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Unsocial Networking – why I left Facebook and Twitter

Updated on November 21, 2016
“Pretty Female Takes Travel Selfie” by Witthaya Phonsawat courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’
“Pretty Female Takes Travel Selfie” by Witthaya Phonsawat courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’

The internet is a wonderful thing. There are no questions anymore, only answers. If you have a conundrum, just tap it into a search engine. You’ll undoubtedly not be the first to ask. The blue hue of the screen is alluring. The world is truly at your fingertips.

Socialising

It took me a while to get suckered in to social networking. I’m rather a recluse in real life, so didn’t want to be sociable, even on screen.

Eventually, I gave in to curiosity and the plethora of e mails from Facebook, encouraging me to join in. I did. I did so with my real name, and entered my real details. I hardly ever looked at my profile. I had other things to do. Some people seemed to spend their entire day posting things about their lives – what they did, what they ate, what they bought.

I was utterly put off the whole idea when a very gory image, better placed for Live Leak, ended up on my wall.

I finally left Facebook, the first time, after someone posted a photo of me from my childhood. I’d never even seen that photo of me before. Then, immediately, it was plastered in front of the world. I shut up shop immediately.

That was in 2007.

“Social Media Tag Word Cloud Background” by Sujin Jetkasettakorn courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’
“Social Media Tag Word Cloud Background” by Sujin Jetkasettakorn courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’

Once bitten, twice shy?

By 2009, things had changed. I was pursuing a musical career, and needed to use the web to raise the profile of my work.

I reluctantly signed up to Facebook, this time using my stage name. I signed up to Twitter, too. I far preferred Twitter, 140 characters are easy and quick and get the message out swiftly. My message? ‘Buy my records’. I was selling CDs, and vinyl versions of my recordings. It was all going well.

I always use my real photos, but I just used a pen name to distinguish my online persona from my real life one.

Real life was working hard for a living…watching the TV…spending time with my family. It wasn’t as exciting and my pop princess profile.

“Network Definition On Smartphone Showing Networking” by Stuart Miles courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’
“Network Definition On Smartphone Showing Networking” by Stuart Miles courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’

Breaking point

Things started to get a little blurry for me. I had my real life, then I also had my online persona. I was someone different, a popstar, a legend in my lunchtimes.

I made some great friends. They were lovely people. I felt guild that I was only really there to sell them something. That, they didn’t actually know the real me at all.

Social media posts are utterly misleading. Though I couldn’t see it at the time, people only post what they want people to see. I couldn’t understand why my own world was falling apart, when everyone else seemed to be having the times of their lives!

I began to get obsessive, checking posts over and over and over again. How many likes could I get? If none, before my next post, I would delete the ‘unpopular’ post. I’d amend my true feelings and thoughts to appear attractive to people online. I knew what made people tick, and the payback for me was when they ‘liked’ what I’d said.

I was seeking attention. I’d gone from musical hopeful to full on alter ego. It made me miserable. It messed with my head. I became so confused, I started to not recognise my own face in the mirror. It was terrifying.

“Like Button Concept” by Master isolated images courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’
“Like Button Concept” by Master isolated images courtesy of ‘freedigitalphotos.net’

Online death

I reached the point of no return. I could not continue. I killed off my alter ego. With that, I left the music behind.

I felt bad for the people I had made friends with, but I hadn’t the courage to tell them what was happening. My world was closing in – I had to smash the enclosing walls down.

I logged off Facebook and Twitter, and haven’t logged on since.

That was in 2011.

Nowadays, I keep my online interactions with complete strangers short and sweet. I use a few key websites to post my thoughts, without getting tangled up in inappropriate friendships. People ultimately want to meet. Though I am the person in the photo, what if I don’t live up to my online words?

Because after all, when all is said and done, everything on social networks is based on words and beliefs.

I can tell you whatever I want. You can believe whatever you want.

The truth may, or may not, be somewhere in-between.

Warning - contains strong language.

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    • Kimberleyclarke profile image
      Author

      Kimberley Clarke 13 months ago from England

      Thanks nnms! Yes. My life is far better without Facebook and Twitter!

    • nnms profile image

      Seiboi Misao 13 months ago from India

      Yes, fake identities in social media like Facebook and Twitter abounds and we need to be cautious or better avoid them.

      I could understand how you feel.

    • Kimberleyclarke profile image
      Author

      Kimberley Clarke 21 months ago from England

      Thank you so much for stopping by Linda! That is very kind indeed. You have made my day! Perhaps being social online isn't so bad :) Thank you ever so, have a lovely day!

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 21 months ago from Cicero, New York

      Good Morning Kimberley some very interesting ideas and reasons about social on line websites, excellent writing, very interesting, just loved it. Enjoy your day. Linda

    • Kimberleyclarke profile image
      Author

      Kimberley Clarke 21 months ago from England

      Thanks VationSays! You've summed it up perfectly there!

    • VationSays profile image

      VationSays 21 months ago

      Interesting hub.

      For my case, why I love social media: I meet people without having to actually go out and meet with them.

      Why social media is not good for me: I meet people without having to actually go out and meet them.