Helen

Social Media and Me

I am 38. I find technology overwhelming and there’s a limit to what I would keep, and what I would like to never have been invented. I didn’t grow up with friends around me to gradually learn about and adopt advances in technology and I didn’t anticipate it’d become so central to everything in life. So I am behind the times and really don’t understand most social media platforms and they change constantly.

I am a member of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook but not any others because I don’t take videos and I don’t actually understand how they all work nor do I find them relevant to spend hours watching. Maybe I would if I knew what to look for but it’s so complex!!

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I don’t get the selfie culture or posting about myself. It seems exhausting yet compulsive to people. But then I also don’t think anyone would be interested in anything I posted so it feels arrogant to do so. I am aware that many people post because they are actually insecure but it’s not how I deal with my insecurity.

Twitter I joined because it seemed that famous people or news programmes/politicians used it and I felt it was a way to make my voice heard, I don’t really understand it at all though.

I guess my insecurity is what makes me feel I need to like and react and comment on others’ posts. I feel the need to be relevant to them in their lives, like reminding them that I exist, yet in reality most of my Facebook ‘friends’ don’t know me nor me them. They seem to live lives full of friendship, family, animals and general humour and pleasure. My life is very serious and very unhappy. Most people I have as friends are people I have encountered through mental health services or through Veganism and animal rights. Regardless of Covid I don’t see anyone socially nor talk on phone even monthly.

I used to do a lot of activism and activities and I made acquaintances and it was all me pretending- masking. It helped to have a ‘cause’ and away from that cause I felt no one wanted to know me.

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It also means that most of the activity on Facebook was mostly in groups. Many around veganism but also local community groups, interest groups…

It’s sometimes good to get an idea what other people think or talk about and sometimes I find out about things without asking. Other times they can be useful forums to ask for advice or knowledge.

It’s never true friendship.

I don’t know how people choose what to look at and I can’t understand how they can keep up with it all. It’s probably made me more socially anxious and reclusive even when I compare to my childhood when you had letter writing and landline calls.

Written by Helen Gillespie 

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