We were on a break

This weekend, I took a Facebook break.  I just peeked for the first time since Friday afternoon, and after 3 minutes I was over it, so I logged right back out.

I honestly hate how it pulls me in.  I have no ability to self-regulate when it comes to social media.  I mean, part of that is I am writing this book and I am trying SO HARD to grow my Facebook audience to convince an agent to take me on.  My chances of that happening are approximately .006 %, but I’m not one to give up before I get started. So, I spend a lot of time trying to make my life relatable and make people laugh and help people see who I am.

But, mostly, I just get sucked in, and not in a good way.  I am constantly (over)analyzing people’s interactions.  For example, I notice when you don’t like my post, but like someone else’s.  I notice that my extended family members never comment on my posts, which in my mind, equates to: I don’t love you/you have done something to make me angry.  Brian and I both have families who are close with some of their family, but not us.  We see when they get together for holidays and we’re not there.  I notice when there is a baby shower and I haven’t been invited.

It hurts, and I think I would rather not know.  Is it really true, that what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you?  Some of my closest friends haven’t even taken the time to hit, “like” on my blog Facebook page.  I notice.  I wish I didn’t.

I have scoured the Internet, researching what it would take to get my memoir traditionally published.  The biggest thing I can find is that when you are a non-fiction writer, you need a “platform.”  Basically, I need an audience that they think will buy my book.  I’m not sure I’m actually on board with this theory, because I could have 800,000 followers and none of them could actually think I’m worth money.  Facebook is free, it’s low-risk.  I guess it’s not really my choice!

Anyway, I’m to the point where I actually think it’s a better decision for me to be done with social media.  Will I miss seeing what my friends are up to?  Yes.  Will I miss sharing my life and my children’s lives with my friends?  Totally!  But, I’m starting to think it’s just better for me emotionally to hide over here in my corner and not know what’s happening.

On the other hand, I have met so many amazing people through the Internet.  I love meeting new people, and it’s so much easier for me to write than it is for me to be face-to-face, and to be completely honest—I feel closer to some of my online friends than I do to some acquaintances in real life!

I seriously don’t know if I’m totally alone in this (y’all are probably like, girl, go get some therapy!) but I will sit and wonder, “What did I do to my/my husband’s family that they just totally stopped interacting with us altogether?”  We’re not invited for holidays, our kids don’t know any of them.  Sure, we live far away from some of them, but now that our kids are a little older, we’d be happy to travel to see them.

But they don’t.  And we don’t. And so we never see them and time goes by and if we do see them, it’s awkward.  I want it to be different for my own kids, but it won’t be.  So, maybe it’s better if we just don’t know.

I also have this weird fantasy that by the time my daughter is in middle school, everyone will be just kind of “over” social media and instead of being able to see Facebook in our retina scans, we’ll decide to go back to the way we were.  I can still totally text my pictures to people, or put them on an old-school Shutterfly page.

So, what’s up with you guys and social media?  Do you love it?  Can you live without it?  Do you hate it sometimes like me?  Anybody else ready to be done?

 

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9 thoughts on “We were on a break

  1. Beth says:

    I completely get it! I think so many of us feel like you. Hell, even my own mother interacts and loves on people she barely knows on social media. Then I get a stupid like from her if I’m lucky. Also, don’t even get me started on how much more attention my pretty friends get. I have looked at reactions to decent pictures of my family or me, and then I compare them to the responses my pretty friend gets. OMG! Talk about a way to feel like crap. It just magnifies what I already know about society, and some of it is f-ing ugly. Some is beautiful and feel good, too. I like to focus on pages like Humans of New York and Love What Matters. I also love people who keep it REAL! That’s where you got in girl. So please keep on this end of putting your thoughts out into the world. You have to know people will be assholes, but some people will appreciate the hell out of you.

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    • Ah, yes, the pretty friends. I get a lot of likes because I comment a LOT on other people’s stuff. But, still a lot is like 100. A pretty friend posts “I like ham!” and gets 497 likes. Ugh. It’s so frustrating! Totally f-ing ugly.

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  2. Sara says:

    I go through a lot of the same things you talked about. I constantly wonder what I did wrong for some of hubby’s family to be so rude and down right mean. We do get invited to things but most of the time I wish I wasn’t there. We aren’t told about things until last minute and then we ask what we can bring or help out with with the answer of nothing. We then come with something small (hate going empty handed) just to get the looks like why didn’t yippy bring something or more or why are you even here. It’s frustrating no doubt.
    Social media consumes me too and I too wish it were different but have a hard time sometimes. There are times when I purposely leave me phone in the car and I love that moment of being unplugged but feel like someone might NEED something in the whole two hours or whatever that I’m away. Maybe we should sign up for therapy together, maybe Nikki can council is, then again that’s probably not a good idea lol.

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  3. Sarah says:

    I get how you feel. Sometimes I hate it but for a completely different reason. I mean, if I get 16 likes on a page I’m totally shocked and happy! My problem with social media is I too get sucked in, mostly to the news. There are so many news pages I’ve liked that sometimes I can scroll for an hour and that’s all I see. And it makes me sick. Especially the politics, people’s reaction, and the ugliness. Sometimes it even makes me cry. But maybe not for the reason ppl think. I cry because I think ppl really can’t be that stupid! Sometimes I feel like John B. From.S-town. The lack of outrage is outrageous to me. But I’m part of the problem. I mostly post political things. Unless I’m doing something “post-worthy” which is rarely.

    Then I finally see a picture posted of my friends kids and it makes me smile. I feel a bit more connected to those I don’t get to see everyday. Sometimes our family doesn’t consist of people we are related to by blood, but those who choose to have us in their lives!

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  4. Deni says:

    I hide all of the people who make me feel less than or make me question myself, because I’m never going to understand their thoughts, so why stress myself out.

    I do have a hard time regulating it and wish I wasn’t so accessible. Also, I totally have the same dream as you that by the time our kids are older social media will be so *out*! That would be amazing. I love IG more because it’s drama free, that’s fun. I have a few FB groups that I love but many that just make me crazy. So, basically, I agree with you 100%.

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  5. I try to stay off it (or get off it) when I know there’s something that’s just going to make me feel bad about myself or where I’m at in life. My examples: 1st day of school pics, Mother’s Day and other family unit-like holidays, weekends with weddings. We all have our things. (And we all tend to make our lives look better to outsiders than we really feel about it ourselves.)

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict when other people’s social media interactions are going to be a shot to the heart. Or who. Maybe it would be easier to unplug; you are probably right. I know I won’t though. And once in a while, like at work, I’m grateful I was in on the inside joke that occurred in a FB conversation, whereas otherwise, I would have felt left out. You can’t win. Just self-care, I guess.

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  6. P.S. Christy–keep on keeping on with your search to get published through an agent! Today I hand-cataloged two books for my high school library that were self-published by local authors. Yes, their books were for sale on Amazon, and yes, I bought them because of the local interest/someone approached me to do so… But, real-deal books are so much more polished and better quality writing and more likely to find the readership that your story deserves (and that someone might need!) As you know, this author thing is a ton of work. I just want to encourage you to get trying.

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