Title: "The Disappearance of Personal Life in the Circle of Friends"
Tags: [Essay, Private]
Since about two years ago, I gradually stopped sharing too much of my personal life in the circle of friends.
There are two main reasons for doing this, the first being privacy protection and the second being avoiding comparison.
Let's start with the first reason, privacy.
Since working in the internet industry, I have been well aware of the dangers of exposing my privacy on social platforms. Even a simple photo, a rant, or a video clip may contain a lot of my personal information, which could be exploited by certain individuals at some point in time.
My WeChat has been connected with many strangers since university, including acquaintances and people who are only interested in exchanging benefits. It has become a mixed bag. Some people say that I can set labels and groups. That is one way to handle it, but I cannot guarantee that my groups will remain accurate after some time. Instead of spending a lot of effort maintaining the accuracy of my groups, it is better to cut it off from the source.
Now let's talk about the second reason, comparison.
Since the rise of social networks, it seems that everyone's circle of attention has expanded several times. Previously, my social circle consisted of relatives, classmates, and like-minded friends. But now, this circle includes both familiar and unfamiliar people, from millionaires to workers who can only afford two buns for a meal.
If I go to have a meal at Hai Di Lao and share it in my circle of friends, some people might be chewing on buns and cursing, while others might be sitting on a yacht, joking about why they are still eating at Hai Di Lao in this day and age.
Some people might say that I am exaggerating. Indeed, it is an exaggeration.
Every time I go home each year, my aunts and uncles come and ask me about my grades when I was in school, and now they ask me about my job. After I finish talking, when I see the expressions of some relatives, I feel very uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable because their inquiries are not out of genuine concern, but rather out of curiosity and a desire for comparison. As relatives, they deepen my sense of loss even more.
If this is the case with relatives, it is even more so with friends, not to mention strangers. Therefore, I don't want to continue this sense of loss in my virtual life - the circle of friends.
On the other hand, why should I share my life in this circle? Is it to attract jealousy from some people and satisfy my vanity? Or is it to show people who are similar to me that I am actually doing well and make them envy me? Or maybe it's just self-deprecating humor for the successful people.
Speaking of this, someone will definitely say, "Why do you care so much about posting in your circle of friends? Who cares about what you post? Don't you have any shame?"
That's true, there is so much information and so many friends on everyone's news feed, how many people will pay attention to what you post? But, there will always be someone who sees it, and with that comes comparison. Instead of adding to my troubles, it's better not to post at all.
In addition, I have seen many studies that show that social platforms have exacerbated the onset of depression to some extent, especially for girls. I'm too lazy to provide the source.
As for the authenticity of these studies, it doesn't matter. Based on my own observations and experiences, social platforms have brought me both joy and anxiety, with anxiety being more prevalent. Therefore, I limit myself to viewing the circle of friends less than ten times a week, spending less than half an hour on it.
If I don't share my personal life in the circle of friends, what should I post? Instead, I choose to share recommendations for books and movies, or simply write down my thoughts.
In my opinion, books and movies are forms of art, and art is universal. Whether it's highbrow or popular, there are always people who can appreciate it and resonate with it.
Life is different. It is edited and positioned before being shared, with the purpose of showing off. When I look back at my past life in the circle of friends, it is filled with an underlying tone of showing off, to satisfy my petty vanity. When I see those dazzling photos and the glamorous positioning in my friends' circle of friends, it immediately reminds me of my past self.
Recording art can bring tranquility and attract like-minded friends, while showing off in life brings admiration or jealousy, and creates distance or estrangement.
Therefore, when comparing the two, I choose the former.