Last year, after a long walk in Kowloon, I deleted (can you ever really delete?) my personal Facebook and Instagram accounts. I’ve done that before, but after some social media fasting, I’ve found myself back with my 700 virtual friends, most of whom I have very little connection with.
After my last year’s act of social media annihilation, I’ve faced many “whys” and “hows”, as if you can really ever escape the ubiquitous presence of “Join millions”. Now, in my first post on my very own website, I feel obliged to give some of the reasons.
01 Ethical considerations. After all the revelations about the tech giants, their role in dividing people, instead of bringing them together, their (mis)use of personal data, why would I, out of my own free will, be part of this?
02 Addiction. I had, probably, a mild addiction. I mean, I could survive days without logging in, but whenever social media was on my reach, I had to check. First step of any recovery is acknowledging the problem and (possibly) elliminating the drug. Maybe substituting it with something else, like blogging.
03 True friendships. I guess this dawned me on my birthday. I received over a hundred messenger “happy birthdays”, but the only people who actually rang me were members of my family and few of my friends. Being an expat, you’re always thinking of the ways how to remain connected with the people you love. Does it have to be through the screen by following their posts or could I force myself picking up the phone? Whom would I ring to?
Now, this is not to say that my personal digital persona will never again include the most popular social media channels. It may, but for now, this will be my digital home.