Social Media Burn Out


Sigh. I’m not sure at what point I first felt pushed over the edge but I think I’m suffering from socal media burn out. I’ve struggled for months over the tug-of-war between enjoying what I am doing (i.e. being in Washington D.C. for my anniversary) with enjoying the sharing of what I’m doing (i.e. setting my Facebook status to “I’m in the nation’s capital”).

I have the same dilemma with taking photos. If I’m focusing so much on taking photos of a cool event then aren’t I missing the cool event just to get photos? Take for example Finn’s kindergarten graduation. During the cute songs his class sang, I was  working the video camera and peering my lens around the stroller that was in front of me. And while he walked across the stage and received his certificate, I was on my knees on the gym floor taking a photo. What did my proud 5-year-old see as he crossed the stage and looked out in the audience? His camera-face mom followed by three fast flashes. Yet if I just did nothing and enjoyed the moment I’d have no photo from what is a memorable, photo-worthy event. If I don’t take pictures then I have no lasting mementos, but if I do then my memories boil down to, “oh, yeah, I remember taking a picture of that ….” So the key is balance, everything in moderation, blah, blah, blah.

With social media (which for me primarily consists of Facebook and Twitter) the logic is the same. Is social media cheating me of an experience because I’m too busy facebooking or tweeting it? What has slowly started to eat away at me with these two social tools is how much of me is “out there” and how little of me I keep to myself. I’ve never been a very private person, but somehow making the choice to live outloud on these social networking sites has made me desire to keep more things in. Perhaps I’ve never felt the need to be private because I never had the tools at my fingertips to be so public. In a lot of ways it’s the vulnerability that makes these sites fun. I particularly like when I post something and get a response from someone who I totally didn’t anticipate to respond. But I also find an increased desire to keep more things as my business/none of yours. For someone who is so social, I’m finding a strange satisfaction in keeping private.

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2 thoughts on “Social Media Burn Out

  1. Lori Emerson says:

    and if everyone is reading everything all about you on your facebook and twitter then what do you actually talk about when you see each other face to face? The fun of getting together is to catch up on each others’ lives but if you’ve already read about it on his/her facebook, twitter, website and/or blog, then what is there to say? Most of the time, I just let the person tell me all of their stories even if I’ve already read it. Should I speak up and say, “yeah, i saw that on your blog, next story, please?” :) Eventually, we come around to talking about something that’s “new” but while I like the sites and all of that has its place, it does kind of take away from face to face interaction. Everyone keeps trying to talk me into Facebook but I still haven’t done it…i’ll tell you why not, face to face, someday.

  2. To me, there’s a sweet spot of just enough information; a level that can be all I need to know about acquaintances, and conversation starters for friends.

    That guy I haven’t talked to since high school is looking for a house? Cool, and that’s really all I need to know. Someone in my improv troupe is looking for a house? Really? Where? What are you looking for? Do you have any leads? I don’t feel like the story’s been spoiled when I talked to them, instead, it’s literally a conversation waiting to happen.

    I’ve had dinner with friends where we’ve talked about stuff that might never have come up without social media. Someone Facebooks that they just watched a movie on DVD. I may never have thought to ask, hey, watched any good DVDs lately. But, yeah, knowing that they just saw a movie that I thought was interesting, I’ll definitely discuss it.

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