Blocked

So about a week ago, a friend of mine alerted me to this amazing blog post that I’m 90% sure I wrote via subliminal telekinesis. It speaks to me on a mitochondrial level. What really stuck out to me (other than the amazing relevance to my life) was the bit about what she chose to disclose on various social networks.

Now, I don’t have a Twitter account (because I still don’t understand how it works and help me, I’m old) but I am totally guilty when it comes to censoring myself on other forms of social media. The question I’m finding myself asking is: why? Why do I do this? Why am I comfortable posting things on Facebook, but not Instagram? Why do I feel comfortable sharing some pictures on Instagram, but not on this blog? Why am I even thinking about this trivial bullshit when I could be reading that library book that needs to be returned tomorrow? (Priorities.)

I’ve also been thinking about how the different people in my life use THEIR social media, and how I respond to what they choose to share. I appreciate honesty, but not overshare. I don’t mind bragging about accomplishments or life events, but humble bragging makes me gag. I kinda like selfies, but I find selfies used for compliment-fishing to be block-worthy. I appreciate thoughtful discussions and debate, but dogmatic parroting makes me want to claw my eyes out. So I find myself trying to carefully walk the line of what I find acceptable and be as unirritating (my autocorrect tells me that’s a real word, so deal with it) as possible. That being said, one man’s status update is another man’s eye roll, so I’m sure people see I’ve posted something and wonder why in the hell they’re still following me. 

Which brings me back to my original question: why? Why do I make such a distinction between my various forms of (arguably masturbatory) social media? I am either censoring and editing myself for my sake (so I don’t get unwanted comments/replies) or for yours (so I don’t irritate the shit out of you. YOU’RE WELCOME.).  I’m still not 100% sure which. 

There are so many new words in our vernacular nowadays: fakebooking, vaguebooking, selfie, retweet, Kardashian… words that didn’t even exist a decade ago are now ubiquitous. And our relationship with tried and true words (block, ban, friend, follow, post, Furry) has changed. And so many of us have different permutations of ourselves we present in various forums. It’s bizarre. I’m trying hard to both keep up with the ways we are given to express ourselves, and finding the balance between shareable  truth and appropriate secrecy.

So to all (3-5) of you reading this, do you struggle with the same issues? Do you edit yourself on your social media? Will you guys return this library book for me? (Seriously. It’s due today.)

-C

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4 thoughts on “Blocked

  1. Yes, yes and yes. And no. More later. P.S. I believe an account is required to like your blog posts. I got lost in a login internet wormieholie last time I tried to like your junk. So bear with me. (Is that right? Like a big brown fuzzy ferocious bear? Hmmm. Don’t look right, that.)

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  2. Absolutely, on all fronts but the library book (I’m terrible at remembering to return my own, and I expect I’m a little too late at this point, anyhow). I find myself pretty aggressively curating what I present online, sometimes as an extension of the social anxiety I experience as a matter of course, and other times in an effort to tailor my presentation to suit my perceived audience– only, the ‘audience’ is really just a few close friends, and the part of my brain with an inexhaustible well of crummy things to say. So, while I enjoy it when friends post personal updates, selfies, life-changes they are proud of, etc., a two line post about birds will take me between twenty minutes and an hour to polish, and after publishing the link to my blog on Facebook last weekend, I spent the next day fighting an anxiety attack as result of having shared my thoughts with whoever cared enough to read them. Not sure what happened since the days of spilling my guts on Livejournal, but my philosophy typically revolves around sharing the things I see and encounter, while revealing as little as possible of my thoughts on the matter, lest I annoy someone/myself. Still not sure that so-called social media isn’t secretly intended to encourage existential crises.

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    1. I’ve come to the conclusion that posting anything has become my version of a teenager leaving the house with a massive zit on their face. They’re overly aware and conscious of how prominent it is, how effectively they covered it, and imagine all sorts of ridicule from their peers. While some asshats (IRL trolls) may point it out/taunt, for the most part, no one else even notices because they’re too wrapped up in worrying about their own zits. I feel like the solipsistic nature of Social Media is (in that way) a blessing and a curse.

      Whenever I do find myself questioning my content, I try to think about what 23 year old, new mom me would have liked to have found on a blog. It’s not a great gauge, but it’s all I’ve got going for me right now.

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