Social Media? Not in My Life.

By Danielle Kuhman

FACEBOOK ICONWhen the topic of social networking comes up, people seem shocked when I say I don’t have a Facebook. Responses are usually quite similar, ranging from “What do you mean you don’t have a Facebook?” to “How are you even alive?!”

O.M.G.

See, I used to have a Facebook profile. I did for over three years. And while it provided me with hours of stalking, an occasional haul on the ol’ plantation during ‘Farmville,’ and the occasional Chinese food prize money I won from Food Frenzy, I found myself being more annoyed and upset after being on the site than I had before. Besides the fact that it’s a complete time-sucker (not good for someone in six classes, two internships, and a 20 hour/week part-time job), it often made me dislike the people I was around in my daily life. I know you can choose who you’re ‘friends’ with, but after surfing my home page and going from one person’s profile to the next, the only thing I gained was disappointment.

• I would realize I was kind of lame for not going out last Friday night as I looked at people’s party pictures.
• I could see that the hot guy I’d been crushing on was, in fact, still ‘in a relationship.’
• I realized updating my status would just be telling a bunch of people (who really couldn’t care less what I was doing) every next move I was going  to make.

I’ve always been big on privacy and personal space. After a drama filled summer that saw a lot of rumors fly my way, I realized that by cutting myself off to the websites that only provoked negative thoughts it would be the easiest way to rid myself of having to deal with it.

Privacy doesn’t matter to some, and that’s fine. But nothing bothers me more than a celebrity figure who complains of a lack of personal space, only to tweet about everything they do on Twitter ten times a day. Hate to use Lindsay Lohan as an example, but the girl claims she hopes the paparazzi and media “will respect her privacy during this difficult time” (aka drugs & jail). Yet within ten minutes of being released from prison (I believe at the end of her second stint, a couple weeks ago) she hit up Twitter to say thanks you to her fans.

Check out this article which I am literally laughing in my seat right now reading: “Lindsay Lohan Returns to Twitter After Jail and Rehab to Complain About Paparazzi.”

When the recent Twitter assignment ended for my PR Writing class, I deleted my Twitter account right away. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business to stick their nose in someone else’s life. I read Justin Bieber’s and Khloe Kardashian’s Twitter page every day, and I feel more and more pathetic each time I go to them.

My Advertising Principles class discussed a charity event coming up where the foundation (I forget which one) wants every to give up Facebook for a day. My teacher asked “Could you do it?” I think this is ridiculous people rely on the site so much. My roommate gave it up for lent last year, and it was so difficult her boyfriend was forced to change her password unknowingly.

My hope is that everyone can seriously consider backing off when it comes to social networking sites. I’m not saying go get rid of your page, but limit how much you go on it and I promise you you’ll realize there is a world outside of Facebook.

Danielle Kuhman is a Public Relations major in the Diederich College of Communication.

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