Why I Only Have 400 Friends in Facebook and Just Followed 40

Don't get me wrong, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are beneficial to my writing and blogging endeavors. 

I have several social media pages for my works, tailored for a specific niche. It serves as a free promotional tool for my blogs and books to reach targeted audience.

These free sharing apps helped drive traffic to my websites which increased its visibility in search engine. It also helped me evolve into a better virtual communicator. 

But as with most things on earth, when abused by users, these online platforms can turn into emotional vampires that take tolls on our mental state.

Twitter, instagram and facebook differ in concept. While twitter is a microblogging app, instagram focuses on photography. But facebook is a free zone to do anything.

With its wide scope of features and easy-to-navigate and utilize walls and share buttons to and from other apps, it became the most exploited social networking site among many platforms available.

In this time of pandemic when people are trapped at home and no other way to quell off boredom, facebook thoroughly became the ultimate escape used as a foreground of stupid antics.

Thus, misinformation, anxiety-inducing headlines and senseless posts from  bored users, swarmed the newsfeed.

On what could have been a platform to bridge communication and information, now has turned into a repository of self-serving drama.

I began contemplating if there's still a need to maintain a personal account. While managing several pages has spared me from reading disturbing news and spiteful comments and protected me from getting incense with nonsense post-sharing from friends, personal account has not.

I've been a facebook user since 2009, around the time I also opened an account in Twitter. Well, back then, it was not as notorious and as toxic as today. Users were still discreet and behaved.

No senseless attacks, no bullying, no firing of acerbic comments, no compulsive post sharing of dull-witted topics. And people were also free to express opinions without getting bashed.

I remember having 800 Facebook friends, without feeling overwhelmed with obsessive shared posts. It was purely interesting information flooding the newsfeed.

Facebook was so peaceful then. A great pastime to relax after a busy day, a place where friends can excitedly check what's  the latest on their lives, with walls almost empty with bad vibes.

Then Instagram joined the bandwagon when Facebook acquired it from Kevin Systrom's group. Users saw another world to get excited with photo sharing.

While twitter and instagram maintained its reputation as apps where we could get decent posts from real people, facebook has turned into a chaotic place breeding fake news, stressful agenda of some, too much post-sharing of stupid and useless topics.

Most people misused social media as an extension to themselves. Treating it as a place to satisfy their ego and curiosity and personal gratification. Thoroughly ruining the concept bridging communication.

In fact, it has been stashed to one's lifestyle that it's impossible to never see people outside glued to their smartphone, compulsively checking what's the latest in facebook, then in instagram, then in twitter, then in messenger. Then back to facebook, afraid they might miss some earth-shaking updates.

A large chunk of people's hours in a day, even lunchtime, breaktime, travel time, were spent in the social media, hopping from one app to another, until checking and posting became a horrid obsession.

Back in the workplace, it's hard to have a normal conversation with colleagues. When I joined them on lunch breaks they could not just put their cellphones down. May it be netflix, online games, social media, attention was trapped on the phone.

I missed the old world 😔

A study in 2014 suggested that using social media apps nonstop without discipline leads to low moods, anxiety that may trigger mild depression, a feeling of uselessness for doing nothing and a sense of time-wasting without achieving anything.

The same study also claimed that people are hooked to social media due to the feeling of satisfaction it gives to them, the sense of importance when their posts generate tons of likes and comments, the idea that they're surrounded with people even if they're alone in the house, but it is a false reality, according to the study. And it will lead to nuisances that aggravates desolation even more.

A month ago I cleaned up my list by unfriending those I do not have direct connections and close engagement. I retained only 400, and among these friends, I only followed 40 to reduce pointless posts flooding to my wall.

I also followed informative pages  only from verified news channel and educational websites and those related to my passion like travel. In this process, I would not be overwhelmed with too much noise in the newsfeed.

I also spent less time in my personal account and just concentrated managing my pages. But when I do (visit my personal account), I never scroll my feeds, I just post-share updates from the pages I managed, mostly about blogs and books, and useful information I got somewhere that can be beneficial to everyone.

I stopped hopping from one app to another and just scheduled when I check instagram and twitter (blog pages) in a day.

I spent more time managing my facebook pages (Gourmand Travel Guide, Royals of Europe, my page about blogs and books) because these are targeted market and promotional platforms for my writing works.

But I seldom visited my personal account. Other than sharing posts from the pages I managed, I have  no daily activities there.

Social media can be beneficial, it helps bridge connection between friends from far away places. It can be a great source of information what's going on around the world.

But when it is not properly utilize the way how it should be utilized, and when no longer serve any purpose, it may lead to disastrous effect mentally. So I resolved to have a reduced list of just 400.

I cannot understand other people also, they will send you a friend's request but when they are in your list, they would no longer connect by liking or commenting your post. What's the purpose? So I removed or unfollowed those nuisances.

I don't need a huge list of friends in facebook because in reality I am alone and just living in my own empty world. I have no extra space for irritants.

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