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Articles > Rant July, 15, 2013

Social media is pointless

Paige-Ann Taylor
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I can’t help but wonder why we need so many forms of social media? I mean seriously, what is the point? I find I waste half my life casually flicking between Facebook to twitter, back to Facebook to instagram, from instagram to snapchat then back to twitter, just in case I missed anything in the past 2 minutes.

Photo by Jason Howie

The worst part is that half the time I don’t even realise I’m doing it. It’s become like an instinct, every spare second I have I grab my phone to begin the social networking cycle. I know I’m not alone on this though, I see my friends doing the same, staring blankly at a tweet or status while taking no real interest in it. Now this would be fine if there was something new and refreshing on each site, but I find I’m constantly looking at the same regurgitated pictures or thoughts on a different background with a different way to comment or ‘like’ them.

I know what you must be thinking, ‘why do we continue this seemingly pointless routine?’ Well that’s because there is very little choice for us. This constant checking of social networking sites has had to become second nature to us as career councillors, various career websites and leaflets bombard us with the importance of social media and being in touch with the rest of the world. We are at an age where choosing our career is becoming increasing important and I can proudly say I have decided I want to peruse a career in media, trouble is I’ve no idea exactly what form of media as of yet. My indecisive nature means I have to keep in tune with EVERYTHING at all times through the art of social media to keep my options open.

I’m beginning to question the relevance of personal pages on Facebook and twitter in my bid to become a super duper media person. I mean, how in touch am I actually with the rest of the world when the most exciting thing I learn is that Jim from nowhere is ‘so glad to finish work’ and that Bob has posted yet another picture of his skinny, not-so-sexy six pack. Is this really what will help me gain a good future?

I recently embarked on a small PR job for local night clubs which actually asked me in the application how many Facebook friends I have, obviously implying a large amount was ultimately necessary. But how many Facebook friends do I really have? According to my Facebook profile its 635 but are they friends? I openly admit I know about a quarter of them, if that, so what use are they really to me or my employer? Chances are half of them wouldn’t see what I posted anyway as I doubt I regularly appear on the majority of their news feeds, and those who I did reach during my PR work didn’t show much interest in the nights I promoted anyway. It was just another ‘annoying ad’ blocking up their news feed. Not that I can blame them, I feel exactly the same when I get a notification off a person I haven’t spoken to since school, inviting me to some ‘massive blow out weekend’ that doesn’t look remotely attractive.

Frankly I feel the whole demand for intensive social networking is getting out of control and as a child of the ‘iPhone generation’ that must really stand for something! If keeping up this relentless routine of checking a million social networking sites a day is necessary to get somewhere in life then yes I will begrudgingly continue but I am begging anyone out there to come up with a new refreshing way to social network and leave all the others locked away in that dark corner of our subconscious so we can pretend we never did see the picture of that girl doing inappropriate things with that poor banana.

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  1. Katherine Smith

    It should be called ‘anti-social networking’ how tired I am with meeting up with people only to watch them faff about on their phones or tablets – sorry to bore you with my company that you asked for.

  2. Anon

    You’re right! I have no social media, because why do it? Just a waste o’ time if ya ask me.

  3. Charlotte Southall

    “If keeping up this relentless routine of checking a million social networking sites a day is necessary to get somewhere in life then yes I will begrudgingly continue…”
    I don’t have Facebook, and only recently got Twitter in order to get rehearsal times from the orchestra I play in. Before this, I didn’t feel left out of anything due to my lack of participation in social media; if my friends really wanted me, they’d call me. Which is still how it works now, when co-ordinating a night out is more difficult than it used to be when we could just call our parents to pick us up. I email, I text, I very rarely tweet. And that’s fine. I’m “connected”, but not to the all-consuming extent that my peers seem to be.