Twitter has really been taking an emotional toll on my ego recently. I’m not one of those girls that needs a lot of attention – I’m really not. I’m that girl in class wearing sweats and no make-up because I don’t feel the need to impress the pricks at school. That being said, Twitter has been starting to hurt my feelings and I’ve even contemplated deleting the app from my phone. (I know—whaaat?!?!)
So, the first couple months of Twitter was awesome—I had like 12 followers and they were all my friends (real life friends, not cyber friends). I didn’t have to worry if I was tweeting too much or if my tweets weren’t funny or too emotional or lame or what-have-you. It wasn’t until Summer 2011 when things started to roll down hill: 1) My friend #FF –ed me (later I learned that this means Follow Friday, not Fast Forward) and I got a bunch of followers I did not know 2) My dad got a Twitter and he had more followers than me and 3) My ex-boyfriend still did not have a Twitter so I still could not secretly stalk his daily thoughts and/or locations (I’m a creep, I know, but isn’t that the point of Twitter?!).
When I was #FF-ed, I was all excited because I got more followers (duh, kinda the point of #FF) but what isn’t emphasized with the hashtag and double consonants is that if the followers do not like what you have to say, they will unfollow you. Talk about a blow to the heart – and I’m a writer, so when someone doesn’t like what I write that’s a painful blow. But okay, boo-who, someone I don’t know unfollowed me. What’s even worse is when friends are no longer including you in their #FF lists or, worse still, @-ing each other when you weren’t invited! I feel like I’m all the way back in junior high– I’m in college now so feeling that way is no fun (especially because people used to call me Shamu in junior high). And do you have a parent that has more Twitter followers than you?! Because I do, and it’s so awkward! What’s even worse is when my friends will text me saying “Haha ur dad making fun of you on twitter is so funny lol” (when they text me this, I am not lol-ing with them).
Have we come to a day in age that popularity depends on the number of Twitter followers you have? I spend all day refreshing my Twitter page, my Facebook, my Pinterest, my Tumblr and my Instagram. How ridiculous is that? What’s even worse is that I don’t always post what I want to post because I think “Someone will unfollow me if I say that” or “I won’t get a lot of ‘likes’ if I just take a photo of that” or “No—I can’t post again, I’ve posted too many times today”. What makes us think like this? Why do we invest so much emotionally in social networking sites? Is having the perfect tweet equivalent to wearing the perfect outfit?
I’m annoyed with myself for letting others dictate how I feel. I’m the girl in class wearing sweats and no make-up so I’m going to be that same girl on the Internet. I’m over editing myself just to trying to please other people (most of whom I do not know). There are two options—(well three, I guess, but two plausible ones) 1) Stop caring and be yourself or 2) Delete sites that are giving you anxiety/making you feel inferior. I, for one, am going to stop editing my tweets/instragrams and over the summer I’m going to suspend my Facebook so I can have a real, internet-stalking-free summer. Join me?