When I’m happy, I tend to use social media less. When I’m unhappy, I tend to use social media more—posting things like I’m trying to convince myself (and others) that I’m good—I’m healing, I’m happy.
Never before in human development have we had a way of communicating “how we’re doing” in life to masses of people within seconds.
I was born in the 1900s, which is my favorite thing to say now that people born in the 2000s can legally drink, and there was a time—though MySpace made an indentation in my generation in the early 2000s, there was still a time when social media was new and foreign.
We weren’t living by it like some code or book of life.
Besides when my crush was online – and that’s where the whole internal, hormonal, response happened. It changed weekly, of course, but whoever my crush was that week—if they were online, I was glued to that computer until dinner time.
One time, on MySpace, my crush put my name in his headline. Signed on like that, it said, “Nate lov’n Em,” and I was like oh my gosh I KNEW IT!!!!!
And then we decided it wasn’t meant to be over lunch the next day, I gave him my chocolate milk carton as a parting gift.
I refuse to watch the Netflix documentary “Social Dilemma” because I am terrified of what I already know it will say—we’re being trained and led like cattle exactly in the direction we don’t want to go.
I want to be cautious of lambasting social media as the devil’s playground—the devil’s playground will always be idle hands or that’s what a pastor told me once. This is why church ladies are so good at knitting.
Anyway, I haven’t been on social media much lately and life has been the healthiest it maybe has ever been.
I’m wondering how to strike the balance, of using social media for good—because much good has come from it. I’m able to share about my book, I get messages from people who’ve read my book expressing their connection to it and how inspired they were by my story. I get to see that my friend, who I thought had 3 kids, has 5 now. And I get to watch people develop, grow, break, and rebuild.
But I rarely have gone through with posting on social media when I’m content and happy. It has always been more of a call for help in the wilderness. We post things to communicate an underlying feeling—sadness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, loss, fear, worry… and we also use it to express and share good feelings—happiness, joy, freedom, love, pride, and gratitude.
What I wonder, and I don’t have the answer for this, is why do I feel less like posting when I feel the latter of the emotions? The good ones? I feel more like posting when I’m feeling alone and have more time (caution: idle hands!!!). Or, when my social media channels remind me, kindly, that “Emilee Mae Author, you haven’t posted in a while! What would you like to say?”
I look at the question and I want to say the following:
Sit and meditate all day. Sip coffee. Do yoga. Write. Dive. Sip more coffee. Swim. Meditate. Eat some veggies. Drink a ton of water. Do more yoga. Write. Sleep.
I want to spend my entire day focusing on my mental health. Everything else comes second. And that’s the only way I’ve been able to achieve peace.
Everything comes second to my mental health.
Social media, in our modern society, has seemed like a necessary evil. It helps businesses grow, independent contractors be known, authors connect, artists share their work, and I could go on and on about all the positive things it can be-- but it is also a string that ties me back to my chains of people-pleasing.
I'm sure I'll hop back on the social media saddle again soon, but for the past few months-- it has been nice to just be silent and happy.