Missing Social Media

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It has been over a year now since I stopped using most of social media. I still have a Tumblr, but I don’t really know anyone on there or interact much. I just post my drawings for my handful of followers and scroll through pretty pictures mostly. I also somewhat consider my time of here “social media” because I do get that dopamine rush from seeing likes and comments on my posts. But I’ve completed cut myself off from Facebook and Instagram. I never had a Twitter or anything else.

It was a lot easier to stop using these sites than I thought it would be. I don’t have tons of friends or family that talk to me on there anyway. It was a wonderful relief to not have to think about what was going on in that virtual social landscape all the time. However, if I’m being honest, I miss having the opportunity for attention. Dying my hair really got me craving some virtual validation. It would have felt nice to post some pictures of my new hair online and get lots of likes. There is something so satisfying about that.

As a woman, I also miss always being able to get attention from guys online. There are certain days when I feel so lonely. It was nice to know I could always find someone new to talk to even if I ultimately decided not to. I do recall thought that most of those impulsive introductions led to nothing but frustration and disappointment. There was also a good bit of anxiety when I decided I wanted to disappear but felt guilty about ghosting.

I know that overall, my life is better without social media. It is unnecessary and mentally and emotionally unhealthy. It’s just a distraction that inflates my ego. I have to keep reminding myself why I left in the first place. I don’t want to go back to fishing for validation from strangers. Even my writing on here has become a little too much about what people will think of it. I want to write these posts every day for me, regardless of what anyone else thinks about what I have to say.

Social Media is a misdirection. It convinces us that the happiness we seek lies elsewhere, in the approval and attention of others. We become addicted to being constantly acknowledged. We become a pseudo celebrity in our own minds. We start to feel empty without the gaze of the masses constantly upon us. But we don’t need anyone else to see our lives for them to matter. We don’t need anyone else to have happiness.

When I am feeling this hollowness, this sense of emptiness within me, there is still that urge to look outside of myself for something to fill that space. But the answer isn’t to indulge that urge. The answer is to sit with this empty feeling, not to run from it. It is a part of me, a part of this experience we call life. And I am the only one who has the power to fill that void. I already have everything that I need.

Escape

For some reason I have been feeling extra anxious today. It may have something to do with the fact that today is going to be slightly different than my normal, copy and paste days. I have been looking forward to today, but now that it has arrived I feel frazzled. All I want is to go home and go back to sleep.

I’ve noticed that whenever I have one of these particularly anxiety filled days that my mind races endlessly over possible ways to escape. Are there substances I could use to distract myself? Is there anyway I can go to sleep? Should I just make up an excuse to go home? Is there something I can think about that will take my mind elsewhere? As I inevitably realize none of my options will satisfy me, I get more and more distressed. My insides wind more and more tightly.

I know the real answer is breathing, sitting with these feelings, accepting where I am right now. But this seems impossible. I resist this solution vehemently. There has to be some way to get away. Even though I know there’s not. I feel trapped. I feel helpless. I feel disgusted with myself. Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I escape? Why is it so hard to let go, to surrender?

None of the brilliant coping mechanisms I have at my disposal seem adequate on days like today. I detest this obstinate headspace. I hate that I am always wishing my life away. Trying to kill time. Waiting for things to be different. Waiting for some imagined sweet spot of happiness that never comes.

I want to be happy. I want to be held. I want to sleep. I want to escape.