12/22/2021 - Social Media Sucks Vol. 3
At this rate Social Media Sucks might become a regularly occurring column on this blog. Which makes me sad that is the case to begin with, that social media and the harm it has done to me is such a topic that requires multiple volumes, plus the fact my last blog post here was Volume 2 of this now new series… But it's important to discuss how these things affect me. And I hope somehow, these posts of me rambling into the void of the tubes of the internet will help someone out there too in processing their own feelings, or starting to have this conversation with themselves and even with others as well. Because it is an important discussion to have.
So tonight as I begin to write this entry (12/20/2021) I have been in one of the most arduous, exhausting and over all just most goddamn difficult time I've encountered in probably all my life thus far. 2020 was of course hell, but this year has somehow become even WORSE than 2020 to me. I'll spare all the details, I just had gut punch after repeated gut punch all year long and became burnt out beyond belief by the near end of this year.
All of this, combined with how soul crushed I was with the I fact worked so hard to accomplish moving out this year, for over a year didn't turn out, alongside being in what feels like a never ending pandemic, the stress of everything around me in a world where it's already too much as an autistic, it burnt me out completely. (I promise this all plays into the social media part of this)
Now into how social media plays into all this. I've abandoned them all even before all this, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook. Twitter is the one I still use because I have real connections there I still want to keep in contact with. I curate my timeline hard. I block, mute terms, accounts, etc. I use the redblock extension to block more than one person. The app is no longer on my phone, I use the very shitty mobile web version of Twitter that crashes on me a lot. I do whatever I can to help myself. But it's not enough.
I still see things that trigger anxiety and panic in me. No matter how much I try and do. I'm glad I have CBD gummies because if I didn't have them the panic and anxiety would last for hours and hours on end.(Those things have saved me this year from so many panic and anxiety attacks and I am grateful) And what I find to be the worst part of this all is: even with how much I've cut my time on Twitter, I'm on there for a total of an hour at most per day, maybe slightly more depending. Usally that factors replying to people. But I'm not on for much, or long these days. Then I saw something on my timeline that triggered an anxiety attack. I then noticed after I was able to calm down from my anxiety: that I was in the very early stages of getting addicted to Twitter again.
That is fucking terrifying to me.
It is a testament to how horrible social media is and how evil it can be in it's design. Even with how little time I spend on it, it was starting to drag me back in. It is horrible and disgusting. So I officially have installed leechblock and twitter is now blocked on my computer and phone's web browser for now. I'm going to be taking a break from Twitter. For how long? I really do not know. (But I will check in to see DMs because I have some people I can only currently talk via them right now, but I plan to get alternative methods and work on that very very soon. I want to get this taken care of so I have multiple ways to contact them all.)
I also want to talk about how social media affects me as an autistic and just as a neurodivergent person in general. We live in a world that has never been designed for ND people in mind. Society from the ground up was not made for us in mind, and in fact we are often punished for just not being able to catch up in a nerurotypical centric world. But this is a topic for another day, what matters here is that social media... It goes by too fast for me. The internet these days as a whole goes by too fast. I can be slow to reply to things, I have always been this way. I do my best to connect with everyone and get back to everyone in as a timely a manner as I can and I'm deeply sorry if you talk to me and I'm slow to reply and get back to you. I have always been like this but I have worked hard to get better at it and have made great progress over the years.
(I also am very forgetful, my memory hasn’t been good since 2016 which doesn’t help. It’s an often occurrence that think I replied to someone but actually I did not.)
I just have very limited amount of spoons and just how with the current internet is as a whole, and even the offline world around us, there's constant never ending flows of information non stop. And it's a lot, it's sensory overload. It can be like that even for NT people too! But it hits 10x harder for people like me. I've been a mainly passive entity on the internet for most of my life, even though I've been on the computer since a young age(arguably too young) only really beginning to interact in the online world in about 2015-2016 if I remember right.
When I was a passive entity both as a kid and older, I would just play my various games of choice. Toontown, neopets, club penguin, tinierme, etc. I'd visit countless pokemon and sailor moon fansites, forums, and more. So, so much more. The only online community I even was active on was the official Bakugan one way back. But even then I was pretty passive.
And I've noticed even being passive today, it's still a lot more overwhelming than it was way back in the older days of the web. It feels like. The fact its so overwhelming to just be a passerby on the internet, just lurking, being passive and vibing just says a lot about how things are these days. And of course, I think I talked about this before but it's always relevant: the amount of pressure it makes me feel.
I worry I have to post about something constantly to prove something. This can apply to basically any topic. To prove I'm an artist and "hey I do still do art, sorry for no new art the past 24 hours!" or to prove I'm a "real fan" of something (even though such a mindset is garbage, but this is what social media does to you). It can apply to basically anything. Point is is that social media adds so much pressure to you that can apply to basically any and all scenarios from what I have seen. And it SUCKS. It can give you worries you may not have even ever thought of or even cared about before.
I’m figuring out what to do and how to recharge as well as gain my sense of self again. Being burnt out bad like this makes one feel like a husk more than a person. For now I’ve been unwinding and just playing animal crossing as well as other games on my switch (mainly animal crossing because that latest update really added some needed new life to the game), doing some reading, listening to podcasts, watching/listening to Youtube videos of varying kinds, and have unplugged a bit and am not on my phone as much.
(Rest in Peace, Stefán. You are dearly missed.)
I need to remember this too but: It's okay to do nothing sometimes. If you need to rest to recharge your batteries for life: Rest! I haven’t even been on discord that much lately either. I’m taking it easy on myself right now, and doing what I can to recharge from this horrible and very intense spot of autistic burnout I am currently in.
Please take care of yourselves everyone. I hope to have something more different for my next blog post as well. I will once again link to Omoulo’s digital wellbeing page, which I have been referring to a lot lately in this period of my life ever since I found it back in November. It is a wonderful and very useful resource. I hope everyone is having a safe and good Holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate. Stay safe and take care of yourselves.
Here are some other links of interest for you as well:
Links pertaining to making your own website, if you want your own personal space on the web without social media:
Your Own Site by Sadgirl, Learn.sadgirl.online, w3schools, htmldog, Webguide, and the Yesterweb Link Directory are just a few awesome places to start at if you wanna look into making your own site! My Manifesto about web 2.0 also has a bunch of links at the end of the post you can read here.
Other Useful links:
Leechblock the extension I use and mention in this post. A highly customizable and free site blocker designed to help with productivity, R U AN ARTIST ON SOCIAL MEDIA??? Also by Omoulo and a part of the digital wellbeing page they made, a great read I highly recommend for any of my fellow artists out there who are on social media, especially if they feel stress about it, and Sadgirl Online's Cyber Cafe full of many useful things such as resources for building your very own site, archiving websites you come across, how to bypass paywalls, and a many more links. Very worth checking out.
You can check out the full list of posts that have been made here.