After taking a huge social media break earlier this year, I thought I was making progress. I’d been a good girl. I had deleted the appropriate apps from my phone. If I absolutely had something to share, I’d found ways of posting that didn’t involve using my phone or spending time scrolling.
And then, earlier this week I caught myself.
I let myself loose on Twitter. Current events had set me off. I enjoyed myself, even if just a little.
While scores of folks post fun, informative content, in the end I couldn’t help but see its negative side. That site can feel like an outrage factory. Not that there isn’t enough to be mad at these days—world wars, racism, Lisa LaFlamme getting fired for no reason…
In the end, it can feel a lot like information overload.
And then sometimes I’d tweet, and start thinking about reactions, or a lack thereof. “Likes” mean that you’ve been heard, and what you’ve said resonates with others. A lack of them can feel lonely.
This week, I had to ask myself exactly why that was.
And this is what I heard back. “Lose your likes…”
Or at least, your taste for them. I’d felt this before, but never so strongly. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful for recognition. Above all else, though, when you’re online, you need to remember that you are living in light of your purpose. And your drive to pursue your purpose needs to exist, whether you’re “seen” or not.
I wasn’t the first one to say the following. But if likes make you, then they can truly break you. And the reason you were created is far stronger than that.
As a writer, the world’s news and ideas can be inspiring. I can’t say I’ll stop using social media altogether. But I’m definitely reinvested in adopting a utilitarian approach to it. My mental health depends on it.
Photo by Aman Pal on Unsplash