Social media addiction

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.

Social media, the anxious trap

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. 📱😥😒

I gained 1,000 followers on my Instagram

I am so excited that I now have gained over 1,000 followers to my Instagram page;   I am a part of both a wonderful writing and mental health community on Instagram. I have so much support on there and the ability to lend my support to others; it has been amazing; beyond anything I could have imagined a year ago.  If you can please take the time to follow me on instagram; I post often and am active in interacting with my followers.  Thank you

instagram/davethewriter18

 

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Losing my social media accounts

Every day I find myself connecting online with more and more people; I struggle with over usage and it’s something I talk about often.  But it is amazing how my social media presence is growing like crazy and in a positive way.  This morning it took almost half an hour to personal respond to my blog, Instagram, Facebook and twitter; all full of notifications; it wasn’t always this way. And while it takes time; I love responding to messages and I try to get back to people promptly.  I can only thank God for giving the opportunity to reach out to so many people all at once; there was a time where I tried so hard to connect with people online and usually got ghosted pretty quickly; comments and messages never got responses; posts never got reactions and now people are responding; maybe because my posts are  more positive; I try not post things that make people sad but inspire them. Some days I need to post about depression but I use my blog for that and not Facebook. So yes the support means a lot to me.

So today I met this person on Twitter who pretty much went through the same tragedy as me and I was messaging her; she had just added on me on Instagram and my other social media. I was look forward to seeing her posts. All of a sudden Instagram was asking for a phone number to verify the account and so I put in my number and no text; I panicked.   Here’s the thing: most of my interactions with writers, mental health advocates are on Instagram. I use it to network, share my writing, meet like minded people and maybe just maybe meet other writers in person or they could suggest ways of connecting with writers in my area; it’s a great tool.  So I put in my phone number in again and still nothing.  I uninstalled the app because I thought it may have been a hack of some sort and I opened up again and got the same message and again no text. I was getting concerned at this point; I would lose everything. I got home and I tried to log in with my laptop; same thing. And to make matters worse; I couldn’t get past the security screen; so there was no way to even make a new account; I felt helpless.   I felt myself explode in anger; I felt that this means of support would be gone in a seconds because Instagram were assholes ( and they are).   I finally decided to give them someone else’s number and they finally got a text. I have no idea why Instagram locked me out; I add a lot of people but it’s the only way I know how to make my Instagram grow. My posts are positive and I don’t bully or harass people; in fact I do my best to encourage and uplift others.   Instagram is terrible and has the worst support system when there are issues with our accounts and they are a monopoly; it’s just such a mess; which shouldn’t be a surprise since it’s now run by Mark Zuckerburg. Anyways my account is back and I am now calming down; what an ordeal. It may not seem a big deal to you; but it’s the equivalent of someone erasing all of your emails, phone contacts and deleting all of your photos, videos, online conversations all in 5 seconds.  I shouldn’t have acted out in anger but I felt like I LOST everything!!  It’s the worst feeling.  Like this blog; I have no idea how I would respond if I woke up one morning and this blog was gone; all those writings and supportive comments; gone.  It makes me realize how fragile our online lives and it can be gone in seconds; it really scares me.    Anyways I just needed to vent.

Thanks for listening

Dave

 

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My thoughts on social media ( video)

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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I have to give up facebook day 3

Well it’s been three days since I decided to take a break from Facebook. I admit that I haven’t been off Facebook completely but I will say that I have used it a total of maybe 5 minutes in the last 3 days.  I accidentally made posts through wordpress so I had to erase them, but I haven’t commented or liked anything in 3 days. I checked my Facebook in the morning to see if I had any requests and of course I had no notifications.   So it’s improvement and so far I still feel anxious.  I feel like I am missing out and all I want to do is post some of my writings and wait for responses.  I feel alone right now and isolated because I am not caught up in the virtual word of facebook. I will say that all the energy from facebook has gone to Instagram and the blog.  Yesterday I checked it much less because I wasn’t as stressed out. Today was different, I had to work with these dude that hates me, won’t even communicate with me and pretty glares at me with anger all day long and to top it off, my boss wasn’t there, so it was just me and him the whole work day. Social media is a coping mechanism in that situation. I seek constant assurance and validation through social media because I  don’t how to deal with the present situation.  My phone is only escape and now I can see how I became so utterly addicted to facebook. I need to strategize my days, like when that guy has the day off, I will turn off the notifications on my phone so I can concentrate on work, i don’t want to be distracted. When I have to work with him, i just don’t care, i’ll bury myself in my phone if i have to, anything to get through the day. It’s sad it has to be this way and makes me depressed that I have no in real life to talk to. No one to call or text, no one to have coffee with and get a break from this anxiety, no one. I hate this shit.  But I’m realizing how addicted to social media I am. I can’t just chuck it out the window but I need to learn moderation.  I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better day