SOCIAL MEDIA

Sunday, 23 September 2018

You are what you eat, a rant about social media



It has been a while now since I lost my spark. My motivation for everything dwindled until even my passion for blogging, my proudest achievement, slipped out of existence and I was left staring at a blank screen with nothing to say. Nothing to say, and it felt, no one to listen.



So I announced my temporary departure from social media and blogging and I left. Deleted all the apps from my phone and began this new life. Now, was me leaving blogging and social media a wise decision for my sanity with the start of university again, or, was it a bad decision that just further fuelled my theory that once gone no one would notice, even worse no one would care?


For the longest time Twitter has been my sounding board, a diary read by thousands. But that was exactly the issue, 4000 strangers were reading my thoughts and maybe 5 of those 4000 actually sincearly cared. How do I know that only such a little handful of people care? Because in my absence, not a peep came from them. Im not just talking about my twitter either, im talking across all my social media accounts, all 6 of them, personal and blogging. Only a handful of people could muster up the effort to send a message once i announced my break from social media platforms for the sake of my mental health. But then maybe the mention of mental health scared people off and risking to send a message left them plagued with fear that they would be dragged into a void of all my darkest thoughts and feelings.


It's not contagious, I would have just said thanks.


Social media is this odd window into people's lives, some people tint their windows pink and it looks pretty and perfect and others, especially if you find yourself in a community like a mental health one, can be painted grey. I try not to paint any of my windows pink, I want to be real but perhaps in wanting to be real I ended up accidently buying grey paint for my twitter window and then I looked for neighbours with the same colour window.


I'm not against sharing your struggles in the slightest, talking about your problems is healthy and if online is the only place you feel comfortable then great. But I came to a hault where each social media account became a different side to me. On my personal Instagram I was desperately trying to make it seem like I was living an amazing life, traveling, having these amazing experiences and opportunities, being with friends, having my life figured out and being somewhat happy. On the other hand, my blogging Twitter, my diary, became where I would run to in crisis, a place I would search for comfort because everyone else there somewhat understood the struggle. But when you search for comfort online it can be hard to find behind a screen, it's not a hug from your dearest, it's just words on a screen from a stranger that means well.


We seem to all be falling into that trap, as social media is killing off our interpersonal connections, we turn to a screen to fulfill us. And for a while it really did. I felt liked and popular online, I felt understood and valued. But like everything that too can disappear, as it did, and then you are left not really communicating but rather scrolling endlessly through feeds.


Interestingly we call it a social media feed but never really think about what it is feeding us. They say we are what we eat so we make sure to eat our 5 a day and try not to have too much sugar but what about what our brain consumes from our social media? Every morning I would wake up and the first thing I would do is turn to the internet and look into people's windows. Not realising that when I would read all the things the grey houses had to say that I was already starting my day off on the wrong foot.


So I called it quits for a bit. I woke up in the morning and only had to deal with my own demons, not those of everyone else. I didn't constantly tweet whenever I found myself in a bad place and then have others collude with me about how shitty things were. I started my day on the right foot, with things that make me happy like watching the SacconeJoly vlogs. I didn't feel a need to check in and help anyone who had a darker than usual window because unfortunately for me I care too much so as a mental health advocate and wannabe savior of the human race I would want to check in on everyone. It's just not possible to take on everyone else's troubles when you are just about managing your own.


When it rains it pours and 2018 has been one heck of a storm, one that didn't give in once I dropped off the map. However, instead of telling 4000 strangers what's been happening, I told close friends and family or I kept it to myself because sometimes we fall into the trap of only talking about our problems and not enough about our joys.


I'm not sure why I went on this rant but it's something I felt needed saying. Will I be back on social media? Yes, I will but not like I was before. A change needed to happen for the sake of my mental health. But just because I don't openly talk about my struggle don't presume there isn't one, a war doesn't disappear just like that and this too is a battle that will take time to win. (Now isn't that rather optimistic.)


As for my blog, where does it leave this? My motivation hasn't returned yet despite the fact that this post poured out quite effortlessly. I love my blog but something with this needs to change as well. I don't know what that change is, if it's something physical like the content I produce or if it's something inside of myself in the way that I approach blogging and the pressure I put on myself.


But I will be back, one day and hopefully with content that I am proud to share with you.


Until then, over and out.


1 comment :

  1. Hey Angie,

    As an interested stranger, I hoped that you were doing ok but had no way to reach out to you to find out. I think that the break had done you a lot of good and I can see the change in perspective as I read through this entry.

    You have to do what is right for you. Even if one of the main benefits is the removal of pressure to blog when you don't feel like it, when you've got Uni deadlines to meet this year etc.

    This is one of the best examples of self care that I've seen recently. You're allowing yourself to engage with social media on your terms. Well done.

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