Social Media Burn Out

I feel like I go in cycles of what social media websites that I frequent. Maybe that’s just me, maybe it isn’t but here are some of my thoughts and observations.

One month I may spend hours on Pinterest scrolling through categories until I am hungry and have 30 new books to read. I pin things like crazy adding to boards that I may not look at very often. The next month however I may log into Pinterest only to get the little notification pop up next to the app to go away.

This is a common thing to happen to me on multiple sites, Tumblr is another really good example of this; there are months when I do not log in at all and some months I am on the website everyday reblogging and liking pictures that I will go back and scroll through my blog and laugh about over and over again.

YouTube is one of those rare websites that I will find myself on all the time, but what I am watching and consuming on the video sharing website can shift so drastically. Sometimes I watch daily vlogs, sometimes it’s Beauty and DIY, sometimes it’s Vine compilations because I need to laugh. I have so many people I subscribe to on YouTube but there are times when I am just not in the mood to watch their videos and other times I cannot get enough.

Twitter I can ignore for months on end, not tweeting not knowing what is going on in that space and not really letting that bother me. Facebook is the same way; I get on Facebook to merely look at those people that I know or knew in the past to see what their lives are like today.

The only difference with Facebook is that I don’t have the app on my phone anymore and I have found it to be very liberating.

I have a theory about my social media use and I wonder if it is the same way for other people. There are some days when I don’t go on social media, I am productive, I am busy, and for the most part I am happy. Then there are some days when I spend my whole day scrolling, I don’t feel those days are often but many of them are not happy days because I spend my time comparing my life to other people’s lives, why did they get more likes than me? How could I ever get to their popularity level? Why don’t I have more followers? I spend my time on social media on those day’s playing a game of “woe is me” and I hate that.

Social media burn out is a real thing in my mind, we sit and scroll looking at other people’s lives, pets, food, experiences and we sit and look at ourselves and try to figure out why that can’t be us. I could be alone in this but I have a feeling I am not. When we spend our lives online and allow that to control everything we are, everything we do, everything that we buy we don’t look at social media as being fun anymore and I would prefer my social media experience to be fun; not a chore.

Thoughts?

-MJ

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What Do I Do for Fun?

Recently people have been asking me what I do for fun and in many cases I have stumbled over my words wondering which of my various hobbies would be socially acceptable for the situation. Most people look at me like I am crazy when I say I don’t drink because that seems to be a hobby that most people find acceptable, I come from a family where alcoholism is a very real thing and I don’t want to risk another facet of my already addictive personality becoming activated. Granted, I may have one drink once in a while but I don’t go to bars, I don’t enjoy parties where other people are drunk; I don’t even like drunk Snapchats and text messages.
Like I said, normally I just stare at the person and want to start screaming, “I don’t do anything fun I am not really a fun person to be around!” Because I would rather sit in my office, on my laptop, with my headphones on crafting a world out of thin air or getting so lost in watching YouTube videos that I lose hours on end unintentionally. I like spending time to be with just me, I don’t like big social gatherings, I don’t like crowds, and I do not really like interacting with people that I don’t know or don’t know very well. Yes, I do suffer for social anxiety and I know that; some days it takes me hours to even leave the house and then hours after I get home going over every conversation that I had while I was out and overthinking every moment of human contact I had coming up with things that I could have said differently or responses to questions that I could have had instead of staring blankly trying to think of an answer.

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5 Things I Have Learned in the First Few Weeks of Being on My Own

Some days you wake up ready to take on the world, you go through them as if nothing and no one can get in your way. You are on a mission, a quest to be your best self and prove to everyone that you are strong and independent and you can do anything. There are also some days where you wake up and just want to roll over and not ever leave your bed. You are helpless, you feel like you can’t do anything and who let you become an adult; like a real adult. Seriously who authorized me being an adult? I think a mistake was made, who do I talk to about that? There are ups and downs for sure and moving and being away from everything that you know can be very overwhelming. (I know; I have had a very overwhelming feeling for about three weeks now) I digress, though I don’t want to; I have learned quite a bit out here in the real world; well in a real enough world for now.

Here are five things that I have learned in my three weeks so far of being an actual real life adult:

  1. Apartments can be terrible.

The building I live in is super nice, like beyond nice; all the amenities that you could ever want, but it has of course it’s downfalls (doesn’t every place?) I love my apartment, it’s amazing I have a balcony, I have a nice 9-foot ceilings, (high ceilings for the win) and a tub that I could fit about three people in but there are still some things that I am adjusting to living in a shared communal type space. (I lived in an apartment in college but this is a very different experience.)

  • My neighbors.
    • Now don’t get me wrong, I knew what I was signing up for when I moved into an apartment. But I didn’t know that I was signing up for walls so thin I could almost see through them. My neighbors on the other side of my office like to blare their TV and have sing-a-long’s late on all sorts of nights. Normally that wouldn’t really bug me because, well, that’s why they invented headphones but there is a limit on how much I can take because I have work I want to get done on my computer and it’s very distracting when you can hear people through the wall. The girl who lives upstairs from me walks around like she is constantly angry; I mean the girl stomps all over her apartment and okay I understand, your floor is your floor but it is also my ceiling and I understand that in turn my floor is also someone else’s ceiling and I don’t want to be a terrible upstairs neighbor so I am tip-toeing around up here trying not to bother him.
  • Parking
    • Now MJ has a designated parking spot, it’s lovely and covered and I love it. There are however, not enough spaces in the parking lot for everyone who lives here, plus guests that come and spend the night or hang out with residences. So people park in parking spots that aren’t theirs or make up their own parking spots because there is nowhere else to park. This creates a difficult objective when I am trying to get my car in and out of my spot because someone is parked very close to my car in a spot that they have created for themselves. This all just seems to be poor planning on the part of the person or people who designed the complex.
  1. I don’t like being alone as much as I thought I did. (Or Solitude is not for everyone.)

If you know me in real life, (I am not as cool as I think I am so you aren’t missing much if you don’t actually know me) then you probably know how much I like to be alone. I am an introvert and I have no problem with being by myself most of the time. I can handle about an hour or two of large scale social interaction before I want to crawl out of my skin and leave, but living by myself 700 miles away from everything I know has been an adjustment. Granted it’s not like I will be permanently alone but for the moment I am and I am realizing that I don’t like the solitude as much as I thought I would. Sometimes you crave human connections and even if that is talking to someone at the check-out in the grocery store or smiling when someone is nice to you it’s still something that every human needs. I have found myself wanting to be in the sunshine more, I want to be outside; maybe not with people but somewhere green and inviting, still quiet, still solitary but also surrounded by things that are living. I got plants because I was going stir crazy, I have even named them because someone told me to talk to my plants and I figured a name would be nice too, if you want to see them you can on my Instagram. I desperately miss my pets, but I cannot feasibly have a dog yet even though I really want one to keep me company, sit on my lap and bark at the neighbor’s dogs; it would be grand.

  1. Get to know the area around you.

I am from a small town in Indiana, I moved to a slightly larger town in Arkansas, if you want to know where Wal-Mart’s headquarters is I could about throw a rock to it. I feel like I am living in the Wal-Mart capital of the world (I probably am) but I have been taking time to venture out and learn my surroundings. Even if that means taking a drive to the grocery store and taking a different way home, getting desperately lost, and having to beg Siri to get me home. That’s one thing that I cannot stress enough moving to a new place; learn your surroundings. If you like certain things see where they are, you like hot yoga find the nearest studio, you like fresh pressed juices find the nearest juice bar, you really like cultural events and museums find some locally. Do yourself a favor and find the things that you like; it will save your sanity in the end. If you like to be around a lot of people find places where you can do that or make friends with your neighbors. (Awkwardly my parents know all of my neighbors, I have met like one and a half of my neighbors.) Acclimate yourself to everything around you because unless you moved for a job or university there is a good chance you are going to be sticking around for a while.

  1. Find a routine that works for you.

When I get anxious I make lists, I organize to the point of disorganization, I get overwhelmed easily and I can make a mountain out of a mole hill rather easily. I spend a lot of my time full of anxiety for various reasons but I have found that I can make a routine that works for me and I don’t drive myself absolutely bonkers. I also write, I would like to publish eventually but I have found that allowing myself to write and to find time to do that helps with everything else around me. Not everyone wakes up at the crack of dawn and goes for a run. (If you do I admire your dedication.) Some people stay up late and play video games or make videos on the internet which I do, you can find that link here . Find something that helps you get out of bed in the morning or keeps your sanity because I can promise everyone who moves they experience that momentary panic of “what do I do now that I am living my life surrounded by boxes?” or my personal favorite, “Where is that thing that I need?” and in my case the answer many times has been, “Oh it’s still at my parent’s house in Indiana, great.” And I have to make another list of things that I still need.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Find things that you enjoy to do. Make yourself learn new things every day, give yourself new experiences whenever you can. Live the life that makes you look back one day and say “Wow, I did that. Look at all of the things that I did.” I don’t want to look back with regret for the what if’s, the why didn’t I’s, the where would I be today’s. I don’t want any of those things to haunt me somewhere down the line. Sometimes things get in the way of your plans, that’s life and sometimes it’s complicated and strange but it always finds a way of working itself out, everything comes out in the wash so to speak. Take time to make yourself happy before trying to make anyone else happy, because if you aren’t happy with your life and your choices than what is the point?

-MJ