Likes, Followers, Social Media And Comparing Yourself To Others

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Hey guys,

So, lately, whenever I set off to write a new post, I feel like I won’t have some grand, positive, uplifting message at the end, and I start wondering if that post is even worth writing. But, I started this blog for myself, to be able to get some things off my chest, and so I think it’s important for me to write even those posts that don’t end up on the most positive note.

I’ve been going through a strange time lately. About a month shy away from 22, I feel like I’m not really doing the best job at transitioning into a full-fledged adult. I often find myself musing about the importance of social media in this day and age, and how a lot of values and ways of life have shifted among younger generations, compared to our parents’ and grandparents’ ones. Some days, I can’t help but think social media and the Internet have brought sheer misery to us.
Let me explain.
If you’re familiar with this blog and my stuff, you know that I’ve recently self-published a collection of poems and thoughts and that I’m trying to gain some exposure through (mainly) Instagram I thought to myself, Atticus has done it. Rupi Kaur has done it. Many other have done it. Maybe I could do it, too.

But there are so many poets and writers and readers out there who have the same thought, who are trying to do the same thing. My words often get lost in the sea of poems and pictures and quotes. I write ten hashtags on each picture I post in hopes that it reaches a wide audience and a solid number of people. But, in this sea of poetry, people stop by, click on that heart button, and simply leave my profile. It’s a very quick game we all play – explore, click, scroll on to another, repeat. Every once in a while, someone follows my account; some of them are genuinely interested in what I share, but some click follow only to undo it a few days later. The numbers always go up and down, and it’s never a constant rise, and I can’t help but think that the majority of people who like my posts or follow me do that only to grab my attention and prompt me to like/follow them back.
Which I guess I understand, but I can’t seem to bring myself to spend a lot of time just commenting on every post I see. I might be a little paranoid about it all, but the fact remains that even when people stop by to check out my writing, no one buys my poetry collection. It’s not selling at all, and I’ve wrote about this before – it’s really not about money for me, it would take a lot of sold copies for me to make any significant money from this book, and I know that’s not going to happen, I don’t count on it to happen. But I write to share my thoughts and my feelings and give others words of comfort and joy and make them feel any less alone, even for a little while. I’m a storyteller – my mind lives in places no textbook will ever write about and I feel like this is what I was destined to do. I’ve been told a couple of times by friends something along the lines of, “Well, at least you have this talent; I don’t have a talent for anything like that.” And I get it – you can’t learn to be a writer, you have to be born with that special spark. But lately I sit in front of my computer and I just think to myself, what do I get out of this? What good is my talent when I can’t seem to use it, what good is my voice if I can’t seem to shout loud enough for people to hear, what good are my words if people don’t know their meaning?

So that’s a part of what I’ve been feeling lately. But, of course, there’s more.

One other thing social media does is allowing us to paint this wonderful picture of our life. A picture in which everything is bright and sunny and going according to the plan. Degrees are acquired, foreign countries visited, weddings and pregnancies and weekend getaways… everything is so perfect on screen.

As I’ve stepped into my twenties, the roaring twenties, I’ve been seeing more and more announcements and good news from my peers. People I went to school with are getting engaged and having babies and travelling all across the globe and getting their degrees and always smiling on their pictures.

And I’m happy for them, I truly am. But I look at those smiles and then I look at myself, at the fact that I’m behind in my studies, that I can’t seem to really accomplish the dream I’ve had for at least ten years now, that I no one’s ever really been in love with me, that I feel so alienated even from my closest friends at times, more and more often lately, that for all my writings, I can’t seem to find the right words to describe a certain emptiness that I feel inside. And so looking at those smiles hurts. It hurts because I am in a place from which I can’t seem to see things getting better. I’m letting myself go a little bit more with each new day. Most day, I’m not even really sure who I am, who I’m supposed to be. I can’t seem to recall where the last three months have gone – what have I done, what have I accomplished, have I done anything remotely important at all? It doesn’t feel like I have.

I feel like I’ve been trying to become invisible for a long time now; silent in a corner, uncomfortable when people try to talk to me, panicking when they ask questions to which the answers are so disappointing. Because they expect certain things from me, and I can’t seem to follow through. And I hate letting people down, so I’d rather let others let me down and try to make myself as small as possible. Because it seems I’ll never live up to the expectations of others and the standards others have set.

See? There isn’t really a point to this post. I am unable to give myself any good advice, because I know there’s a part of me too damn exhausted and too far gone to even care for it, much less follow it.
If any of you relate to this, if any of you have gone through this and have come out stronger, I’d love to hear your advice and your stories. 

Until next time.

 

Instagram: @thewanderingwriter28

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