Aren’t you exhausted? Haven’t you had enough? Artificiality digitally sprinkled in our lives; comments, likes, a peep hole into people’s superficial lives, more lies, hurt hearts, hiding behind smiling faces, silent disdain and judgement; a deperate craving for validation in lieu of privacy given to armies or marketers, hornily lusting after your everyday thoughts, feelingsl your passions, it’s all a commodity to them.Nothing but one neverending marketplace, one algorithmic shift in mediocrity and we’ve all fallen for it, our need to feel connected in an even increasingly disconnected world is their gain and our loss. Seems over dramatic to a certain extent but I’m not the one who feels their souls crushed by this addictive chaotic online space, I’m just more apt to admit it
I am hopelessly addicted to social media, I am on there all day, constantly posting, seeking validation, I live for those likes and comments, I love the rush of my notifications bell going off, it makes me feel connected in a world wherein reality I feel totally isolated ( even before Covid 19). I feel like people understand me online, they judge me less, I can edit myself, I can delete posts, I can create an image of myself that makes me seem cooler and more interesting than I really am. I can live a lie and omit my glaring flaws, that’s what social media is all about
A lot of people knock social media but I actually receive tons of positive support online and it’s such an amazing feeling, I feel like I belong, I run groups, I do live Facebook videos, I am vulnerable, I put myself out there for the world to see and people respond, I have never felt understood and now I do, I should be happy, right? I am but I’m not and therein lies the problem, the joy of feeling connected is short-lived and I log off of social media feeling exhausted and frustrated by the whole thing.
Yes, I get support and I feel connected but I also feel overwhelmed ( even when I get more than enough praise), too many comments, too many messages, too much being in the spotlight, it’s unnerving at times and this constant need to be heard takes everything out of me. Because when the notifications go from a flood to a trickle ( and it always does), I need to make the next post that will get even more likes or comments and I have to respond to everyone to ensure my posts stays in everyone’s feed ( that’s how social media works, you don’t interact with others, you disappear) And to make matter’s worse, the social media algorithm buries our posts so that only a few people can see them and we never see the posts from the friends we care about, so we miss 95% of the movie and only get the end credits. And it makes us feel we are being ignored when in reality social media is toying with our emotions and controlling what posts we see, while our mental health deteriorates as a result, it becomes an obsession to stay relevant.
And if the amount of likes or comments doesn’t bother me, it’s scrolling endlessly through my newsfeed ( again interacting with others so they will continue to see my posts.) I see nothing but smiling faces, people with stable relationships, better jobs, more money; taking nice vacations, eating really delicious looking meals, more friends, the list goes on. And of course, after scrolling, I tell myself that it’s a lie, people are only posting their best moments ( a greatest hits album of their life, while mine is the b side) and I’m at home in my pajamas eating microwave spaghetti. People are fake on social media, just like they are in real life, so it shouldn’t be a surprise but it certainly feels real while I’m scrolling. And suddenly I’m comparing myself to my friends on Facebook, I’m not good enough or handsome enough or have enough friends, I am perpetually focused on what I don’t have instead of counting the many blessings I do have.
Lately, I have gotten zero joy out of being on social media, it doesn’t matter how many likes or comments or messages I get, nothing can quell my loneliness or frustration, nothing can satisfy me and I am just numb to the whole experience ( aside from the advocacy work I am doing with other advocates, that gives me joy) I feel a sense of anger and resentment at social media as a whole and it’s no longer healthy, even if I am advocating for mental health, being on social media has become counterproductive and it has hurt my creativity as well, my blog has taken a nosedive since all my energy went toward Facebook and Instagram, it’s a shame, really.
I have been logged out of all social media for two days now and while I feel anxious, I also feel relieved that I no longer have to see highlight reels or worry about likes or comments. My only reason for being on social media at this point is watch videos related to mental health that are a part of advocacy, aside from that I am no longer making posts of my own, I am no longer scrolling, I am taking an extended hiatus from social media, it is the only way to get better and recover from the damaged caused by these addictive platforms. I can heal, I know I can do it and so can you.
I feel really overwhelmed with social media right now, I’m not feeling ignored, in fact, I’m getting love and support than ever and it’s much appreciated, it’s surreal actually to feel like my words and thoughts are resonating with so many people in a such a positive way.
But with all that, it’s tiring, maybe it’s me sharing my brother’s story about suicide live or maybe it’s me posting too much and relying too much on the validation of other’s ( it’s so easy to get hung up on likes and comment and then place your self-worth on that) Maybe it’s seeing post after post where everyone seems happier and more productive than I ( Who isn’t running a group and making live videos these days?) And I know it’s a facade but it still causes anxiety. I also have my own successes but I still can’t help but compare to others in a negative light, I’m never good enough despite my best efforts. Maybe it’s the fact that I never see the posts from the people I care about the most and they never see mine ( or so they say, they most likely skipped through my posts on their newsfeed). Maybe it’s desperately wanting to reconnect with people who don’t want to reconnect with me ( that hurts,)
And some of this is my anxious thinking, it’s hard to tell what is anxiety and reality at times. I just know social media is getting old and very frustrating. I am focusing on my groups at the moment but not on posting or scrolling through my newsfeed ( what an awful waste of time that is), maybe this will help my anxiety. But the worst part is very few people will bother to read this whole post, they make skim it but not absorb the message.
It seems to be that the more connected we are online, the more truly disconnected we are in person, life is funny that way. Sometimes I wish I could throw my computer and phone in the ocean, move to a tropical island and liberate myself from this digital prison, it’s a trap, a crutch and it’s doing harm to us all. 📱😥😒
So right now I am really struggling, no I’m falling apart actually. I haven’t worked in months, I had to drop out of the one class that is keeping me from graduating from college and I feel unmotivated and hopeless. I haven’t been this consistently depressed in quite a long time, it reminds me of the days when I used to stay up all night and sleep all day because I was totally manic. And to make matters worse, aside from my family, I have very little support, no friends, no one to call, no one to hang with except for the disabled ministry and I like being around them but it’s not a social group per se, although I had lunch with one of the disabled adults and his mom earlier this week and it was nice, it brightened my day. That being said I am still struggling and I have been writing less and I just don’t feel right.
Its almost 2 am and I am up and I went to the only place I know gives me comfort, my blog. And even that feels like has dropped in terms of likes or comments, maybe it’s because I haven’t been active. But it sucks and it leads me to my next point. Last week I grew increasingly frustrated with trying to seek mental health support through social media. I had added all of these people and for the first few days I was getting tons of support and messages and it felt like I had finally been understood and I was discussing mental health advocacy and doing FB lives and getting praise left and right, it was an amazing feeling. About a week later, my reactions dropped from about 150 likes on a few posts to 15 to 20, considering I have 4500 friends, that is ridiculous because I am trying to advocate for mental health and no one is listening. I grew bitter and anxious so I deactivated all of my social media accounts. It has been a week now and I thought I would feel better but I feel worse. Yes, I was addicted to social media like most people but here’s the thing, it seems to be my only source of support from peers. And I used it because in real life I’m not connected to anyone and for first time in my life I felt like somebody, you know. And within days that was taken away from me. I don’t if it’s because Facebook is terrible or people just stopped paying attention to what I had to say, but it hurt so I left.
The one thing I have noticed since I left is that I am fuckin lonely and totally isolated, aside from talking to my parents and the disabled ministry, using social media was an escape and it masked the fact that at the end of the day I was completely alone and that in real life, most people don’t care. And yeah, I feel bitter and sad. I even thought about taking a break from blogging but I think I need it right now. I need to get my feelings out somehow. Loneliness encompasses me on some days and I didn’t notice it because I have done everything I can not to think about it. And I have a feeling this post, much like my posts on facebook, will be ignored as well because it’s too damn long and no one ever takes the time to really and comprehend what I have to say. It is what it is. I just need to get off this my chest. If you did read it and can relate, leave a comment or something so I know you’re here and you’re listening otherwise move on to the next post like you usually do.
I spent the day crying and curled up in a ball, going through total facebook withdrawal, my whole world was shattered and I felt so lost, checking to see if Facebook was working again, my soul aching to see my newsfeed, it was utter madness. Finally it was working again later in the evening, I was elated, I felt joy for the first time in hours, the panic subsided and I could breathe again. Like a beam of light in painful darkness, let’s never part again, Facebook. How I missed you so. 👨💻📱
I like the people I interact with on Facebook but I hate Facebook itself; I hate Algorithms that keep me from seeing my friends and me seeing theirs and anything that dictates to me what I should and shouldb’t see, toxic political arguments, advertisments, censorship, my data being stolen, the fact that they make it as addictive as possible. And how did an anti-social dork face become a pioneer in social media. Anyways just watch video….
Writing is therapeutic for me and my main goal is to inspire people through my writing and to connect with others; we are not alone.
Social media is a wonderful tool for connecting with others but it also causes a lot of anxiety, depression and we end up comparing ourselves to others. And I find myself believing the highlight reels when I know in the back of my mind; it’s not reality. So social media is great when it’s used in the right way and used in moderation. What do you think?
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Come on, David, another post about social media, really? I know, I know, this time will be different; I promise. I want to take the time to talk about making social media a more positive experience. I use social media a little too much; I have lost count of how many times I hit that Facebook button on my phone; and the agony of not seeing notifications; especially after posting my latest blog and the disbelief that someone wouldn’t want to read a long blog post about my innermost thoughts; how dare they? I am kidding of course but I use to think that way and I try to take a different approach these days. I have come to realize how incredibly self centered that thinking is; I feel like social media gives us the impression ( and by us, I mean me) that we are the center of the universe and all of our followers are waiting on pins and needles for our next post; because it’s so brilliant, right? While we all love feedback; it is equally important to make your social media about encouraging others and uplifting them; because social media can be such a negative place; full of political arguments, hate speech, meme after irrelevant meme ( I know I am guilty of this) and just general nonsense. I want my posts to be positive and encouraging; maybe lift someone’s spirits and use my writing to help someone who is struggling like me. I know that when I am down and people encourage me on social media; it really makes a difference And when it comes to my writing; I try not to worry about how many likes or comments I get; I just hope someone out there is reading it and it is affecting them in a positive way; I hope they can relate and it helps them somehow. I smile when I think that sharing my story might give someone hope.
So I spend most of my time on social media; making positive comments; listening when someone is sad and cheering when someone is doing well. I try not to argue with people or get into negativity anymore ( the keyword is try because I’m have made mistakes and I’m not perfect). I just make a point in trying to brighten people’s day; I realize that sounds kind of cheesy but it really helps with my own issues of depression; when I get out of myself for a second and say a kind word to friend on social media. I was thinking about how there isn’t a day where I am not trying to encourage someone or try an make their day better and in a sense I have always been that way; I try to be sensitive and it really is a gift ( although some days it feels like a curse). All my life I have tried to be kind and social media is no different. And maybe for some being nice all the time can seem annoying or I overdo it but I can’t bring myself to use social media to bully or hurt others. I have been bullied all my life and I want to be the antithesis to all of that; a positive force in a cold world. I think I am rambling but you understand my point. And I use the blog in the same way; I try to uplift others and it’s beautiful. We all need encouragement; if everyone took the time to be kind and gentle every day; we’d be at peace. We don’t have to embrace each other but we have respect for one another and our differences. So I will continue my mission to make this a kinder world and I hope you’ll join me
Love your friend.
I have struggled for the longest time with social media ( and I’m mainly talking about Facebook); I use it too much; I take it too seriously and because of my anxiety I tend to overshare and at times share things that are too personal; I regret that. I mean, it has been great to reconnect with old friends and get support but it comes with a price. Seeing old faces brings up painful memories about the past and since they live so far away; I cannot connect in person unless they are in town ( which has happened on a few occasions and when I traveled back home ) At the same time it’s nice to have a virtual support network but it would nice to have someone to have lunch with and talk; give them a hug and hear their voices; as opposed to a like or comment on a Facebook status; I need those social cues or else there is a lot of room for misinterpretation; online communication it’s not the same; so it’s frustrating a lot of the times.
A lot of times I will share deeply personal writings on social media because people have given a positive responses in the past and it has given them insight into who I am. But Facebook is funny; sometimes I can share a piece of writing and get a lot of reactions and comments; even messages and other days I can share similar pieces and get nothing; 2-3 hours roll by and nothing; no feedback, no likes; just silence. It used to confuse me; why do other people seem to get reactions to similar posts but mine are ignored? Are people actively ignoring me; did I share something offensive? Are they annoyed? Have they stopped caring? It just creates all of this anxiety and paranoia and it really affects me; it makes me feel as if I am being unheard. Even messages get ignored and I start wondering if people have stopped liking me: I take it personally. What really annoys me is Facebook has this little icon informing you the person saw the message. Who would create such a thing; it really messes with your self esteem because it means someone opened the message and decided not to respond; what creates more anxiety than that? At least email and text leaves that mystery and that glimmer of hope that maybe they just didn’t have time to respond. So this creates a lot of anxiety; I feel anxious just writing about it.
Sometimes I get sad about it other times I get angry and lash out. I just want to note that I communicate a lot with childhood friends who I really care about; I love them and their opinions really matter to me even if I haven’t seen them in yeas. I guess my feelings are so strong that it causes a hurt reaction when I feel they aren’t responding to my posts; especially about my brother or mental health struggles. I remember a few months ago I called out people in a Facebook status who I thought didn’t care about what I had to say; in a mean way I told them they never cared about me or my brother ( who died) all because they failed to respond; I was really hurt at the time and going through a period of reliving the past because I was getting ready to visit back home after not being there for over 10 years. I ended up unfriending a lot of people who I cared about; who hadn’t actually done anything to me. My trip back home was healing and someone had sent me some old photos with some of the friends who I had accused of not caring. I had a change of heart and re-added them; one of them messaged me and she was really upset. She basically said that some people don’t use Facebook as much and don’t always see posts; which is very true when I sat back and thought about it. And then she said something that stuck with me. She said that how she was on social media doesn’t reflective how she felt about me or my brother or family in real life and that made a whole lot of sense; that sometime we get lost in the online world and fail to realize that it oftentimes has little bearing on our true feelings if that makes any sense. I am grateful she said that and she decided to be my friend again on Facebook.
Lately though I have been getting frustrated at again at the lack of response; I found myself again making negative posts; annoyed because I was getting silence again. This time I rethought about it and I realized maybe it wasn’t my friends I was upset at; maybe it was social media itself. Maybe it’s the stupid algorithm where no one ever sees my posts and I don’t see theirs. Maybe it’s the fact that 90% of the time all I see is irrelevant information from liked pages or unreliable news sources ( I have seen the video of the cow stuck in the fence a thousand times), maybe it’s a system where I see the same kinds of posts over and over again and all of it is based on popularity ( the amount of comments). I thought it doesn’t make sense for someone to like all your posts on Monday and actively ignore all your posts on Tuesday; unless I have upset them and as far I know I go out of my way to encourage people and be positive so that can’t be the case. Social media has caused so much damage to relationships and society at large and I am an impulsive person; I never want accuse people of not caring or hurt them anyway again; so I prefer to be angry at the source; social media itself and not the people on it.
I feel Facebook is real addictive and I have an issue with compulsive behavior ( the blog included) I checked my Facebook hundreds of times a day ( especially when I am stressed; which is all the time). I ended comparing myself to others; seeing their families, relationships and careers made me feel so inferior ( and I felt inferior to them before social media) and it increased my depression. I also felt bad I used it so much when everyone else seem to be in control. When I went back home I stayed with a friend and talk about Facebook sometimes; she basically said “Oh i don’t use it that much and not many people do either”. I felt like my usage was out of control and I took it too seriously. But I also realized how isolated I was and that using Facebook was a way for me to reach to my friends. I came back home; determined to use it less but it ended continuing to use Facebook at a higher rate. I even read an article that Facebook notifications give us a dopamine rush and liken it to a slot machine. When we share a post; it’s like pulling that lever and we may not get a reaction every time but we pull that lever over and over again until we get a reward ( a like or comment) and that creates the addictive cycle. Even the creators admit that social media was created to be addicting; so it’s not in our heads. Social media addiction is a real thing. I’ll never forget that when MySpace came out ( 200 years ago); I was sitting with a friend in his basement and I was checking MySpace. He rolled his eyes and said “oh i don’t use that”; as if he was better than me. This was a guy who was incredibly good looking and had different girls every day of the week; I guess he didn’t need it; he wasn’t lonely like me. I felt like such a loser at that moment and no one was talking about social media addiction at the time ( I don’t even think it was called social media at the time). It was prophetic moment.
So I decided to deactivate my Facebook temporarily; I’ll be back on my birthday in 2 weeks (I’m sorry I need those birthday wishes lol) I am keeping my Instagram and blog. I want to make a few observations so far ( it has been about 5 days); I notice a lot more interactions on Instagram and my blog. I am more connected with writers on IG and they have been really responsive about my writings; I get more likes and comments and there seem to be more active users than on Facebook; people are better at responding to messages too. And I could be wrong but Instagram seems to be a much more positive place; a lot of users sharing their writings or inspiring accounts of disabled instagrammers sharing their stories; I love it. I don’t see many advertisements or irrelevant information like on Facebook. I also noticed that friends who would ignore me on Facebook would react to my posts on Instagram which makes me realize they do like me and aren’t ignoring me; it’s just they haven’t seen my posts. So I can breathe a sigh of relief and say the only Facebook friend I am angry at is Mark; because he just wants my data; is hindering communication with my friends and is only interested in money. Sadly he’s the only I can’t unfriend. I suggest to anyone struggling with social media to give yourself a break; deactivate your account ( keep messenger so you’re not completely cut off) and find one social media platform that you like the most and just use that. I am trying to gain some perspective and figure out my purpose with Facebook; because there are benefits when used in moderation.
Stay safe online my friends
By the way- There is a huge hurricane coming here this week so if I don’t post for a while; the power may be out and I won’t have access to a comupter. Or I’m in the curled up in a ball in a pitch black room; freaking out and crying my eyes out but let’s hope that doesn’t happen lol. Oh Florence just stay away from me…..
Oh and for anyone interested my Instagram is davethewriter18