Unsocial Media

I am going through a strange time with my relationship with the internet. For years, since I started blogging, I have found myself thinking more about what goes on when one posts things online. It has always been something, that has felt like a huge sense of relief for me, but recently, that hasn’t been the case.

When I post something, it has been done because it is personal to me. There has been some thought in my head, which has made me want to communicate how I feel about a certain something. It has always proved as being a very therapeutic way of organising my thoughts, and has previously helped relieve a lot of stress, so I can focus on other things. But, recently, I have found that what I post has been getting negative comments. As if I post personal things because I want attention. As silly as it sounds, attention is the last thing that I have on my mind. I have found before, that by sharing my own experiences, other people can sometimes feel not quite so alone. Because when you are experiencing difficulties in your life, it is easy to feel completely alienated from those around you. So, when you read about someone feeling as bad as you are, it can be quite comforting. In fact, when I was struggling with depression, it was reading blogs and online forums that helped encourage me to get help. So to me, social media is fantastic, because it can help people get the support that they may not have the courage to get from those around us.

Recently, I decided to do a major life change, and try to change my eating habits, I joined weight watchers. Something I have never done before, but felt encouraged to do so, by checking out fitness forums and things. On these sites, there are a lot of help points, to try and help you get motivated.  One of the points was keeping a foodlog. By posting photos of food on instagram and Tumblr, it reaches the online community, which can support you in your efforts. Seeing how sharing online has helped me before, I thought that this would be an excellent way to keep note on what I am eating. As if I feel too embarrassed to post about something I want to eat, then it is a sign that I shouldn’t be eating it. To me, this makes sense. I have a habit of eating without thinking about it very much, most of the time, I am not even hungry.

This sounds a very postive change, right?

The biggest social network is Facebook. Where people seem to take offence if you post something personal to you. Particularly, as with depression, it can come in cycles, people start complaining that it is done for attention. So when it is something personal, these off-hand remarks from supposed friends, hurt. The same thing happens when I started posting about photographing food. I am called names because to these people, food isn’t something that is deserving of their Facebook feed. Because, if you didn’t know, Facebook is exclusively for stolen memes, game requests, pictures of children and drunken nights out. People are very intolerant of Facebook. I believe this may be because some of the people ‘friends’ with you on there, aren’t really your friends, they just want to spy on those that they shared a college class with once. On every other website, if someone doesn’t like what you post, they unfollow. For some reason, that doesn’t happen on Facebook, people just post vague complaints about the content posted by folk they follow. It’s laughable, really.

With the bad experience with Facebook, I stepped back. Because speaking about any of my feelings is still so hard, to have it treated so harshly is horrible. So, I took it time to think about it. These comments that people post, are about that person’s hang-ups, and they reflect more on that person than they do me. I also have to try and toughen up, and that I have conviction to write something, then I should stand by it 100%.

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