Last month I talked about how social media shouldn’t be something that makes you feel bad. I’ve been really focusing on making social media a happy place for myself. I unfollowed a bunch of groups and pages that just weren’t making me happy. Instead of starting my morning by checking my comments and messages and ending my night the same way – I’ve made sure that I’m doing other things, nourishing things. I’ve tried to be intentional about the way I use social media.
And that’s been awesome. I’m reading again, every day. I don’t start working until two hours after I wake up instead of jumping right into it.
So why did I turn off comments on social media?
Because I’m taking my own advice and I’ve turned off comments on Instagram and Facebook. My social anxiety has been really intense lately and while it usually doesn’t translate into my online interactions – this time is different.
As a creator with an audience of 500,000 I’ve learned that you can’t make everyone happy and I’ve stopped trying. I know that some things I post will resonate with some people and not with others.
I post because I want to educate about mental health, I want to encourage people to practice self-care, and I want people to know that they aren’t alone with their thoughts and struggles. That was why I started this and why I continue to do it.
Most of the time I’m able to ignore unkind comments and messages but the last several times they’ve sent me into a panic response. I get a rush of adrenaline, my face starts burning, my heart starts beating super fast, and my hands start shaking. It takes me hours to come down from it and then I just want to cry.
Lately, I’ve felt like everything I do is wrong.
And logically I know that those comments *shouldn’t* matter. They’re the minority. I can and have ignored them 85% of the time. There are times that they really get to me and I’ve talked about that. This time it wasn’t one event or one comment but a multitude of little ones.
It was being called a gaslighter when I posted affirmations that said “You are safe. You are loved.”
It was being called ableist when I shared a post that encouraged people with anxiety or depression to try to show up anyway.
That encouraging people to set boundaries with family means that I’m teaching kids to hate.
That I enable people to be crappy friends when I share memes about how exhausting it is to be socially plugged in all the time.
I share “it’s okay to wait until you’re ready” and that’s wrong.
People comment “I hate this, this is stupid, I hate the colors you use, you should say it like this instead, but what about xyz?, I experience this instead so your experience insults me or is wrong,”
And I know these aren’t big things but when it’s comments like this every day it builds up. Every. Single. Day. I can post the most loving, positive, encouraging, message, and someone will not like it, and then they will tell me how much they don’t like it.
It doesn’t matter that logically I know I shouldn’t care.
But anxiety isn’t logical.
I hate that I feel this way and I hate that I can’t just get over it or ignore it or control it.
I. really. hate. anxiety.
I feel like I can’t say anything right. I’ve questioned why I show up and why I do this when I’m not “strong enough” to handle it.
So I’ve turned off the comments.
And it’s been five days and I feel better. I feel so much better.
I’m reminding myself that I am human and it’s okay to feel these things.
I’m filling my days with self-care and mini-adventures with my partner.
It’s letting me create without that feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.
Burnout is real, but it doesn’t mean your light is gone. It’s just a reminder to take the time to turn that warmth towards yourself.
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I know how you feel. I have a positivity page. While the overwhelming majority of reactions are favorable, I get some cynical ones. I haven’t turned off comments, but I delete the mean ones. I used to agonize over whether or not to delete a nasty comment, worrying that I might “hurt their feelings.” Now I delete them without hesitation. There’s already enough pain in the world. Shine your light and keep doing what you’re doing.
You are such a brave soul and I admire your authenticity and courage. I feel the same way and have stopped myself from posting so many times because I get anxious about what people will think about my post and then I get anxious about getting anxious because I know that I shouldn’t worry about it. I am getting better at it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the feelings that come with it. Knowing something on an intellectual level is not the same as feeling it and it takes a ton of practice.
Thank you so much for your creativity. I love your colours, I love your font, I love your expression. It inspires me to allow my inner child to shine through too and that makes me feel safe and secure. No matter how many people tell me that I shouldn’t be looking to feel good, feeling good, just feels good.