The Part of Social Networking We Don't Talk About

By Marina Krivonossova on June 8, 2020

Since the start of quarantine, I’ve been spending a lot more time on social media. In saying that, I don’t mean I’ve been mindlessly scrolling Instagram for hours every day, laughing at cat memes (though I’ve done my fair share of that, too). I mean, I have really been engaging, interacting, and networking every chance I get, both on Facebook and LinkedIn. Though trapped indoors, I’ve still managed to put myself out there and become more social than I’d been before the lockdown. But there I was, sitting alone at my coffee table, staring out the window, and realizing the sad reality of the situation… I feel more alone than before.

“Social” media can make you feel more antisocial than anything else (image via pexels.com)

That seems to be the part of social media we don’t talk about. We talk about the benefits of easily meeting people halfway across the world, the ease with which we can share information at the click of a button, and our newfound ability to connect with potential employers who otherwise may have failed to notice us. But with every new LinkedIn connection request — with every new Facebook friend request — I lose a little part of who I really am.

When we post online, we have to take into consideration the fact that other people will see our words and only our words. We take our innermost thoughts and feelings, and we mold them into socially acceptable phrases, sentences, and posts that we can share with the general public. Because once it’s online, it’s out there for everyone to see, forever. We often post with the intention of getting approval from new contacts, while hiding our true opinions out of fear of standing alone. It’s an entirely different ballpark than networking at business events or making new friends on a beach trip. Every digital move we make leaves a virtual footprint that we can never take back.

Meeting business contacts online rather than in person is an entirely different experience (image via pexels.com)

This comes with its own benefits, forcing people to think twice about their words before they post. But in tailoring the perfect message for an important connection, or in generating the ideal post to share with your newfound social media friends, you often lose an important piece of the puzzle along the way: personality. Quirkiness. Uniqueness. That which makes you — you. That little piece of something that highlights your personality in real-life social interactions, in a way that online interactions never could.

So if you feel like you’re losing your identity to social media — take a break. Close your laptop, turn your phone off, and relax. Read a book, watch a TV show, bake, do some creative writing, phone a friend. Do the things that remind you of who you are outside of the Internet world. There’s value in social networking, but it can never outweigh the value of individuality.

By Marina Krivonossova

Uloop Writer
Now that she has completed her undergraduate degree at UC Irvine, Marina is a Leiden University graduate student pursuing a major in political science with a focus in international organization. She has an educational background in business, economics, teaching, and politics. Her passions include creative writing, experimenting with new baking recipes, and traveling the world.

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