Social Media Reflection

As of writing this (April 20th, 2022), I have been off of Tumblr for exactly one month, and have been limiting my time on other social media for even longer.


One of the first things I began to notice was my mood improved rapidly after I quit Tumblr. I was no longer being bombarded, even well-intentionally, with things that upset me or made me mad. It often fed a cycle in me: I would hear about something terrible and start to seek it out, obsess over it, I would continue to post about it, etc. It became neverending to a point where, in my day to day life, I was angry about a lot of things and my only release was to get angry about something else.


I don’t notice that as much anymore, though. I’ve always been someone prone to righteous anger, but since leaving social media, I have better ways to deal with it. I’ve picked up hobbies that help distract me from these spirals, both online and offline. Being disconnected from the social media waves means that I’m no longer caught up in them.


Another thing that I’ve noticed is that its actually been easier for me to keep up with people and talk to them. One major thing is free time: I’m not just endlessly scrolling anymore. I’ve joined Discord servers and talked to people in them, I’ve kept up with friends more consistently, etc. It at least encourages more direct contact than making posts in someones direction and hoping they’d talk to you, a bad habit I got into that just sort of fed into my anxiety about 1 on 1 conversations.


I was bored the first while, sure, but making a website helped me a lot with that. Neocities has been awesome for me, I’ve met a lot of cool people and keeping up a website and having a place to put random writing (like this!) has been really cool. I’ve been using it like what I’ve always wanted Tumblr to be for me, just a little place of self expression that exists only for myself. The neat thing is though that no one can tell me what to do since I run my website. I could cover the entire page in spider gifs and no one could stop me. It’s delightful.


Making a website has been a really awesome creative practice, too. I struggled for a really long time to even come up with an idea for one. P.S, if you do this, make some random generators. Seriously. I put some ideas into a wheel spinning thing online and developed an outline for a website so I wouldn’t toil over it. Here’s what my website started as, just a list of ideas:


No Sidebar

Monochrome

Links in Page

Front page is just title/links

Header

Image/design heavy


Some of this hasn’t been met yet, but it will be! I’m pretty proud of my website, though. It’s something I created with my own two, grubby hands. It’s much more satisfying than any number of notes I got on any post.


That’s off the topic though, or is it? Leaving social media gave me time and energy and the will to do this. It gave me the spark to go, I want a place for myself that’s free from all the bullshit that made me mad. And I made it. Is it perfect? Probably not. I haven’t run into any issues yet, but is anything perfect? What’s more important though is that I can keep up with my friends, they can keep up with me, and all around we can all have our little corners that are as connected or disconnected as we want. That’s another thing I like too. There’s less of an expectation to vomit up information about yourself in a more public space. I post and journal on my site, but the lack of direct feedback helps me learn how to internally deal with things without the expectation of a back pat or someone to tell me how I should feel.


Really, I guess this has all been an exercise in learning to do things for myself, not only in the literal sense, but in the sense that this is all for me and I can keep it that way as much as I want. I’m no longer on display next to other people, I’m instead making my own little internet bedroom that is much harder for people to stumble upon.


Anyways, this isn’t a manifesto, I guess, just more of a personal reflection on how my relationship with the web has changed. I’m happier, I’m healthier, and I’m all around more Vincentier. It’s cool. If you’re reading this and still super into social media, I suggest taking a break and see how you feel. If you don’t have good self control (like moi), I recommend a browser extension like Leechblock NG or using the screentime settings on your phone. Even a small roadblock can help you start to move in the other direction.

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