I quit all social media last week after suffering from what my wife is calling a “nervous breakdown” and a return to heavily manic depressive states, much of it due to a new business venture I’m starting. The breakdown caused me to become reclusive from everyone, which included canceling all social media, and by accident stumbled upon a “me” that I haven’t felt in a long time. The “me” I’ve missed ever so dearly.
It’s only been a few weeks, but the affects of not having social media in my life has created an interesting chemical reaction in my brain, so much so, that my brain is feeling things, feeling chemicals and feelings that I haven’t felt since I was a child. I suffered from Aspbergers syndrome as a child (only recently diagnosed) so among many things, I’m very sensitive and hyper-aware of all things happening around me (mostly in the negative), including how chemicals mixing in my brain conjur feelings in me that I admit often have no logical source or explanation.
I’ve read a few articles lately about how social media in some personality types creates a perfect storm for psychosis. People who suffer from psychosis, mild or otherwise, are often delusional about the actual reality of interactions with others, creating a false sense of assumption about how others feel about you, and how you feel about others. If you want to read more about it, see here: http://cnet.co/18l46aa
Seeing as how I haven’t been without social media since I was in high-school, going back to MySpace, it’s interesting to experience a break.
Today, I’ve felt inspired in a way that I haven’t felt since lying in bed as a child, enamored with my imagination and thoughts, so much so, that it would lock my full attention from the outside world for hours on end, animals and objects personified from dried spackle on my wall, to name one.
If you know me, or you’ve found yourself here from an online search, understand this about me: I’m a creative person, or at least I was, with clarity and drive of focus for interesting and unique things in art and entertainment. It’s been a long road to where I am now. Needless to say, I’ve struggled finding the source of inspiration I had as a child, the source of inspiration that slowly started leaving me from adolescence.
That being said, social media endows a sense of interesting in people, a sense that I must be interesting, that I must create or share things that lead to others following you. In other words, it makes a person try to be something that they wouldn’t otherwise naturally be, IRL, to a greater lesser extent. And through that, the constant desire/fear that comes from sharing one’s life creates the reality that one’s life isn’t that interesting to begin with, thus a person must go out of their way to seek ways to make their life interesting. I believe it’s from this subconcious desire/fear that can drive certain individuals to feeling elements of psychosis.
The desire to be what people want will have you trying (to be effortful) to be something you are not, in order to feel unique. The feeling of uniqueness then becomes tied to being a level of interesting that is unnatural. However, this unnatural feeling of being something you’re not tied to uniqueness is what creates these feelings. This obviously doesn’t occur in everyone, as some individuals are obviously like this naturally, most are not.
The feelings I’m feeling can be described by a lack of feeling that people are watching me, or judging me, or that “relationships” realized on social media are nothing but voyeuristic and empty, yet as humans we apply greater meaning to these interactions. Much like how email and text are often interpreted by the receiver, often accompanied by “smilies” to ensure even the most awesome saying, the meaning of “I love you.” vs “I love you :)” isn’t interpreted negatively.
That all being said, the realization that the people who I am friends with online, my “social media friends…” aren’t my friends at all, even those “close friends” that I thought were my friends, aren’t my friends either. The fact is, I quit Facebook, and only one person has noticed, and reached out to me to make sure I’m doing alright. That small gesture has made me realize what a friend is, and what a friend isn’t. I suppose through all of this social media-ness, I’ve forgotten what a real friend is.
Furthermore, to the point of what I was saying earlier, that even now, as I’m writing, I don’t care if anyone reads this, as it’s here more to be helpful if anyone else needs it. The lack of feeling like asking yourself “will this be interesting” is now lost on me. I just want to be me, and have no one else notice, and find meaning in that.