Social Media Angst

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One of my goals for 2019 is to learn more about who I am, what makes me happy (or unhappy), and how to be a better person in general. I am often my own worst critic, and social media has done nothing but increase my level of insecurity.

Towards the end of January, I started to minimize the amount of time that I spent on social media, but Facebook in particular. (While I have Instagram and Twitter accounts, Facebook is the account I’ve had the longest and am most comfortable using.) I was that person who, the first thing I did in the morning, was to grab my phone and open my Facebook app. Anytime I had a free moment, I was on Facebook. It was absolutely ridiculous the amount of time I spent wasted on Facebook.

While I often used the excuse that this was the way to keep my friends and family informed of what is going on in my life, I had to be honest and admit that I spent more time exploring what others were doing in their lives and how my life was seeming inadequate. I love to see others succeed, I honestly do. I will support others as much as I can and be their biggest cheerleaders. However, I often got discouraged because no one “liked” my posts/photos, but someone else could post the same thing, and “everyone” likes/loves their post. I often felt, why am I not good enough to garner more likes or support? It went so far that I began to question whether I truly have friends, or if people really consider me to be their friend. It made me second guess my worth. I know it sounds ridiculous to base my worth on how many likes I get on a photo or a post, but if you have never struggled with self-esteem and self-worth issues, I do not expect that you would understand. As a people-pleaser, I often negate my feelings/desires to keep those around me happy, even if it makes me unhappy. I have always wanted to be accepted – which I think we all desire that on some level – and have often left others to decide what acceptance looked like.

My challenge for the month of February is to detox from social media. While I cannot delete or deactivate my accounts (because they are linked to my non-profit), I have removed the Facebook app from my phone because I am too lazy to take the time to log in via the internet to access my account. Plus, I don’t have to worry about being obsessed each time I see a notification (which unfortunately were usually only to inform me of events my friends were attending). I still jump on Instagram and Twitter occasionally, but thankfully, I am not “addicted” to those platforms. I am hoping that by the end of the month, I will be able to get on Facebook and not feel the need to compare myself to others or base my worth on how many likes I get.

Ugh!

One would think that if you had a lot of positive things happening, you would be happy.  WRONG!!!  While I know that happiness comes from within, I can’t help but still look for it to come from others.  No matter how many “things” I accomplish or do, nothing ever seems to be enough.  I know I should not be seeking validation from others, yet, I still do. I get sad by only getting 10 likes on my profile pics on social media, or 10 views on my business page posts, or no one signing up for my events.  I often feel I’m not pretty enough, skinny enough, a good mother, or studious enough (despite having a 4.0 GPA in graduate school and being invited to two honor societies).

From my previous posts, you know that I have struggled with my self-esteem my entire life.  I have always thought that if I try harder, maybe they will like me more or treat me better.  If I don’t say how I feel, people will want to be around me.  If I make really good grades, people will think I’m smart and will listen to what I have to say.  If I lose 20 more pounds, maybe I will finally be attractive enough for someone to ask out on a date.  The saddest part of all of this is that most people probably don’t think about me to give much thought to how I look, feel, or even exist.  I put so much thought into what others think of me, and  I am probably not even worthy of a thought.  While I’m out here trying to please other people at the expense of making myself happy, they are living their lives.  I am stuck in this place where I will never be good enough.  I genuinely try to be a positive influence on those I come in contact with because I am a nurturer and giver by nature.  I just wish that sometimes someone would pour back into me once in a while.  I often feel alone and lonely.  I know it is not anyone’s responsibility to make me happy, but it would be nice to feel appreciated once in a while.

I am trying to figure out a way to stop the negative thoughts, but I can’t seem to do so.  I have no clue how long I have been off anxiety meds, but I really do not want to get back on them.  I have not had any luck finding a therapist.  I sometimes wonder if a therapist would even be able to help.  I find myself spiraling downward again but want to stop before I spiral too far out of control where I am paralyzed with anxiety.  I do not want to return to frequent panic attacks.  I just want to get to a point where I like me and am okay with who I am.  I cannot control what others think of me or how they treat me.  I can only control how I respond.  I just want to make my mind stop working overtime.