In my new return to social media, I decided to not follow anybody on any platform. This is intentional. It serves as a reminder as to why I am on these platforms—to ‘create more than I consume’. That doesn’t mean I am not wasting my time, looking up other accounts. I am (and god is the addiction real!). But at least I don’t have a feed that’s ready to keep me hooked, as soon as I open the app. And I spend more time obsessing over what to put out, as opposed to scrolling through what others are doing.
Following no one might come across as arrogant, which is fine because it keeps at bay those who seek a public display of camaraderie. I just want to be followed by those interested in my updates, not by those whose egos get hurt because I won't follow them back. (With that being said, I am perfectly aware that nobody cares whether I exist on social media or not. So it's really just a reminder to myself.)
I can’t remember where I read it first, but this idea of ‘creating more than consuming’ pushed me to start writing online. It seemed so obvious when I read it, in late 2020. Until then, I had spent years and years, simply consuming online. I endlessly made plans about creating. I kept postponing goals day by day, bit by bit and when I looked back, almost a decade had gone by—I hadn't put myself out there. (Also, 'Create more than you consume' recently made headlines.)
I recently deleted my Facebook account. Yup, I did the whole ‘download your data, press delete and wait for thirty days.’ It was only deactivated for all these years but now it’s deleted. Gone. I know, Facebook links all my Whatsapp, Instagram data (and god knows what else) and knows exactly who I am. But I’m on one platform less. Besides, Facebook feels less like a podium and more like a wedding ceremony, where all your family, your friends, your neighbours and their dogs come all gussied up to tittle-tattle.
I stumbled upon a young Twitter user, all of nineteen, whose usage of the platform has been inspiring. And he posed a question:
What's the best decision you took in your 20s ?— Sahil (@sahilypatel) April 16, 2021
I could come up with so many bad decisions that I took in my 20s, within seconds. But the 'best decision'? I really had to rack my brains. Although these questions are reductive and don’t really help that much, it is fun to think about them.
Oddly enough, the first thing that came to my mind was this:
Staying away from social media.— Sumeru Raut (@SumeruRaut) April 16, 2021
But upon thinking about it longer, I came up with a few:
I didn’t ‘settle’.
I didn’t chase lifestyle inflation.
I said 'yes' to many things.
And I stayed away from social media.
(This could be a longer post in itself. hmm)
I don’t mean to pontificate about the 'ills of social media'. All I am saying is that I was taking social media personally in my twenties when I was already having a hard time comparing myself to others offline. So it was good for me to stay away from it while I grew a thicker skin, as I finally seem to be growing now.
And once I have had my fill, I will be the first to dash out of here.
The goal is to go from not following anyone on social media to not following social media.