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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Social media situation

Friday, November 15, 2019

Like many of you, I have been on Facebook for years ó nearly 10 years, to be exact. I joined the site during my junior year of high school and used the heck out of it for a pretty long time. Everyone likes to share whatís on their mind every now and then. Teenagers love to do that regularly. I was not an exception.

When my first boyfriend broke up with me, I went on a posting spree. I shared so many Bonnie Tyler lyrics, more than any one heart can take. Side note: More Than Any One Heart Can Take would be a great title for a Bonnie Tyler song if sheís still in the business.

Where was I? Oh, yes ó my teen angst. Needless to say, it was off the charts. When I wasnít constantly posting, Iíd be stalking people Iíve never met. Thatís my favorite thing about social media. You can learn a lot about someone and they might never know it.

This gets dangerous if it bleeds into real life. For example, you could see someone at Walmart after finishing a deep dive into their social media profile where you learned they just purchased a snazzy new pair of shoes. I beg you ó do not compliment their shoes. Hold it in. Donít let them know you know. At least thatís what Iíd do if that situation were to hypothetically happen to me.

Fortunately, I have learned to tone it down in a lot of ways. I donít post or browse nearly as much as I used to. It happened organically but Iím really happy Iíve scaled things back a bit. Back when I regularly used social media, I didnít like myself all that much. I bet a lot of you can relate to that.

Weíve all followed people on social media who have lives we perceive to be better than our own. We canít help but compare ourselves. Itís only human, though it often has unhealthy effects. When I was comparing myself to other people all the time, my life didnít seem that great. Taking a step back from that really helped me build confidence.

Being more confident means knowing yourself better. I canít say Iím 100 percent comfortable in my own skin, but I sure feel better than I ever have and I canít complain about that.

Thatís not to say social media is all bad. Itís a great way to connect to people with whom you would otherwise lose touch. I follow a bunch of my family members even though I havenít seen them in years. The same is true for friends from high school and college. Itís nice to sit on the sidelines and quietly support people who have touched your life.

So where do I stand on the social media debate? Some people think life is better completely unplugged from social media. Iím not one of those people. Like many things, social media is better in moderation. You can overdo anything to your detriment. Itís not about social media. Itís about knowing your personal limit and having the willpower to assert it. Maybe thatís easier said than done, but Iím going to keep trying.