My Love-Hate Relationship with Social Media

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.

He: Huh?

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?

Photo by Owen Spencer on Unsplash

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.

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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
  • Anxiety
  • Insecurity

Just as I thought I had finally conquered the maddening behaviour, WordPress sent me a notification.

“CH and 2 others liked your blog post”

Photo by Launchpresso on Unsplash

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