My Social Media Dilemma

I first discovered social media in 5th grade when all the cool kids started talking about this thing call 'FarmVille' which was apparently so much fun. Naturally, I had to get a Facebook so I could play too.

By the time I got an iPhone for my birthday three years later, I was addicted to checking notifications.

If someone likes my tweet, I'll open my phone and read it again. If someone snaps me, I'll unlock my phone open it. If I see that there's a notification for a Snapchat or Instagram story, I'll watch it (or click through it). It feels like it controls me sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the positives to social media. I really do. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. have changed the world as we know it (and see it), but I often find myself frustrated. Not only by the amount of time I seemingly waste scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, but caring about how I'm presenting myself. Caring about how people will perceive me.

I know I'm not alone on any of these, but I'll wear more makeup to events I know I'll be taking pictures at. I will crop out my legs if they look large. I'll spend 15 minutes editing a picture just to decide to not post it. I'll even take sixty pictures just to post one.

When I'm on social media, I feel simultaneously connected and disconnected from the world. Connected with my friends online, disconnected with the world around me. I feel like I'm missing out if I'm not on, but judged if I am. I feel bad when I haven't posted in a while, but worse if I post too much. I feel like I'll never find that happy medium.

I'll never know why I follow celebrities I don't actually care about and I'll always question whether or not I should still follow people who have made me feel like I'm not good enough for them.

I hate social media because my character is questioned when I don't follow someone back, even when I don't know them. I hate it because it makes me feel like shit if I haven't gotten enough likes, but worse if I have with no comments. I hate that I'll check to see if specific people liked a picture. I hate that I care if people don't like my pictures as often as I like theirs and I hate not knowing whether or not I should respond to everyone who comments or replies to something I post.

I hate texting my friends for caption advice and how often I think about changing my bio when it's fine already. I hate asking "Is that funny enough to tweet?" and "Can you go like my new status?"

I'm ashamed how much drama I've witnessed on Twitter and how many hours I've scrolled through pictures of people I don't know. I'm ashamed I will always be unsatisfied with my follower:following ratio.

I hate that I know exactly which pictures were my first instagrams to hit 200, 300, 400 and 500.

There's a large part of me that loves social media for giving me a medium to express myself, but I don't even know if my platforms even represent who I am.

But I guess the thing I hate most is the fact that the second I log back in after a week hiatus, I realize I didn’t miss it at all and wished I never logged back in.

I guess I'll always be stuck.

Lizzie Bromley