The 2015 Fuck It List: #9 – Social Media Bullshit

Back in 2014, I posted my 2014 Fuck It List based on and inspired by this most excellent post:

Welcome to my Fuck It list. Fourteen things I’m going to stop giving a fuck about in 2014. Because, as important as it is to push yourself to be a healthier, more compassionate person, that can be downright impossible. Refusing to give a fuck, however, isn’t just easy — it’s kind of awesome.

{Prehistoric Amber} The Fuck It List: 2014 | AmberL.Carter.com

So fuck it. Here are the fourteen things I’m going to stop worrying about come 2014.

– 14 Fucks I Refuse To Give In 2014

This year, I’ve made a list of 15 Things I Refuse To Give a Fuck About In 2015 (capitalized, because it’s IMPORTANT). But instead of trying to write and post a huge massive manifesto all at once, I decided to instead break my list down into bite-sized pieces.

15 Fucks I Refuse To Give In 2015: #9 Social Media Bullshit

 

Every once in a while, I’ll have this brief moment of insanity where the number of blog readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook Likes I have suddenly matters a lot

This usually happens when I’m already not feeling Enough.

Like, when I’m in the midst of comparing myself to some seemingly successful lucky fuck who’s just crossed my path.

Or when I let some dumb social-media-for-business article convince me that my online worth – even my IRL self-worth – is all wrapped up in some arbitrary number.

I have moments of great, exalting confidence and self-possession, and moments of debilitating unworthiness. In other words: Hey guys, guess who’s human, too! And in this day and age, those moments of debilitating unworthiness are easily exacerbated when you start to compare the number of followers/subscribers/Likes you have to someone else’s. Even if they’re blogging about, say, how to grow a winter urban garden, and you’re busy being all “Reality TV is my LIFE!”, it doesn’t matter – if they have more followers, then they’re obviously better at everything and your 5th grade teacher was right all along: People just don’t seem to like you*.

This also takes form when there’s someone you follow who doesn’t follow you back. This stings especially when you get into the brain hole of feeling like this person should want to follow you back. Unimaginable thoughts of vast douchebaggery suddenly rise to the forefront: Like, do you even know who I am? Check your friends, because all of them love me, and you’re the only dumb one who obviously doesn’t get how great I am. Like, I’m actually doing you a favor by following you, so… 

And please don’t front: None of us want to admit that we think or care about this stuff, but deep down, most – if not all of us – have moments of either feeling smug because we have more followers than someone or anxious and sullen because someone we loathe has more people RT’ing their stuff than ours. The other week, I literally had a conversation with two of the funniest women on Twitter about the sheepish frustration that arises when we post something legit hilarious and no one Favs or RT’s it.

It is The Thing We Think But Do Not Say about life on social media. 

But lately I’ve begun to understand that this sense of Social Media Envy, however fleeting, has nothing to do with numbers, and everything to do with connection.

For instance, after digging into Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map and rooting around into my deepest feels, I realized that one of the things I hate the most is the feeling that I’m being ignored. That people aren’t seeing me, or acknowledging my presence. I want to be Known…whether it’s by my friends, my family, a lover, or an audience.

So I realized that, when I’m putting something out there on Twitter and Facebook, it’s literally because I want others to know me. To see me. To interact with me. And when that doesn’t happen…it can be straight-up maddening.

This year, though, I decided to stop giving a fuck about this stuff. It was eroding my self-esteem, and in ways I didn’t even want to admit to myself. I turned off my notifications, because I realized that the abundance or lack of dings had the power to affect my mood, and I don’t need that shit. When I started to crave connection and interaction, I went out and I fucking got some…by fav’ing, RT’ing, and @replying to others. It’s the old principle of giving what you wanna get. And you know what? It fucking works.

(I could also tell you about all the different ways I started looking at how I do social media – i.e., adding benefit to my feed vs. just waving my hands in the air, yelling at people to hey, watch this! – but that’s another post for another time)

Sometimes it’s still hard not to engage in The Envy when a friend can tweet “yay friday” and literally get 100 Fav’s and RT’s (seriously, WHAT IS THAT). Some days it takes a fierce moral inventory + some brutal realness to confront the fact that I’m envy-studying someone else’s Facebook Likes or tripping on their Twitter follows because there’s something in my own life that doesn’t feel Enough. But I gotta say…the minute I decided to stop giving a fuck about it, the easier it became to just enjoy myself. I’m not a digital marketing company. I don’t have to worry about metrics and ROI’s and A/B testing. Yes, it would be totally great to have a thousand more followers so I could potentially sell more books (so I mean….if you wanna follow me on Twitter…) but I’m also not going to take time from my precious and wondrous life to stress about it. A cold hard truth I’ve learned from being on social media since it was basically born is this: People like you or they don’t. People want to follow you or they don’t.

And that actually has nothing to do with you at all.

(Even if you’re a huge douchecanoe. Check out Matt Walsh’s following for proof of this statement)

Also, I have a pack of friends who are THE FUCKING COOLEST people around, but they could literally give a shit about social media. And if they think that everything I say and do is great, then anyone else who doesn’t agree can suck it.

 

  • True story: My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Nelson, did an “experiment” where he had all of us take out a piece of paper and write down the three people we would want to keep in our class + the three people we would want to move to the other 5th grade class if we could. He collected the papers from us, then spent the next day pulling each of us aside to inform us of our popularity with our classmates…or, in my case, our lack of. Amy Quinn was apparently the #1 person that everyone wanted to keep in the class, and I was apparently the #1 person everyone wanted to move to the other class. Having your favorite teacher sit you down and tell you all the reasons why the other kids in your class can’t stand you doesn’t exactly make for a favorite childhood memory, nor does it help with positive personal development. God, teachers are such jerks sometimes.

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

3 comments on “The 2015 Fuck It List: #9 – Social Media Bullshit

  1. Ha! I don’t think following someone on every social channel is creepy. (But if you take that habit into real life and start following someone everywhere…then that would be creepy)

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