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Social [media] anxiety

Illustration for article titled Social [media] anxiety

Serious question: What did people do to acknowledge their accomplishments before the age of social media? The reason why I deem this inquiry “serious” is because I truly can’t imagine the prehistoric time period where, if you had big news to share, the only way to tell your close family, friends, crushes, exes, past camp counselors, cute pets (who, of course have their own Facebook page), etcetera etcetera, would have to be....{dramatic pause} in person.

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I’m not saying this because I’m not happy for you, girl I met at freshman year orientation in 2007 and I have never seen, or will see again that your toddler took her first steps. Nor am I jealous of you, friend’s ex-boyfriend who got into Harvard Law and has received more “likes” than I probably ever will throughout my Facebook life-span (okay maybe a little). I am simply just curious about the situation at hand. It seems like every day I begrudgingly log onto the platform that saves me from missing birthdays and see yet another announcement of one’s menial (my dog ate my shoe! My baby picked her nose!) and significant (I got a new job! I I’m engaged!!) updates.

I'll focus on the wedding announcements in particular since apparently the "friends"-per-week engagement notices has been in recent overload. Has Facebook become the layman’s New York Times Weddings section? Do you really think I'm going to attend an engagement "party" of someone I have not spoken to in years when it is sent out as a mass social media invitation? Rhetorical questions, of course.

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I, as I’m sure many others would probably agree, have mixed feelings on the usage of Facebook for important life announcements. I understand that the point is to be able to easily inform your social circle the updates on your oh-so hectic life in a simple way, all within a few clicks. However, doesn't this take away from the feeling of closeness one has to friends and family?

I guess my point is that it seems to be getting out of hand – this innate need to share every little thing with the rest of cyberspace, this re-wiring of the brain that never used to exist. It has become a medium where we feel like something hasn't been done or truly experienced if we haven’t shared it in any way onto the internet abyss (example: eating that delicious cupcake and NOT posting it on Instagram would be a complete waste of calories). I just wonder what times were like when you could simply enjoy a moment, a good grade, a job offer, a hot chocolate with whipped cream, without feeling like you HAD to let every single person you've ever said “hello” to in on the news.

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It may be a bold statement to make but our definition of self-worth seems to fluctuate based on the retweets, comments, likes and responses to our social media postings. Gone are the days of simply being happy for oneself because we’re in constant comparison to everyone else in our social media sphere. So I just wonder- what was it LIKE in the time when a cloud solely meant the white puffy marshmallows in the sky that changed shapes when you stared at them for long periods of time? Obviously, no one reading this will have the answer.

Now excuse me while I go ask Twitter if I should have sushi or Bareburger for dinner.

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