Social Media is Controlling My Life. Bastard! Or Maybe Not... | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Social Media is Controlling My Life. Bastard! Or Maybe Not...

I've read so many posts over the last year or two, from bloggers, journalists and other people in the media, all talking about how social media is controlling our lives, or how social media has taken over their day to the detriment of their life. They talk about how they don't like this social media platform or that one and blame it for taking them away from 'real' social life and being 'in the moment'.

The place where I found this image has a really interesting article from a girl about how she took control of her social media usage, I highly recommend checking it out here.
I've had this post brewing for a while now but I've held back on writing it as I know my opinion may not be a popular one and I've struggled to get the words right. But fuck it, I just have to say this.

I think social media can only control your life if YOU let it. Note when I say 'you' I don't mean you the reader specifically, but you as a general term for people in general.

When it comes to social media, I am ultimately responsible for the way I use it and the way in which I allow it to impact my life. Personally I think that if a person thinks that social media is controlling their lives its because they are allowing it to.

Nobody holds a gun to their head and forces them to log on to facebook and spend hours upon hours there. Nobody pins them down until they've read all the tweets and come up with their own witty 140-character-or-less retorts. Just because they see it, doesn't mean they have to photograph it and spend hours editing and uploading it to Instagram.

Like anything in life, moderation is the key. There is such a thing as too much alcohol, too much crap food, and too much time spent on social media. Although there will never be such a thing as too much chocolate. Am I right?!

I don't spend ridiculous amounts of time on social media. I have certain times of the day that I go on facebook and just have a browse through my newsfeed, for everything else I have notifications set up for a group of people and blogs that I like to be updated about and those notifications go to my phone. So when I have a spare 5 minutes I can go on and read and respond to those people that I really care about and I'm not spending hours upon hours on there.

I don't go on twitter very often. I have automatic tweets from my facebook page and when blog posts go live, but the only time I just go on twitter without a purpose (say to share mine or another bloggers post or attend a twitter party) is when I really have nothing better to do, like when I'm waiting in a line somewhere, or if Dave is on arvo shift and I have the evening to myself on a Friday and I feel like spending a few hours just hanging out there.

It's not that I don't like twitter, it's just that I know that once I log on I will be on there for many hours. And sometimes that is exactly what I want to do. But sometimes there are so many other things I would rather be doing. Like reading. Or catching up on tv shows.

I take a shitload of photos but I don't post heaps to Instagram, and when I do, it can be hours or days after I've taken them, as I always forget to load them when I am actually out and about, because, you know, I'm enjoying being out and about too much. Plus, I like to be able to sit and scroll through other people's pics and spend a bit of time editing my own pics, so I use Instagram when I have time and it's not going to enroach on another important aspect of my life, like my husband or my daughter.

If you don't like Instagram because it takes you away from what you are doing at the time because you are busy editing and uploading your photos, then don't do it. Instagram doesn't tell you to download every photo-editing app there is and then spend half an hour to an hour editing and processing an image and then uploading it. You choose to do that. And you don't have to do it. Nothing bad will happen if you take a photo and then upload it later, or heaven forbid you upload a photo that hasn't gone through a million filters before being uploaded.

I've heard friends talk about closing their facebook accounts because they are over the drama or they don't like it controlling their life. I do not understand having drama on facebook. I really don't. To me, facebook is about fun, not being too serious, sharing pictures and staying in touch with family and friends who live too far away to see you on a regular basis. It's not for playing out personal dramas or relationship problems, and if you do that then it's your fault, not facebooks.

What do you think? Am I being harsh? Do you think social media can control our lives without us letting it? Or is it up to us to make sure we use it in moderation and stop blaming the social media itself.

Today is Tuesday, and as I always do on Tuesday, I Blog! Head on over to Essentially Jess and check out all the other awesome peeps who blog on Tuesdays too. I promise it won't control your life. Well, it might control your Tuesday, but only if you let it!

30 comments:

  1. I think you are 100% correct my friend. I think a lot of people have FOMO ( fear of missing out ) so they feel like they have to be on Facebook or Twitter 24/7, lest they miss something 'important '. I, on the other hand, understand that things ex just on the internet FOREVER so its all still going to be there an hour or two - hell, even a day or two! - later !

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are so right in tht we are the ones that let it be decided whether things controlour ife or not. I like to think I have a good balance of it all, though truth be told I could probably still cut back a bit. I think that that the world at large is on the verge of not being able to take responsibility for their own actions in too many areas of life and this is the great concern.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think you are correct K! Nobody holds a gun to your head and tells you to stare at your FB account or tweet every 5 mins. These are things that we can control, or be controlled by. I admit that I get sucked into it sometimes (especially on IG, not to edit photos but just to go through every one I follow :p) but mostly I do know my limits and set boundaries. When I'm with my family, I try to be present in every way possible, not just physically there but mentally absent

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    ReplyDelete
  4. I totally agree with you. I'm in charge of my social media, and I'm the boss. Take what you like and leave the rest. I have some days like today when I do spend a bit of time on it, but on a writing day I just don't... cos I can't. I love Facebook cos it keeps me up to date with the minutiae of my friends' lives back in the UK - love it!


    But just like with food and alcohol ... yes, it's all there are yes there's too much but don't be a bloody victim.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree. 100%. You control you, not the social media Gods! Love it, a great post Kylz! xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm now in a good place with social media, if I miss stuff, I miss stuff. It's too hard to keep up and it was starting to take over my life so now I just look when I can and do what I can. GREAT post - Em xx @ Have a laugh on me

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree completely (and will share on facebook later) -like you said it is up to us how much we do, how much time, how we let it affect us. you can choose not to get caught up, to guard your time and practice moderation. I work on this regularly now and have cut way back on SM.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bingo!! When I first started blogging I was a SM junkie but I soon realised I didn't have the time or energy to devote to it all. Like you, I just dabble. I sometimes think that for the sake of my blog I should do more, then I get a healthy dose of perspective and remember why I blog in the first place :) Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tee hee hee, these days social media is my job - I look after a number of accounts for various companies ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am very interested in this - I'm midway thru a book about cyber junkies, that covers fb & email as well as gaming. I adore Feed & Farhenheit 451 which both involve the issue.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I Definately get a little addicted and my attention span has been shortened. When I go away I now leave my phone behind and go cold turkey. I love the change and swear I won't get so connected again but within 2 weeks I'm back at it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I totally agree with you. If social media has taken over your life it's only because you allow this to happen. I don't feel the need to update my status every minute, I scan through Facebook and Twitter a few times a day. I think it's impossible to read every single post from everyone. Great post Kylie.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good points, well made. Social media, like everything, is what you make it. It can be positive. It can be negative. I think great things have come out of social media - I have never learnt so much about humanity, and society generally.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love this post! This is exactly how I feel. I don't see any drama, cause I choose not to!
    And as for how much time I use it, that is up to me, and I need to be aware of that. FB doesn't actually make my decisions for me (not yet anyway. Maybe in an update or two ;))

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sometimes it's hard to avoid the drama. Especially when other people tag you in it. Women can be catty by nature (I know I definitely can be) and social media sometimes provides that safe haven of being a keyboard warrior. Not everyone does it. Some people can look past it, but there are some days when your parenting is being bought into question, that you can't just stand by.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You are so right, you can always find something on the internet so there shouldn't be that worry. And to be honest, there is nothing wrong with missing out on some stuff, coz let's face it, most of it is unimportant anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have to agree Rhi, the amount of people that don't take any responsibility for themselves is astounding!


    I too think there is always room for improvement and its something I am always taking stock of, especially with regards to how much it might take me away from Mia.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I gt you with Instagram, I was on there so much when I first joined, but I limit myself now as I know when I go on I could spend ages checking out everyone's pics. And being present with your family is so important, we only get that time once and then its gone forever, I want to make the most of it and savour it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yep, that's why I love facebook too, being able to stay in touch with friends and family who I wouldn't be able to see very often because of distance. It's especially great being able to see each other's kids growing up.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh yeah, its definitely easy to get sucked in, and I have been sucked in so often. Especially before Mia I spent a lot of time on SM but now I want to make sure I don't miss a moment with her and set myself boundaries so I can be present with her.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I try to keep it at the forefront of my mind, especially now with Mia. I don't want her to remember seeing Mum and Dad on their phones and computers all day rather than playing with and enjoying her.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's hard isn't it, when SM is such an integral part of blogging. I also spent much more time on it when I first started, but I also didn't have Mia back then and a lot more time on my hands and nights at home by myself so I didn't feel as bad. Now that Dave is working less nights and I have Mia I am so much more aware of it and set myself days where I limit myself to one quick peek at facebook or my email and that's it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. There is a small part of it for my job too and I must admit I do love the excuse to do some dabbling in my own SM while I am work without it looking too suss!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I will have to check those out.

    ReplyDelete
  25. It's so hard isn't it, especially because so much of life is conducted online now. I purposely got an iPad with wifi only so that when we go away all its used for is playing games or reading books, if that is what I choose to do in the small downtime I get.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think so too, and let's face it, who wants to read every single post, most of it is just white noise anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I totally agree Zanni, SM certainly has bought the world to my door and opened my eyes in ways I never thought possible.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hahaha, I hope we never get to that point, although sometimes it would be nice if it would decide what to make for diner for me!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I agree, it can be hard, particularly when, as you say, you get tagged and dragged in to it without your permission. And when you have people casting aspersions on your way of life or parenting choices and decisions it is very hard, almost impossible, not to defend yourself. I got so sick of that side of facebook, and certain people always causing drama, that I have now set up blocks on tose people that were deliberately causing trouble, making comments on my status updates or photos or on other people's, to be deliberately mean or judgemental, so while we are still friends, they only get to see the stuff that I choose, that I know can't possibly allow them to make some horrible remark and I have to say it has made my facebook life so much nicer and easier.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...