I am big on posting and using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Sometimes, I just enjoy reading about what others post on their social media site. (Does that make me a stalker?) Facebook has 889.3 million users while Twitter has over 200 million users. It’s safe to say, there is a lot of “facebooking” and “tweeting” being done. From my own personal experiences with these two major social media sites, I enjoy the endless & sometimes obnoxious amounts of tweeting and the essay-length Facebook statuses, but I’ve recently made a decision that could be hard for some, but not for me. Any guesses?
I dumped Facebook and went with Twitter. Talk about a relief. Now, that doesn’t mean I deactivated my Facebook or stopped using the social site. I just use it a lot less than Twitter. What I’m about to tell you, in no way do I demand you to stop using Facebook. My partner and I have been dating for almost two years now and obviously our relationship status on Facebook says we are dating each other. A while back, I use to post a lot of stuff on Facebook such as photos, update my status almost every day, etc. One day my partner told me that I wasn’t popular as he was on Facebook and that I don’t get as many “likes” on my photos or statuses as he does. Although he was joking about it, I did take his statement into consideration and since then, I do not get on Facebook that often and started using Twitter more, a lot more.
According to the wonderful world of communications, what I experienced is a social comparison. After my partner told me that I wasn’t as popular as he was regarding how many likes on my statuses and photos, I started to compare myself to him. For instance, on our one year anniversary, you can imagine that we both put up a status about it. He may have gotten about 30 or so likes on his while I may have gotten about 15 or so. Although, those numbers are probably not accurate, I’m just providing an example. By reading Julia Wood’s book, I also experienced reflected appraisal where the perception of me was made by how others saw myself and in this case, my partner. By him saying what he said, I saw myself not as popular and thought of myself as so. By him telling me, “You are not as popular as me.”, I also experienced direct definition which by his statement, I was directly told and labeled unpopular. Since it was in a negative way, it lowered my self-esteem and made my self-concept as not popular.
There was an article that I read(thanks to Professor Johnson) about how Facebook can make you feel bad about your very own self. In the article it says that one in three felt bad after visiting Facebook because of they were comparing themselves to their peers regarding such things as vacation photos and lack of “likes” on their own photos. The article also says that those same people are more likely to either leave Facebook or reduce their time on the social site. Ironic, isn’t it?
The world of communication is a fascinating and unique one. We just do not know how much communication, in so many forms, affects our lives. I feel I have so much more to learn and thankfully, this interpersonal communication class is really helping and I am actually enjoying learning about interpersonal communication. Stated before, I’m not here to tell you to stop using Facebook, but to get to know a bit more about interpersonal communication because I know we all have been there where we envied another person’s photo or saw how many likes we got or lack thereof. It is okay not to get many likes or tons of comments on your photos. I will admit though, leaving Facebook for Twitter was the best thing that happened to me. 🙂