Social Media Anxiety

I don’t really use social media for work. However, I have been fed the line that I should be branding myself online for career purposes. It’s simply not true. This has led me to manage my social media accounts as if they were somehow vital to me and my work, coupled with cognitive dissonance resulting from the fact that my anxiety about social media is actually based on nothing. That is, I feel I have a duty to be on social media when I really don’t. It’s a weird place to be mentally, and I’m looking for an escape. I’m looking for reasons to leave.

dav

Kantian social media: the subjective mind trying to become objective reality by sharing pictures of cats.

Now that the Finnish parliamentary election is at hand, I can exit Twitter. My feed is quickly becoming a cesspool of stupidity and hate. It is depressing to follow, so I won’t. It’s also a bit sad, because Twitter was the first social media platform I joined after I decided to come back to social media. I then joined Facebook, which has since taken over my life. It’s embarrassing, because I do have better things to do than gossip online. Actually, it’s quite depressing. I’ve thought about deleting my account again, but I think I will keep it as an advertising channel in case something needs to be advertised. I just have to stay away from it when I’m not promoting something.

I’m also on Instagram. I like it, but it seems to be mostly an advertising channel as well. It’s owned by Facebook, but I’m not too bothered about corporate links, or other privacy issues either. I’m more worried about what these platforms are doing to my general mood. Instagram is not too bad. The hook is not in that deep.

Speaking of corporate links, Google’s YouTube became very disturbing to me not too long ago. I would watch hours of it every day. It got a little better when I logged out of my YouTube account to watch videos. In fact, the recommendations are much better when I watch it without logging on. It’s less like social media this way, and it feels better because of it. I logged out based on Jaron Lanier’s advice in Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (2018). It worked.

Lanier also recommends blogs over other social media platforms. I think Pinterest is probably OK, too, although I would have to check what Lanier himself thinks about it. At least Pinterest seems to create positive vibes. I’ll go with my gut.

Pinterest is fun, but I always think of the blog as my escape and refuge. I can see that very few people read it, but it’s OK. It can be used as a journal or a soap box, but it’s usually the former. Why shout when only a few people are listening? Here I can see exactly how many people visit, but on Facebook all of that is hidden. You’re shouting at ghosts or figments of your own imagination. Twitter has better stats, but it’s a mess. I honestly don’t care what most people I follow think, and not caring makes me feel guilt. None of this is healthy. The blog feels different. It’s better to create your own space and cultivate it than give yourself to another.

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