Social media anxiety has taken hold. It’s officially happened. This is what I dreaded most about starting the blog. I used to be so indifferent about it all, so disconnected, an offline person. I didn’t have a Twitter or an Instagram. I wasn’t a YouTuber and used my Facebook account sparingly. I took pride in it. I was rarely distracted from my kids. People who know me knew that I probably wouldn’t text them back because I rarely had my phone on me. I was focused, completed all my to-do lists and had a clean house. I made it to the gym everyday. I was routined, comfortable. I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about or why social media could have such a stronghold on someone’s life. Now I know.
I’ve gone from online obscurity to feeling on display everyday. I feel disheveled like I’ve forgotten who I am. I wake up with a deep sense of foreboding. I’ve left myself unattended all night. What am I going to find when I login this morning? My phone feels like the bearer of bad news, yet I can’t seem to peel my eyes from it. When I make myself put it away my mind can’t think about anything else. I hate that this has happened to me. My sister tells me social media isn’t personal. ‘It’s just a storefront,’ she says. It feels personal to me. It feels personal when I get messages from people telling me about their life and how something I’ve said resonated with them. It feels just as personal when I get the insults.
This little gem was attached to a post about my son. How can I not take it personally when a story about my real life prompts a reaction like that? It makes me wonder why I did this at all. Then I receive this email,
I was really happy when I saw the title of your blog. But I hesitate to engage, as it does not give the appearance of a very organic blog. Maybe you can point me to your earlier work or something? I’m sorry – but your style is a bit suspect.
Ok? This whole thing is about me and what I think about on daily basis so how am I not to take this personal? I don’t feel like I’m a suspicious person. I guess you can’t win them all. Ugh…
Of course there’s also the endless messages from random guys saying ‘hey dear’, ‘hi beautiful’ or whatever else they can think of. Really?? Have I not made it perfectly clear that I am happily married with two kids? I guess people don’t care. Then, I’m sure you can imagine, the hostility coming from the other side of the aisle. Calling my videos ridiculous, a stupid person being duped by the mainstream media and so on. It’s not personal though, right?
So, I guess to make a long story short, since starting the blog I’ve gained weight, lost my patience, felt distracted, belittled, and scrutinized. I’m off routine and scatterbrained. I have days that I feel really motivated and other days that I wish I could take the whole thing back. I wanna go back to quietly worrying about my kids and hoping for a better outcome. I have to remember that I didn’t feel good back then either. Sitting disgruntled in my house wishing I could do something made me feel helpless. I suppose there are pros and cons to both situations. I just have to keep plugging away and keep my chin up. I feel like I’m doing the right thing despite what others might say. I have to remember that every voice matters, including mine. I don’t have to be a journalist or a politician to have an impact. I just have to make sure that dark corners of the internet don’t get me down too much.