It’s called “social” media because it allows people to connect to others, in theory anyway. Some interactions can really cheer up your day, make you laugh or just feel uplifted. Unfortunately there is also the flip side of this particular coin. The interactions or posts which can sink your mood. These can make you angry, outraged, sad or just sit festering away in the back of your mind all day. Those are the ones that usually end up with me have little outbursts, mainly swearing and berating religious groups/political parties. It’s good to share though, eh?
A few years ago I was feeling particular low. It was coming up to my birthday, I was single and just generally felt miserable. I would spend hours going through Fakebook and Twitter, some times interacting, mostly just biting my tongue trying to not share my real thoughts on the 37th selfie of someone “living the dream”. Something snapped that night and I bit the bullet. I deleted both accounts and apps from my phone and laptop. Boom easy as that.
No. Not easy at all. It’s like any addiction, it is hard, very hard to not get another fix. I gave in and created an anonymous Twitter account but I have never gone back to Fakebook. I refuse. It’s has insidiously become the norm to have your life on that particular platform. People give you odd looks when you say you don’t do Fakebook. You can almost see them thinking “what’s wrong with her”. Sometimes I do feel left out because everyone seems to organise their lives on it and often forget that I’m not on it. There is also the oversharing. People seem to feel the need to share all sorts of things that no one would have dreamt of 20 years ago. I really don’t give a monkeys what you had for dinner, if I did I’d ask.
14th May 2020
I just found the above post in my draft folder. How funny that it is relevant to how I felt today. The only social media I do is Twitter. The rest have no interest for me. Twitter can be hugely informative, create excellent debate, make you laugh out loud and totally lose your temper.
Today started out ok. Yeah sure I was tired after nightshift. Awake after less than 4 hours sleep. Got a message that made my heart sink and a knot form in my stomach. So to take my mind off it I popped onto Twitter to see what was happening in the world. Lots of the usual nonsense but also someone had replied to a reply I had written to someone I follow.
The best way to describe the reply was “mansplaining”. A wee pat on the bum for the daft wee Jock lassie and put her back in her place, silly thing. Rage is what I felt. Complete red mist. I composed a dozen angry, smart, rude responses in my head. How I found the restraint to not actually respond is beyond me. I took a deep breath and chose not to bite. After all I don’t know this person. What they think or know is not of any interest to me. However, they also don’t know me. They have absolutely no business telling me what I do or don’t know.
Today I chose to be that person who stopped and thought better of losing my temper online. It looks like I’m the bigger person. However, in reality it is there in my head, niggling away at me. Like someone in my brain taunting me, telling me I’m a stupid worthless bint. That I can’t even have a debate online, that I am too useless and have nothing to contribute to the world. That I’m not smart, or funny or cool. This is the shit that is going on in my head about 75% of the time I’m awake.
Now the rational me knows that I’m a perfectly acceptable human being. I know that I’m not the only person with this kind of bullshit going on in their head. But honestly, sometimes social media can make you feel like the loneliest person in the world.