Am I the blogger who only weeks ago talked about how guilt-free is the way to be? Apparently my own brain didn’t get the message. I keep taking breaks from writing this blog and its bugging me. Partly because I’m adjusting to a new work schedule; partly because I’m a perfectionist; and mostly because I needed to drop off the computer for awhile. I was beginning to check my own motivations for writing this thing and realized a lot of what was going on was rooted in being popular online.
I’ve never been good with popularity or contests. Granted I had a lot of friends in high school and was very lucky. I got to be myself. I was surrounded by people who loved me for me. That’s something you don’t always encounter at a young age. Over the years the friendship tide has waxed and waned. I’ve been super popular for the wrong reasons and a recluse for the right ones. Right now I’m in a reclusive phase. It’s a good place to be – until I start missing the action. Then I feel left out. When I feel left out I feel like I should be doing more. When I feel like I should be doing more I get guilty for not getting shit done.
What this shit is I can’t put my finger on. Well I can put my pinky finger on it. It has to do with social media and Facebook likes. I’m so fucking sensitive. It’s a problem. For reals. Instead of giving people antidepressants pharmaceutical companies should start making pro-socialpathy medication. This way people who give 2 shits can stop. This way a sappy-sadface like me can make it in this world. One wall street at a time.
If I lose a like off my Lady Tiger FB page, I take it personally. I think to myself, what could I have written about to make that person unlike me? Maybe I used the word vagina too much in a sentence. Maybe I need to stop being so sensitive. In some ways I love social media because I get to stay in touch with friends from all over the globe. On the flip side I wish it didn’t exist because no matter how hard you try to ignore the numbers, the numbers always end up mattering too much. How many people following you determines how many people think you’re worth following. What exactly does it mean to be a follower anyway? Does it mean if you have more followers than people you follow you’re a leader? These are the questions that keep me up at night and distract my bouncy-ball mind from writing blogs.
I get a pit in my stomach each and every time I let my writing go. I think I’ll disengrate into nothingness and lose the 3 readers I have. The truth of the matter is I’m not that important. No one is. If the internet has taught us anything is that we are all stars. Stars in our own minds. Stars in our own makings. We can pretend our way to popularity and if it works well, get 23 million tweeters on board to back us up. I just watched MTV’s new show Catfish. In this particular episode a girl, Sunny travels to meet Jamison, a man she’s been having an online relationship with for 8 months. She’s never met him in person and plans to marry him when she does. When she arrives at his home she discovers, much to her horror, that Jamison is a girl named Chelsea. Chelsea and her absolute, unequivocal lack of remorse proves once and for all that she got first-dibs on the sociopathy pills. She also got more followers on Facebook. Not fair.
I went online to diagnose my condition as all non-medical professionals do. Apparently I’ve been suffering from Social Media Anxiety Disorder or SMAD. Well, it’s not a TRUE medical condition yet, but Stefan Hofmann who directs the Social Anxiety Program at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders said it certainly could become one. He says pressure to read and respond on Facebook and Twitter is the main source of stress for older people who use the sites. For younger people the stress comes from increased peer pressure as friends share personal information online. For me, the silver lining to my anxiety is the meds some pharmaceutical company will create to deal with my problem. Kidding. Actually reading this article has made me feel less alone. Here are some common scenarios the social media popularity contest has created:
You know, I do feel better now. I’m glad to be back in the folds of blogging. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, please like my page and make my day 😉