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What I Did Wrong on Social Media

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you might notice changes in this space last year. Some of you wrote to me that you didn’t like the direction I was going for. I went on a little too many restaurant reviews than sharing things that Tes at Home are good at. Though I tried to convince you that I was not going to change and the reviews were only a new addition to my blog. Now when I’m looking back at it, I’m so thankful for those of you who care enough to warn me. I was wrong about many things and I am sorry. Now, I know how important it is to stick to my root. I am very very happy this way.

For the past several months, a lot of people have wrote to me, asked me, and even called me about why I became less active on twitter and why quitted instagram. I know my answers were never quite clear to you so I’m finally going to lay it out right here.

I joined twitter in 2009 (maybe… I’m not really sure). At first, I really didn’t know how it works. All I know was other bloggers were using it to promote their blogs. I joined it because I wanted my contents to be seen by new people. I also used Facebook to connect with close friends and family in Thailand. I joined instagram last year just for fun.

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A year ago, when I connected with several people on twitter, I started to learn how it works, how to tweet, to retweet, etc. It was fun, and I learned a lot. I gained a lot of followers, my tweets got a lot of attention, and it made me feel nice, like I was heard, like my words were taken seriously. I started to share more and to invest a lot of energy into it, to the point that checking twitter would be the first thing I do when I woke up in the morning.

Twitter is powerful. It helps promoting business, connecting people, expressing one’s views, sharing news, supporting good causes, and even I have seen people successfully raised charities on twitter. Since I was on twitter as a food blogger, for me, twitter helped me connect with other foodies, restaurants and chefs. I was a part of foodie group and we made quite an impact in food scene in the city through twitter. I have also made good friends, and I have met interesting people as a part of twitter circle. All these, I’m very grateful for.

Now let be super honest, twitter is more like a self-promoting tool. Don’t even try to believe that you don’t care about popularity when you are on it. Most people are on there to feel important on some level. It’s okay if you disagree with me, but do you feel disheartened when you got negative responses or when someone unfollowed you? Twitter can affect you emotionally and you don’t even know it. I have gone through this drama over and over again until it felt unnecessarily stressful.

Do you know this?

Though twitter is public platform, the fun isn’t in the open. Often when you passionately share something sizeable, your tweet are shared in dozen of DMs to make fun off and laugh at. Your friends and followers discuss about it privately about how attention-seeking the message sounds. It is so not worth it you see. So be very careful about what you share, where you share it and who you share it with. And here is what I did wrong. In the beginning, I thought I was on twitter to promote my blog. Gradually, I didn’t know that I give out a lot of myself on there. I mistook twitter as a circle of friends. Don’t ever be stupid like that! Twitter is not your friend. One time, I emotionally tweeted “I miss you when it rains” on the anniversary month of my dad’s death. I found out later that the tweet had been shared among people who follow me and even my friends, and the message I sent out was bitched about behind my back without none of them had a clue what it was about. This incident made me finally realize what kind of circle I was in. When I shared good news or fun moments in my life, I didn’t know that those tweets would bother some people. Who would hate me? I didn’t understand.

When you send personal messages out in social media, you are asking to be judged one way or another. When I hang out at the mall shopping with my friends, nobody in the mall is going to come up to me and say something. But when I tweet about it, someone can comment so randomly about it— good or bad, you never know. The people who can never have the gut to talk to you in person can be very nasty on social media. You give them the right, the opportunity and the tool to like or hate you. Mind the place you send your messages to. If you need to have a heart-to-heart conversation, talk to your family. When you need to vent, grab a phone and tell your best friend. Share the things that matter to you with people who care. Talk to people who understand you and care about you. Don’t expose yourself to strangers and trolls. Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-social media. I’m still thinking twitter and other social media platforms are awesome, but we need to be very smart on how to use them.

Here learn from my mistakes:

Unless you are a movie star or you are trying to promote your self -image, there is no need to share something personal on it. I swear I’m this close to unfriend one of my relative who constantly posts horrible cursed words exposing her relationship problems. I don’t need this kind of energy in my circle. I miss the time when people only brag about the good. Now a lot of people are so comfortable posting negative updates to the entire world. Do you know how many people are laughing at you when you do that? If you want attention, share it with someone who cares. Do we really need to do this? I used to get some very horrible comments on the pictures I tweeted. Some people can be so unkind. The thing is you can choose to not care about haters and convince yourself that it doesn’t affect you. The truth is it’s not fun to be hated. I have seen pretty nasty fight on twitter when one person put her heart and soul on a tweet and someone said something really wrong about it. Unless you can be thick-skinned, unless you don’t care about what people thinks, avoid sharing about what you do in your personal time with strangers. There are millions of people on twitter, a lot of very good people, many very kind people and tons of hateful people that are looking for putting you down.

One very important thing is DO NOT FOLLOW a hateful person, a person who is unkind to you, to your friends, to your followers. Why do you need to follow them? Why do you follow someone who does’t wish you good? Why do you follow someone who is bad to your friends? Is it worth it? Do you think these haters are going to be there for you when you need help? Pick a side. I choose a person who would stand by me. Don’t follow someone because you hate them. Don’t give reasons that so you can laugh at their tweets because, guess what, they are doing the same to you. I am done with high school drama. I am not responsible for the strangers’ approvals, and they are not in charge of my happiness.

So where am I right now?

If you ask me do I hate twitter, the answer is no. Do I blame twitter? No. But I’m scared of what it can do to me. I am a person who can be affected by words, and I don’t want to share something meaningful to me in a place I can’t control anymore. I don’t feel safe on twitter. I am happier without it. Safer. Peaceful. I’m in touch with reality better. I have time more for my family, my music, my work, my novels and friends. I am more content. I feel loved and whole. A lot of people are very successful on twitter; they can influence good causes and inspire people. I think they are truly strong and amazing. But if you are too emotional involved in everything like me, stay away from it.

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I uninstalled twitter from my phone for a long time now though I have never deleted my account. I forgot my password. I forgot about it. My blog post feed are still streaming on there, but nobody ever is interested in it. I realized that a very few people on twitter ever read my blog. Looking at the stat on my blog, nobody from twitter ever come to my blog. It was me who was connected to the network, not my blog. And that fact gave me the final push to quit twitter for good.

I am now on Facebook, and I’m very careful about who I am friends with. I also connect with a lot of readers on Tes at Home page. My blog is a sanctuary. My peace. Like I said before… it’s a living room in my house where I sit and talk to you. Thanks for being my good neighbors all these while.

Love,
Tes

4 comments to What I Did Wrong on Social Media

  • Public figures will always experience some degree of unpleasantness, dear. You should not let it get to you. Just don’t react. Feel free to be yourself because you are a good person, with a gentle nature and your blog is very informative and charming.
    Nasty people are nasty because they have some problem-wish them well in your mind and then forget them totally.
    Keep Twitter for non-personal things is the only advice I can give.

  • The dangers of the internet. Its a scary place indeed.

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