired and sporadically deleted them all without a second thought. While the decision was spontaneous, I knew the exact reason.
When this app “blew up,” I made the conscious choice not to get it because I thought it would be another app where I am endlessly scrolling and never positing. However, my choice was soon taken away from me. My explore page on Instagram, my homepage on Pinterest, and my news page on Snapchat were all based on TikToks or Tik Tok stars. I found myself viewing 20 versions of the same video and was annoyed and exhausted. I felt trapped in a continuous video cycle of people singing “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys and people throwing their shoes in the air cutting to them changing clothes to the same song. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I finally deleted them all out of frustration.
During this whole period, I still got emails from these apps, to “Check out this page” or “Check out this Pin.” I felt alone, so I started to delete the emails before reading them.
Three and a half months later, and I got them all back. I thought, “I had a long enough break, and I can just stop going on certain pages or use the apps less.” However, my nightmare did not end. I still felt isolated. Although my “Tik Tok” problem was resolved, the unfriendliness of social media remained. I was left with recommendations that had nothing to do with me. Lists of people to follow that I’ve never heard of, and a stream of things to pin that was not based on my searches, but what was “popular.”
I finally decided to stop my bickering and think about what I can do to help myself. I decided to set limits on my apps and stop complaining about frivolous things. I can’t blame the evolution of an app because it does not fit what I wanted it to be. The same thing goes for how we work in society. When we are faced with an obstacle, we can not expect people to move them for us; we have to figure out how to get over them on our own. That’s the way of life. That’s when I realized I can still use social media for the parts I do like: connecting with my friends and exploring my interests. I may not have conquered my problem, but I have come up with a working solution, for now, so unsocial media can finally be social for me. More importantly, I came to self-realization that helped me grow as a person in a way I wouldn’t have gotten from another experience.