In 2017, I deleted my personal social media profiles. I had already quit Facebook three years earlier due to privacy concerns, but I kept my other social accounts for a while because:
Closing my social profiles had an impact on a personal level. Leaving Facebook resulted in losing touch with many people, including relatives. Most of them never reached back to me again. I don't blame them, though, since people generally find it easy and convenient to stay up to date and communicate on social media.
I wish people truly understood that any information you share on social media, whether it's public or private, stops being yours and is kept forever. Social media makes money on our data. That's why they are "free." We don't pay with currency, but with our information. Now that I'm officially back on social media, I choose to use it more selectively.
Changing countries affects relationships. Although it's easier than ever to stay in touch with those who are far away, communication is becoming increasingly unidirectional thanks to social media. Anybody may learn about you, yet they do not necessarily disclose their identity and/or interact with you.
When I want to catch up with someone who is not near, I prefer to use iMessage and Signal. These two platforms care about your privacy by offering free, end-to-end encryption. Facebook, who owns Whatsapp, could apparently be the best one-in-all solution here, but I choose not to use them as they don't value privacy as much I do. Google also tracks you and saves every piece of information you provide to them.
CHECK: How to Live Without Google
Three years ago, I wrote an article that served as an extensive report of my experience on social media. It helped me realize that I didn't want to spend my time on something that's designed to be addictive. Social media was seriously enhancing my anxiety. I realized I had been misusing it, so I kept away for a while.
As a former smoker, I learned that it's best to stay away from those things that hook you up. That means that I would never touch a cigarette unless I wanted to become a smoker again. To me, there's no such thing as "just one." My previous attempts at quitting smoking failed because of that one single cigarette. While smoking has absolutely no benefits, I knew that social media could have a positive impact professionally if used correctly.
MORE: Another Year, Smoke-Free
Being away from social media helped me focus on my freelance career as a certified translator. I finally had the time to build this website, as well as this blog – two activities that I had been continually postponing for years. The only social profile that I kept was LinkedIn as it proved beneficial for my career. I began participating and sharing content there with my network.
I eventually rejoined Twitter last summer in an attempt to expand my online business presence. By focusing solely on work, I've managed to stay away from anxiety triggers and feel comfortable on social media. I may include an occasional personal fact to humanize my account, but I'm mostly there to learn and share regarding my profession. After all, my ultimate goal is for my business to thrive!
So, whether you need my language services, or you're an old friend, colleague, or relative that wants to reconnect, you can contact me here.
I look forward to hearing from you!