A preview to the Reality Rant
An examination of women on Reality TV
As a part of the MU Women’s Center Staff, I was asked to bring back my series on Women, Race and Ethinicty in the Beauty/Fashion Industry. This time, instead of Magazines, I researched Social Media.
Here’s Shades of Beauty II Part 1
April 21st marked my first day back on Facebook in nearly 2 years. The task of recreating this happy little existence on social media was daunting and scary but I knew that if I wanted to be taken seriously in this world of social media… if I wanted to work in it, I had to come back. I had to be present online. Sadly, I think that in today’s world, one could never leave his or her own room and through the power of Netflix, photoshop, Facebook and maybe the Huffington Post, could find happiness in clicking on pictures and liking posts.
Call me crazy but I just wanted genuine interaction with people.
That reality scared me. The reality that was 2013. In 2011, when I had a Facebook and I worked at Teen Vogue, it was cool. I felt both physically and cyber-lly alive. I had a solid foundation on Facebook and my Twitter followers were growing. Over the course of about 3 years, after surviving Facebook in high school and finally accepting twitter in college, I had become normalized and conditioned to believe that in between all the html codes and tweets lay my happiness. I had “friends” and “followers”, my pictures were photogenic and I was just another number in a very large (somewhere in the billions) pool.
Fast forward to February, 2012, when, during Mardi Gras, I made the decision to get rid of Facebook. (GASP). Yes. The entire thing. I read articles, did my research and found a way to virtually disappear from it all. I even sifted through pages of it’s “Terms and Conditions” and managed to disconnect it from my phone and my email accounts. My reason? I didn’t need it. It was extra, it was probably stressful and in the peak of my decision making process, it simply felt like an obligation more than a desire. I wanted to feel like a human again. I wanted to feel like a person that didn’t need this “nuanced” internet to feel connected to the world. I kept my twitter and that was it.
Months went by and finally in April, when Easter finally came, I was committed to the idea of getting rid of it for good. I wasn’t afraid. In fact I was proud. Proud that I could relinquish my need to be addicted to social media. Proud to be a woman who could go longer than 15 minutes without checking her phone for updates.
As the year progressed, I became more infatuated with twitter. Obviously, I’m a writer and an idealist and so the platform that only allowed me to unleash my powerful thoughts into the universe felt just right. Then I discovered instagram and I felt like I had finally found happy medium between social networks and socializing.
But alas, suddenly, I started having that feeling you get after eating McDonalds. Every time I’d check twitter or instagram, I felt like I was feeding a hunger that wasn’t REALLY there. I felt guilty for still being so dependent on even those two social networks. So, again, around February, I got rid of Twitter. And like Facebeook, I read all the terms and made sure that it was gone for good.
Why had I gone through such careful measures to make sure it was permanent? Because temptation is such a powerful thing. Had I “temporarily” deleted any of my accounts, it would have just been a break. But I wanted to get rid of them so that I could really say I didn’t have an account. I didn’t want people to find me. I didn’t want people to “know” me before they “knew” me.
After doing so much to ensure that I was for sure done with social media, what would possess me to resurface? The pressure of finding a job is more or less at the forefront of my decision but also a need to feel connected again. A need to feel like I’m not just a girl in the world but a person on the planet that we’ve created online. To be real in the real world is not enough anymore.
Today, March 17th, marks a milestone in my mondane existence.
Today, I have been 22 for two months.
Today, I graduate from college in two months.
Today, I will get shit done.