I was in the wave of people who joined Facebook in 2004–2005, back when it was only open to college students. You could mark what classes you were in and post on each other’s pages and that was about it.
It quickly became the Myspace/Livejournal alternative, and within a few years, everyone was on it — including our mothers.
Hell, my 80-something grandmother is on Facebook.
In the beginning, each new social media was an opportunity to learn, explore, and be entertained.
I pinned jokes and how-tos and blog posts on Pinterest. I played with the filters on Snapchat. I even met my husband on a dating app (OKCupid) in 2010!
These days, I mostly use social media for my business. I have an author/public figure page, I have a signup link for my mailing list. I post when I have a new book coming out or an interesting article.
I doggedly wish people happy birthday and occasionally answer questions in freelancing groups.
I “like” all the baby and pet pictures.
I even have clients who prefer to communicate via Facebook Messenger.
But these days, I rarely post anything personal. Sometimes I’ll write something for an anniversary or my mom’s birthday, and I used to post vacation pictures in the before times. (FB is a great place for free photo storage!)
I never remember to put anything on Instagram and I never, ever browse it anymore. It’s just full of ads and stuff I don’t care about.
I deleted Snapchat a couple of years ago.
I don’t remember the last time I pinned something on Pinterest. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago when I was planning my wedding? Maybe a blog post or two over the years?
The only social media I actually use regularly for entertainment is Tiktok, which I only got into during the boredom that was lockdown.
I am a Millennial.
I grew up as the generation that invented and proliferated the use of social media.
And the absolutely positive effects of the social media boom cannot be denied. Social media has made the world a smaller, more connected place. We can get updates on crisis situations in real-time. We can stay closely connected to family and friends who live far away. You can find communities of like-minded people. It can be an outlet for creativity.
Of course, the negative effects can’t be overstated either. The uptick in comparison-itis, the way seeing people’s “perfect lives” leads to depression in teens and young adults, the fakeness of how people present themselves, catfishing scams, how anonymity on the internet allows some people to be hateful, angry bullies.
This is a good article from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health about the positive and negative mental health outcomes of social media use. Here’s another from SmartSocial with 22 examples of the positive impact of social media.
But I find myself bored of it all.
I just don’t ENJOY sharing everything on Facebook or perfect pictures on Instagram or surfing Pinterest anymore.
Maybe it’s my age. I am almost 35 now and have been online and actively using various forms of social media since blogging on LiveJournal and learning to add music to my MySpace page.
But overall, I’m bored of it.
My Facebook feed is boomers reposting memes and all my friends and colleagues posting baby pictures. Adorable for sure! I’m not saying they aren’t cute.
Instagram is basically a virtual mall of overpriced brands I haven’t heard of.
Snapchat never really interested me outside of playing with funny filters.
My friends and I text. We aren’t contacting each other over social media platforms. Sure, we’ll share memes and funny videos, but we aren’t usually doing that within the social media app.
I can’t pinpoint when it happened, I just know that over the last few years I’ve primarily used social media for my business and not really much at all for personal use.
Maybe that’s why — maybe it’s become a tool for marketing and business and not just a fun toy or distraction.
All I know is that I am not alone. I’ve spoken to other 30-somethings who are just as disinterested in mainstream social media.
What about you? How do you use and utilize social media? Do you still love it?
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