I know. I need to blog. But what’s a blog? I don’t even know. I’ve been spending so much time pretending the Internet doesn’t exist that I don’t even remember how to interact with it anymore. I haven’t Facebooked, Tweeted, or Instagrammed anything in weeks. What am I doing? Where am I going? I have no direction in life!
And this is what befalls a blogger who goes on a social media fast.
Can’t I just tap dance for you? I’m really good at it. Promise. Took lessons for so many years.
Speaking of lessons, here’s something I’m slowly learning on this social media fast.
You know those people who put pictures of their food on Instagram? Or post a Facebook status about finally being able to fit into their skinny jeans? Or tweet about getting a promotion?
I’m not so far removed from the social sphere that I don’t understand the appeal of doing any of those things. Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows I love me some food (but not as much as my baby). But I think now that I’ve stepped back a bit, I have a better grip on the why behind this behavior.
Before I go on, I’d just like to dust my shoulders off and say that I do have a degree in mass communication with a minor in psychology from a Florida state school so I obviously know what I’m talking about to an extent. (I also know which bars you should go to and on which nights in order to get the highest volume of alcohol for the lowest amount of cash.)
The old adage asks the question, “If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?” I’d argue that today the question is, “If you do something in life but don’t tweet about it, did it really happen?”
While I don’t know for sure if this is the root of our Internet addiction and our need to be virtually affirmed, I definitely know that our culture does suggest that if it isn’t on social media, it isn’t real.
That’s why when you tell your best friend that you’ve started seeing someone, she immediately asks why it isn’t “Facebook official” yet. Or why you upload a picture of your baby smiling to Instagram (but not a picture of them screaming). Or why the first thing you do when your alarm goes off in the morning is sleepily scour your Twitter feed.
I’ve been struggling a lot with this. Inner parts of my being are wracked with guilt over the fact that only a handful of people (those who I can show it to in person) have seen my baby say “dada” because I haven’t uploaded the video to Facebook. So, like, what if no one believes me? Or cares? I can’t gauge the world’s affirmation of my personal life because no one can like or comment on this video! It’s terrible!
I don’t think I’m ready to come back just yet. But I’m really enjoying re-learning how to process things and experience life in private.
That said, if you’re struggling with being affirmed by trolls on the Internet, just look at this gif.