I hate myself when I can’t stop checking the numbers of likes and followers.
An old friend messaged me as I was casually browsing on a Saturday evening. We haven’t talked in a while but him reaching out put a grin on my face…
He: Yo I noticed you haven’t been updating your Instagram.
Me: No, I uninstalled all social media apps. *emoji: girl shrug*
He: What? Why? *emoji: surprise*
Me: They affect my mental health negatively.
Me: You know, all the likes, views, followers… it’s just too much.
He: Is that why you’ve stopped making videos for your YouTube channel too?
Me: Yea, part of it, yes.
He: But you were just gaining traction! Do you still get monthly deposits from YouTube?
When I first became aware of how these social media numbers affect me, I was already deep in the trenches.
Thanks to advanced analytical tools, I knew the exact time of day to publish my photos, videos and posts to receive the most feedback.
And if the result did not meet my expectation, I immediately began to question what went wrong.
“What could I have changed? Was it the hashtags? Too many? Not enough? Or something else? Filters?”
It definitely wasn’t the first time I brought this up with a close friend. Perhaps it was my own anxiety. But it was so hard to suppress the urge to comment when I peeked into my roommate’s cracked bedroom door…
Me: Checking Instagram are we? *jokingly*
She: I literally just woke up 5 minutes ago.
Me: Just saying! *not wanting to offend*
She: I don’t look at it all that much, you know. *still scrolling*
Me: I stopped ‘cuz I noticed how I couldn’t help comparing myself with those seemingly have their lives together. *defiantly*
She: Right, but I don’t do that.
They say when you judge others on a particular thing they do, the judgement is really about you.
That was me. I saw myself in my friends. The behaviour that I was afraid of relapsing into.
Instead, I judge those who are actively scrolling to appease my insecurity.
Putting these emotions into words, I made a conscious effort to uninstall apps, turn off notifications, and unsubscribe emails.
- Public Approval
- Attention-Seeking Tendency
- Social Comparison
Just as I thought I had finally conquered the maddening behaviour, WordPress sent me a notification.
“CH and 2 others liked your blog post”