Antisocial Media Pt. III

With the imminent arrival of our first child, I decided a few days ago, to stop posting on the Bird Therapy Twitter account until after the summer holidays. Yesterday, I found I was still obsessively checking it and I felt that the only way to counter that would be to deactivate the account.

I always thought that social media was a positive when building a profile of a brand, a product or a person. However, what I increasingly found myself doing, was comparing myself to other people and becoming despondent at not being able to reach their levels of popularity and reach. This actually made my wellbeing worse and has put me in a pretty negative place at the minute.

I’ve read up on the effects of social media use and how it can lower self-esteem and make people feel inadequate. It’s certainly had that effect on me, as I just don’t have the capacity to maintain a presence on there, yet felt that I had to. If I didn’t post – I lost followers. If I posted and it didn’t hit a certain threshold of likes – I felt useless. I had found that I was so focused on ‘being’ someone, on being known – of being accepted. That it consumed my life. I was actually so focused on my social media presence that I’d started to lose a little of who I am in the real world.

These are common feelings though. There’s a fascinating report into social media use in 8-12 year olds, aptly named ‘life in likes’. The issues are similar, almost identical – and although presented from the perspective of children, resonate entirely. I write this to show to other people who are experiencing the same thing – that you’re not alone.

On the plus side – I’m about to become a Dad and in the absence of birds locally as they nestle down again, I’ve seen some beautiful local butterflies and orchids. Pictures below.

Joe

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Antisocial Media Pt. III

  1. Sorry to hear how you’re feeling, Joe but you have so much to look forward to- a baby and a book. Wow! I’m just outside the age bracket of that study but can honestly say, I don’t care/mind about the likes etc…but I do love people commenting and having conversations etc. Sharing my enthusiasm I suppose, is just a way to ‘diary’ everything too, especially adding photos. I will miss your presence though and hope that you will stay in touch with all who feel the same.

    Dara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Dara. I’ve even lost my motivation towards the book to be honest. I just can’t compete with the people out there who have more time, resources and backing than me. I will finish it though.

      Yes, I love the interaction and helping others but sometimes I become too reliant on social media for those interactions and have to return to the ‘real world’ if that makes sense. I wish I could not care about it, like yourself, but that’s a psychological conditioning thing. If you read the book one day, you’ll find out more about why I became reliant on social media to be social.

      Anyway, I get the diary aspect too but become too blinkered to even see it like that sometimes. I’ll keep posting on here though and it will be nice to be able to stay connected with you through here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to read this, but I do get some of what you are saying about social media.
    On the other hand, were it not for social media I (and many others) would never have found out about you, BirdTherapy, and the book. And gone on to support (financially and in other ways ) the book via Unbound, which is also in many ways a product of social media.

    Please take the time you need..this end of the school year is heavy going and you have a big event ahead. And please in some way keep us in the loop. As and when.

    All the best. Chris

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  3. Such an honest post Joe & so true, I have struggled with ‘Soc Media anxiety’ and deleted a few accounts, I manage it by keeping it very work based, restricting the time I spend on it, only posting at a certain time of day & also switching phone settings to monochromacy ( makes it less alluring to the brain). Having teenagers has made me MORE aware that I need to model good practice, ie a life away from a phone! Good luck with your new arrival & look forward to more blogs .👏🏻👍🏻💚🌻

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  4. Thankyou for posting this, congrstulations on the imminent happy event but sorry you’re feeling this way. I also believe it is normal but I think it’s made worse by our underlying mental health status. I’ve been having these feelings too around twitter. I have met a few very nice people through twitter and it has opened up a whole new world for me but I realised only last week that I was comparing myself to what other people were doing and then feeling inadequate, and envious, because I wasn’t doing it or doing it as much eg going to events, visiting places, volunteering. Each time I log on I scroll through all the tweets since I last logged on to see what I’ve missed ( obsessive) I started feeling I should be doing more, even though, thanks to a visit to a bird reserve a few years ago, I am doing so much more than I was back then. I completely get you when you talk about bird therapy, it does focus your thoughts and is incredibly relaxing, but yesterday, after seeing some people tweeting birds they had seen I felt inadequate because I hadn’t seen them and felt bad that I will never beable to learn to identify meadow pippts and stone pippits, ridiculous. (Perfectionism) I also feel irrationally that sometimes people tweet very similar tweets to mine, which go unliked, but they have hundreds of likes and some replies, I sometimes think they have stolen my ideas (paranoia) So yes, having a break now and again is an excellent idea. I have decided to only check twice a day instead of everytime I sit down for a minute. Good luck with everything and thanks again.

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