What I’ve learnt about social media

My journey towards finding social media contentment has been a twisty ride of one day pressing my foot firmly on the gas, then the next pulling up – exhausted and unhappy – in a lay-by.

I realise now that the problem wasn’t the route I was taking or the speed I was driving: I was simply travelling in the wrong vehicle.

Because there’s a big difference between a campervan and a caravan.

For a time, social media was my whole socialising world, my sole port of call whenever I was lonely, bored or depressed. As an introvert with a limited capacity for connection, those detached, sunny friendships suited me just fine.

Only social media can’t replace real life connection: that campervan just can’t become your whole world.

I needed to trade the camper for a caravan: a colourful, fun little thing that I could pull happily along behind the car of my real life. A cute place that I could dip into for the odd break: a place of positivity and life-affirming interactions.

Because the real me craved eyes that saw the discarded crisp packets and parking tickets and still loved me.

I craved hands that were happy to cradle flasks of steaming tea and listen as I shared vulnerable, messy stuff.

Hearts that saw past my cheery updates and asked how I was really doing, riding up front here in the car.

23 thoughts on “What I’ve learnt about social media

  1. 💕💕💕 oh I missed you so on instagram! I have thought of you often over the past months (in a completely non-creepy way of course! 😂) and hoped you were doing well. I am so excited to read all these blog posts now. And as a fellow introvert, I relate quite a bit too what you’re saying. Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May I be honest? I’ll be gentle, I promise. I’m one of the real people, sharing my real name, my real pictures, my real life. I LOVE Instagram and I visit it everyday, several times a day, at designated times.
    I know social media has been tricky for you and I don’t want to contribute to your anxiety. I want you to stay and contribute at whatever level you like. That being said, I don’t comment sometimes, even when I want to, because I fear you might feel obligated to respond and that’ll push you over your happy social media time.
    I’ve followed you on Instagram and have stayed in touch on your blog. So you had 2 people who did that. (I know you weren’t counting me as the one you mentioned above because I was adoring your work from afar. LOL)
    Another point, because of the nature of “internet friends” you never really know how far is too far, right? If you suspect someone is going through a rough patch, do you inquire or do you back off? I’m a bit on the introvert side and I’ll leave it alone and not take the chance of you telling me to mind my own business. But I really do care. You’re our “Lady who lives on an Island.”
    That’s my 2 cents. I’m happy to know you, Mrs. Fish!

    Tina J.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, another gorgeous comment! You’re a star, Tina.

      I like the points you make – that idea of not wanting to push someone over their ‘happy limit’ had never occurred to me and is so thoughtful.

      Oh, and I hope you feel you can always be honest! 🙂

      You guys have been lovely at staying in touch, commenting and liking. It makes blogging worthwhile to form such a fab little community!

      I hope you guys know that it was you lot I was gushing over in my Q&A video 🙂 xxx

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Tina & Ginny, just to add – I’ve edited the post to remove that first chunk as I fear it was being misunderstood. The very last thing I would want to do is offend anyone and I do apologise wholeheartedly if my original post sounded rude. Sending you both so much love! xxx

      Like

  3. Ginny Callahan

    I’m sorry, I worried that if I sent you emails, you would have answered not because you wanted but because you’re you & you are just really too nice to hurt anyone feelings. I thought about you & your little family often. I miss you terribly when you’re not posting anywhere on line. I hope you can find your niche where you feel comfortable on. You can count me a true caring friend

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, this is so nice of you, thank you ever so much Ginny!

      I didn’t intend to make anyone feel bad in my post; it was more an observation that what we sometimes count as meaningful online might not end up being quite so solid when push comes to shove.

      Of course, emailing is a completely different beast to the ease of checking in with folks on Instagram; and we’re all living very busy lives!

      I think often friendship is a case of someone else feeling they might have a vacancy too – and when you get that ‘match’ of willingness, that’s a lovely thing.

      When I was filling my life exclusively with virtual friendships, I didn’t have any energy left for real life ones, so needed to address that.

      You’re a real gem Ginny and I’m truly thankful for all the friends I have like you in my world. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, brave you, Suzi! Seriously, it’s a huge step to come off entirely. How have you found it? Any regrets, withdrawal type stuff?

      But massive well done. I think when we know we’re done with a platform, it’s a great idea to end things properly.

      I don’t miss facebook per se, but I do miss existing there, if that makes sense. It’s a little like destroying the virtual you and that felt weird to me, as if I’d taken away my voice. Which, I guess, I had! 😉

      Thanks for commenting, lovely! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Diane Buchkoski

    Hey Suse. No worries. Just letting you know it was easier to comment on Instagram than WordPress for me. It took more time to get into. anyhow I too thought of you often. But glad you’re back on Instagram. You have like minded scrappy friends who are introverts too (me for one) and I enjoy you so much. God bless sweet Suse💙

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Julia Schüler

    Dear Suse,

    that is a hard one for you to tell and for me to read. But it is true. I just can say: In this whole world wide social media thing I am a shy person. I don’t want that every person can read my thoughts but I do like to read your thoughts on life. I know that this is not fair and totally unbalanced. Especially because you give me so much to think about and finding my way to a blanced real life and social media life, or actually quitting that last thing.
    And I am not pushy – so when you say, that you quit social media it never occured to me that you would like to still have a feedback. That was thoughtless from me and I am sorry for beeing a reader and having never committed to a true exchange (as far you can go for two people who never met – you know what I mean).
    I am here and I do want to give my feedback. In fact I always reply directly to your posts in my head. My answer is always there but unfortunately not on your comment section. It’s not lazyness what keeps me from doing so, it is ironically just the wish for talking to a true friend about that just now and not sharing my thoughts with the WWW.
    Just be assured that I am reading, listening, pondering about little life facts and scrapping along with you and your beautifully selfmade kits.
    If you would like to answer and start a real conversation about life lets do this.

    I will try to be a better reader!
    Thank you Suse

    PS: You don’t have to publish this comment but I don’t object if you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah Julia… thank you *so* much for this message.

      You are so kind and gracious… unbelievably so! And I am so grateful for that.

      I didn’t intend to ‘get’ at anyone at all with my original post… in fact, I think I made a mistake here that I will absolutely learn from and that is that I wrote as a blogger and not a friend.

      I had an observation on instagram and the nature of internet friendships that I felt was rare (being one who was very much involved, then leaving) and I thought it was an interesting observation from a social perspective.

      What I failed to consider were the feelings of the people who took my writing to be about them, when it actually wasn’t.

      But thank you for being willing to be my friend! You have been a beautiful presence in my online life and I am delighted to have you ride up front in the car with me 🙂

      Sending so much love! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Julia Schüler

    Dear Suse,

    me, Julia, again. Just to make it clear: I don’t feel offended by your message. So please don’t worry or overthink your action. You are just honest and you have every right to say what you feel. – By the way, I think that it is very brave to do so! – I just had a bad conscience for taking what you give – a very healthy perspective on life, beautifully wrapped – and not giving anything back. And it was overdue to give my appreciation, actually written down and not only in my head.

    So thank you for bringing me out of my shell. It was necessary!

    Have a wonderful day,
    Julia

    PS Yes, this comment can totally be published!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ginny Callahan

    I wasn’t offended. I was sorry that I wasn’t a better friend. I agree with Julia & appreciate how honest you are. Your blog fills an empty spot in my life. I moved almost 1000 miles from my family & friends. I have new friends but they do not understand my need to create, I thought about you often & even commented to my husband that I wondered what you were up to. I take so much inspiration from you & I find your posts often are just what I need & I was giving nothing back. Online friendships are often difficult. I have an online friend(for years) whose mother was critically ill & not expected to survive. She reached out online & all I could do was send her a message. What I wanted to do was hug her & just sit & hold her hand. I guess what I’m saying is we are an online community & we need to nurture each other just as we would our real life friends. I think you are a special lady who God has given great talent & ability to bring people together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Ginny. What a dear hearted lady you are. I am so sorry about your friend… but she was so blessed to have you there, albeit with virtual hugs – that support must have really helped keep her afloat and I bet she knew your loving heart behind it.

      I am so touched to hear the role my blog plays… touched and stunned. It makes me realise that what for me is a fun little place to share myself and my world, might be more than just that. Thank you so much for that encouragement, it means an awful lot.

      We have such a beautiful little community over here and I’m forever grateful for all the little chats and comments that pass between us all… it’s those little things that make life truly meaningful and pleasurable.

      Thank you for commenting, dear friend. You have a really great weekend – love you xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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