I've been on and off social media sites for years. With Facebook's selling users' data to nefarious third parties and fake news bots infiltrating online communities to sway opinions, I'm proud to say I'm social media free in 2019.
When I was on Instagram, I often felt like my life didn't measure up. I'd see posts by people with (allegedly) more chiseled bodies, accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers run by 20 year olds, and ads convincing me my life wasn't up to par.
I feel sometimes like I'm missing out—specifically on events to which I'd only be invited on Facebook. But I'm not sure the prospect of having billions of opinions injected into my brain day after day is worth the few more parties I could attend.
I do feel out of touch because I'm not participating, but to me that's a good thing. It means I have to go out and hunt for meaning. That I can bask in the comfort of knowing the world is more complex than can be expressed in 140 (280?) characters.
I've never quantified it, but I bet there's a positive correlation between social media use and insecurity. There's definitely a positive correlation between insecurity and unnecessary spending. So maybe I'm richer for it, too.
It's a tired cliche by now, but if you're not paying for something, then you're probably the product.