For the past few months, I have taken a break from posting on my social media accounts.
Last year, I was quite active on social media and posting constantly (and hardly paying attention to this website). I feel like I lost some part of myself and even forgot what it is I loved doing with food. Instead of focusing on that, I got busy taking photos and being active on social media.
This means not only posting on my stories and feed but also constantly interacting with others in an effort to increase my following – well that’s what I read I needed to do. I found this quite tiring because I’m an introverted person and I dislike having to fake socialization.
I also kept checking how many likes and views I got on my posts and stories. It was quite validating. When I got a lesser number of views and likes, I wondered what I did wrong.
I don’t like being this way. But that’s social media. You may start out with a healthy attitude to it, but it usually becomes addicting when you use it more often.
Social media is also somewhat overwhelming for me, especially when I force myself to use it when I don’t want to. It’s a lot of information at once, in the form of pictures, text, music, etc. And it’s constantly evolving and changing, and you’re supposed to constantly evolve and change too. I can’t keep up.
It makes people (including me) have such short attention spans, and the thing you put your focus on actually has less value. Because people only have a finite amount of attention and mental energy to give at any given moment, so if they are going through five posts in one minute, it’s just going to be a shallow absorption of that information, a shallow interaction with the ideas that were presented. What value does this add to our life?
It’s mindless, and it’s easy. You become so used to how easy it is to obtain information, and how much information you can absorb at once (if only in a shallow way). It makes you shallow, even in your interests, and it makes you have a similar attitude to things that are outside social media, even your family, your friends, the things that you supposedly love. And for me, it decreases my drive to really pursue things.
I’ve also never been one to take photos of my food, or even of myself, friends and family. I understand that it’s important though, so I’ll still have photos, just not as many.
While cooking or kneading dough and my hands are sticky, I’m supposed to think about lighting, cleaning up the sides of the pan or my hands so it looks good in photos (ugh) even when I’m supposed to cook the dish quickly. I don’t know how to work like that.
I also engaged with other food bloggers so that they would engage back with me and like and comment on my posts. It’s a pretty common thing bloggers do. It’s even to the point of like for like and follow for follow. There are so many bloggers with thousands of followers, but they are also following thousands of people… um, ok.
Social media also makes you feel like people who aren’t your peers like chefs or people who have been cooking and baking for years or celebrities or models are people you should compare yourself to. But many of them had to work to get there, or it took time.
It gives you a false sense of what other people’s lives are like and you (unconsciously even) hold yourself up to that standard. I realized it was happening to me unconsciously – isn’t that the dangerous part?
There are many other things I don’t like about it, though I still think it’s a great tool to communicate with others. The problem is, it’s addicting and the people behind the app want it to be that way.
They don’t want you not to be hooked on it and not to derive some sense of temporary fulfillment and addicting high from the likes and comments you get for that photo you just posted.
What do I love about being in the kitchen, about cooking and baking? It’s the process of creating something new, making things that introduce new flavors and experiences to the palate. I love that surprise.
When I spent so much time on social media, I felt this got diluted. I spent so much time on it, thinking about what type of content people would like to see and tried to do that. And I realized this happens to people even with their personal lives and social media profiles. I didn’t want to become like that. Who I am without social media is who I always want to be, even on social media and on this website.
So I have decided to change my platform and post on my website more often. I will definitely have a lot less views, and I am asking for a longer attention span from those viewing my posts. But I think it suits me more and it’s better for my attention span, lol.
I will still post on my social media accounts but I’m not gonna be too active there. Those who are genuinely interested in what I’m doing will read my posts here 🙂
I miss the time when the Internet existed but social media was not yet a thing. I think that was the best time.