What a statement. Slightly comparable to the round & round conversation we could have about the question “Which came first – the chicken or the egg?” Think about it. If everyone in the world deleted their social media accounts across the board – what would these platforms do? What would be their purpose? What value would they hold without the consumers & producers who spend their time (& money) on their apps?
I’ve deactivated my accounts multiple times to find myself coming back to them not because I have FOMO or because I’m addicted to them, but for one particular reason: I felt like I needed them if I were going to be a successful writer, actor, or whatever else I’m striving to become. I’ve spent days on end googling things like “do I need social media to be successful?” (I know, silly – but I also know I’m not the only one who has done this) & I won’t even begin to tell you how many YouTube videos I’ve watched pertaining to this topic. Just know that I’ve done enough research so that you don’t have to & what I’ve found in my quest is that the answer to this question highly depends upon who you ask.
I personally like to think that we are still able to achieve our goals & dreams without these platforms if that’s how we wish to do so. This isn’t a rant about how horrible social media is – I believe that to be individualistic & I can see both the pros & cons of utilizing these platforms. I, however, am finding it to be increasingly counterproductive to my goals more often than not. Once upon a time, I was a social media wiz & once upon a time it was actually enjoyable for me. This particular era dates back to 7+ years ago before it all became what it is today. If I’m being completely transparent, I haven’t truly enjoyed social media as much as I used to back when MySpace & Vine were the places to be online. Oh, the innocent days of the internet. In 2017, I deleted (yes, deleted – not just deactivated – deleted) all of my social media accounts. I remained “off the grid” as one would say for nearly 3 years & in terms of personal growth, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (but that’s an entirely different story for another time).
Lately, I’ve been feeling as if I’m being summoned back to that “off the grid” lifestyle. The era when I felt most free & most like me. At times, it feels as if I’m at war with myself. On one hand I think “I need my work published on these platforms so that I’m discoverable” & on the other hand I think “I can do this without these platforms & so I will. I’ll even do it just because they say that I can’t.”
I’m afraid we’ve created this facade that if you aren’t online actively utilizing these platforms, then you aren’t relevant & you are less likely to become successful in your craft – whatever that may be. On the flip side, while we’re pouring our time & energy into creating for these apps (and/or mindlessly scrolling in between), we are stealing our time & energy away from our craft. Oftentimes we are cattle called into following trends & using audio/music that’s trending to *hopefully* meet the requirements of the everchanging algorithms so that we are seen by as many people as possible. This happens so effortlessly that one day you’re “creating content” as opposed to simply creating. You’re spinning your wheels & finding that you have less & less time on your hands to hone your actual craft. If you’re anything like me, you begin to wonder if you’re creating these things (i.e. content) because you think it’ll perform well on social media, or if you’re creating because it’s authentic to you & what you wish to offer to the world as an artist. Maybe it isn’t about how many eyes see your work – maybe it’s about those who genuinely appreciate it & connect with it. Lately, for me, I’ve been making my way back to my roots – looking for the “quality over quantity” type of connections. I’m sure this is achievable with or without social media, but (to me) it often feels better without it.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s just something freeing about being unreachable. There’s something so profoundly calming about being “off the grid” & out of the online race to “going viral” or “being seen”. Do I wish to be seen? Sure, naturally as a human, I do – but lately I’ve been focusing more on being heard. A lot of what I see online & on these platforms is this “look at me & what I’m doing” persona. Some would argue narcissism. Even I have fallen into this trap myself from time to time – but I always circle back here, to this moment in time, of wanting to get away from it – wanting out. Wanting more out of my real life than my life online.
So, what do you think? Do you think social media needs us more than we need it? Or do you believe this to be a codependency hamster wheel that we can’t jump off of? Do you believe we need social media to be successful in our chosen paths? Do you believe up & coming artists, writers, actors, models in particular need these platforms to market/brand themselves? Do you think people are irrelevant if they don’t have an online persona? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
8 thoughts on “We Don’t Need Social Media, Social Media Needs Us”
Hi Kaitlyn 🙂
These are excellent questions!
Well, *kind of* …
So far, (IMHO) the term “social media” remains *undefined* (and therefore it’s hardly more than meaningless babble).
I’ve heard that publishers of *irrational media* (see also my review of your post 😉 ) actually *WANT* mindless scrolling (such that advertising messages thereby become more effective).
I do not pay attention to irrational media AT ALL, period. End of story.
Well, maybe I might make an EXCEPTION for the very EXCEPTIONAL kaitlynalexisorth.com 😀
As always, I enjoy reading your comments. The insight is very helpful & it’s nice to know that there are others out there who may ponder the same thoughts I have.
In response to your statement about not paying attention to irrational media, but making an exception for my site – thank you… I think? Haha, I like to think that I’m working on publishing articles that help other people question “the norm” if they aren’t already. I haven’t considered it to be irrational media, but maybe there are a few tweaks I need to make in my efforts. This was an impromptu writing project that sparked yesterday evening & I just went with it. I didn’t give it the chance to sit in my “drafts” folder because I’m trying to practice what I preach in this article: https://kaitlynalexisorth.com/2022/01/12/a-finished-something/
There are so many topics I’d like to cover & publish to leave open for discussion on this site. After all, I’d much rather engage with a community on WordPress than other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I feel WordPress to be much more personal & genuine because it’s not about photos or videos of people living their best lives online – it’s about intellectual conversation, being heard & hearing others out, & so much more.
Looking forward to reading more of your comments (& articles) in the future!
With love & health,
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I bet I enjoy reading your post AT LEAST as much as you enjoy reading my comments! 😀
The “irrational media” concept is one I introduced after an earlier term was deemed *unacceptable* (maybe I should explain more of this backstory).
In the “pingback” post (see above), I linked to one of my posts in which I did some thinking about the *earlier* (EVEN MORE objectionable) term (in response to an educator who was interested to learn more about my ideas). The linked-to post linked to a post in which I tried to define the term which was viewed as *completely inappropriate*. My later terminology (“rational media” vs. “irrational media”) I consider to be *LESS* objectionable — see:
Yet you seem to object. 😐
Could you check out my attempts to clearly state what I mean (in one / more of those articles)? To cut to the chase: IMHO, it’s about the contrast between words / language (“rational media”) vs. brand names (“irrational media” — because brand names are *meaningless* strings [such as “kaitlynalexisorth” — which is meaningless, unless someone is able to *decipher* it as *your name*] ). #OMGNestedParentheses 😯
Again, IMHO language is *significantly* different than brand names. Your name is essentially *your* brand name. Stuff like “writer”, “creator” and/or “human” are words / language. Those things are *completely different*.
And because you are SO GOOD with words, I pay attention to *YOU* … even though “kaitlynalexisorth” is NOT a word / language.
Ahhh, this explains so much. Thank you for this incredible insight & explanation. I will definitely check out your articles! Also, thank you for the compliment in saying I am “SO GOOD with words” & that’s why you pay attention to me, though “kaitlynalexisorth” is my name & not a word/language. I’ve hosted numerous blog sites prior to this one & have crafted different “brand names” or “business names” but this time I decided to simply do my own name for various reasons. I consider this a top tier compliment. It truly means so much to me because I hope I’m able to “get through to people” in a meaningful (hopefully not time-wasting) way with the words I write.
In other words, I’m really glad I am back on WordPress & writing more frequently. I’m also really glad you enjoy paying attention to my writing although it isn’t a style/type of media that you’d normally give your time/energy to.
Someday I hope to publish at least one book 🙂
All the best,
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I often say that people who use WP are prolly among the *most literate* users on the Internet.
Note, also that StrungTogetherWordsLikeThis are NOT English words / language (though German does have this feature of being able to create new words “on the fly”, these are also *special cases*). Generally, anything that is not defined in a dictionary is not a word. #ItAlsoDependsWhichDictionary #BeyondThatLanguageIsAlsoAlwaysInFlux
I love your writing style. You cover meaningful topics and you accomplish that on a personal level. After reading your take on no matter where you go, there you are, it resonated with me that no matter where you go in life your true self follows you. Keep up the great writing Kaitlyn. You have true talent.
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Thank you so much. This was actually an impromptu mini project that struck me on a whim last night & although I didn’t cover everything I wanted to in this article, I decided to publish it anyway because I can always come back to it later & add on more thoughts/perspectives. I’m sure there are grammatical errors & what not, but as I’ve written about before – a finished something is often times better than a perfect nothing. 😉
The “Wherever you go, there you are” inside joke that we’ve had amongst our family has made me laugh more times than I can count over the years. When I finally decided to ponder the meaning of the phrase, it hit me that no matter what you do, how far you physically travel in life, or what you accomplish – at the end of the day, we are all stuck with ourselves, our thoughts, & our feelings. We, ourselves, are the only people that we can never truly physically and/or mentally get away from or escape from. A lot of my life has been me simply trying to figure out how to happily live with myself… because it is, in fact, true that no matter where you go, there YOU are.
I love you so much my sweet Maw Maw. You have always been so encouraging & supportive of my love for reading & writing. My only regret so far is that I ditched my earlier blog sites back in the day when I first began as a teenager, but I’m back now – so here’s to publishing many more articles (& hopefully a book or two someday) in the future! ❤
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