Really random post, but I felt like talking about it, because it’s something that happens to me often and a little self reflection never hurt anybody 😉 .
I’ve mentioned this before, but social media and I have a… complicated relationship. I have social media anxiety, which makes posting a hassle.
Social Media Anxiety Disorder is a syndrome that relates to generalized Social Anxiety, and is acquired when the participation of social media affects the mental and physical well-being of an individual. Individuals who engage in social media discussion fear that interaction with people will bring feelings of self-consciousness,judgement, evaluation and inferiority. Often it leads to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment and depression. (x)
No, I don’t have the disorder, but that quote accurately describes what I go through.
No, I’m not talking about the scheduled post that make their way onto Twitter; my mind sees that as an ‘out of my hands’ situation. Blogging and Instagram also don’t count since those are my platforms and something that reflects me wholly. But posting anything that isn’t a retweet? Making the first move and commenting on someones post on Goodreads? My thoughts start to spiral. Am I bothering them? They don’t know me, we’re not that close, is this intruding? This was a mistake. Those are just some of the thoughts that plague me for the rest of the day.
Here’s the simplified process of me actually tweeting something:
- And doThinking of a tweet/cpmment
- Talking myself into it
- Negatively thought spiraling
- Ten minutes later, throwing caution to the wind and posting it
- Immediately closing the app, not looking at it for a day and trying to slow my beating heart
- Waking up the next day and telling myself repeatedly that no one saw it, so it’s fine, the world won’t end
And don’t get me started on if I get a reply o.O …
And I remember when I first started blogging, I saw all of these post telling me that social media is my friend and interaction is key… and that’s fine in concept… until I try to put that said concept into motion. Because as much as I love the blogging community, on Twitter and Goodreads, it’s a bit cliquish and like high school. By the time I get there and decide to interact, people already have their established friend group. And I already have a hard enough time creating deep connections, which is what I’m striving to do.
There’s also the fact that when I post on a social media site, I feel like I don’t sound authentic, which is something I strive for when I write post. I just don’t know how to not sound like a regurgitated phrase. How many emojis does it take until my voice shines through? What am I saying that 20 thousand other people aren’t?
We can also add the fear that everything that’s put on the internet stays forever, therefore building onto my irrational fears. Irrational because I’m not dumb enough to put anything ignorant online, but it’s still a fear that someone will take my words wrong… and spiraling ensues.
There was a time where I didn’t post anything but retweets and I didn’t have any friends or reviews on Goodreads, I only added my rating which was huge for 14 year old me. As of late, I have been commenting and posting a tiny bit more, but I still need to shut off the app and step away from my phone and busy myself to avoid the self deprecation.
But it’s fine, I’m improving and though I feel I’ll never truly be comfortable posting on social media, the anxiety won’t be as loud. That’s what I’m aiming for.