Why do people feel the need to make a statement before bailing on social media?
Ex: "I'll be deleting/deactivating my Facebook account soon.... blah blah blah... "
I would like to speculate that it's because they are hoping, maybe desperately, that their parting has an impact on the lives of those they're leaving behind. And the reality is that they *are* leaving people behind. Passive relationships that only exist on social media, sure. Very few relationships will make the leap back into the real world, and for a lot of people that can cause depression and anxiety. Or rather, compound the depression and anxiety they're already feeling.
Of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of people you *know* online, how many of them do you interact with in person?
Anyway... You can already see where I'm headed with this.
I've made a personal decision to delete my online social presence. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Pages and groups that are attached to all of the above. People I've met along the way. People that have made a profound impact on my life. Groups that have lifted me up when I felt like falling apart.
I don't think the reason matters a whole lot. I'm currently contemplating my own insignificance in the world. The world, our world, that is very much on fire.
This hurts me in ways I'm having a hard time articulating. I've built a career and a persona online. I have been @AuthorAlyse for several years now. I was gaining momentum, meeting new people, having fantastic interactions, exploring exciting opportunities, sharing my message and the books I've been writing. Social media has been my life, my career, my world. To just hit "delete"...
I'm essentially throwing it all away.
Not only am I throwing my career in the trash by hitting the delete button, but I'm also permanently severing ties with communities I've become part of over the years, both in real life, and online.
Is this really something to take lightly?
Do I have a moral or ethical obligation to say something to the people, and communities that I'm vanishing from? For myself, or for them?
I don't have answers.
What I do have are insecurities, depression, and anxiety.
This pandemic has messed up a lot of plans for a lot of people. Ruined careers, ruined lives, ruined national/international/local economies.
Social media has changed since the pandemic started. A couple of days ago I scrolled through my own timeline to see what the difference was in only a few months time. It was astounding! How we all handled it with memes and such in the beginning, and then you can see the points of literal divide over masks, racism, parents vs. non parents, suicide, death rates... etc. The list is ever expanding. But what I saw was that it was all funny, until it really wasn't. Even when we are trying to joke about it now, whatever piece of the world you're looking at, you're offending someone, and it's really not funny anymore.
The joke is over.
Lives have ended.
The problem has grown, not become better.
I've personally lost hope in humanity, and in our nation.
I need some space. Some very serious space.
My career ended. Whether I want to acknowledge that or not, it ended. What I was doing and striving for is over for me. Whether it's my own fault, or the pandemic's fault, it's just over.
My social media presence no longer works for my new reality. The one where I have to face the fact that I'll be homeschooling my kids, and make a new life for myself while we all try to adjust to the new world we live in.
I think it was the CEO of Disney who just said "this is the world we live in now, we have to adjust accordingly".
Whether that means making the decision to try to reopen your business, whether it be small or large, digital or otherwise, or shut down all together.
I have to shut down and move on. I have to face that reality.
My sanity can not handle this anymore. I can't handle how angry I get when I open my social media pages and see the myriad of shit everyone is posting. The passive aggressive attacks on human nature. The fully aggressive attacks.
And with my anger, I'm becoming part of the problem.
There was a day, before this shit happened, when speaking out against Big Pharma and all of those issues we were facing in the world mattered. Where taking a stand for myself mattered. Where my voice mattered to those dealing with the same issues I've faced my whole life. Actually, it all still matters, but in addition to all of those problems we are now globally facing the real systemic issues, and it's overwhelming, and maddening.
I could easily lose myself in the problems of the world. I have, even. I've spent years dedicating my life to right the wrongs that were done to my dead family, and the future I had to give up because of what happened to them and me as a result.
You read my memoir.
I've spent so much of my time being angry, sad, depressed, anxious, crying, not sleeping, becoming an alcoholic, having to explain that to my thirteen year old, trying to pick up my own pieces, doing it really badly, being in and out of therapy, questioning my sanity, my humility, wondering about my personal worth, wondering if anyone truly cares about me or my family, wondering how long I'll live, how long my family will live, and generally living in fear of all of the above. I have fears of driving into Portland to pick up fabric for projects that keep my mind at bay. Worried about riots, worried about not being political enough, or being too political, worried about ruining relationships to good people because of opinions over this or that. Living in contradiction over how nice I can be, and how angry and fed up I am.
Social media feeds all of that. It is the fuel burning my internal fire, and I can't stand it anymore!
I'm burning alive!
I've spent some time de-cluttering my life. Real, and digital. Removing subscription services, and reevaluating my life and my decisions for myself and my family. Having good and bad discussions about it all, and coming to conclusions.
Ultimately I've always wanted to be surrounded by good people. Love and be loved in return. Connection has been everything to me. That's no less true following everything I've said, which is why I come here now to share with you my reasons for deleting the drug of social media in my life, starting over, and helping my children and myself have a better future. I hope that those of you who love us and want to continue being part of our lives will reach out through phone calls/text/email knowing that we will not be online in the new world that was created via social media. I'm shy and insecure, so I won't know who all of you are who feel the need or the value of staying connected, but I'm not truly gone if you do.
The exciting news that I've debated sharing with the public is that I've decided (pre-pandemic) that I'm going to college finally. When the pandemic began and I had to become a full-time mom again, I didn't know if it was wise. I didn't know if my better half would be able to keep his job. Things were up in the air, and time was restricted, schedules changed multiple times, and I was super unsure about it all, and super depressed as a result of everything happening in my personal life. On Monday this week, however, I sat down to have a call with an advisor and talk about my options. I had already done most of the work to enroll in the local college, do the placement testing, orientation, and familiarize myself. At least there's that. A big silver lining. The last step was making a plan for classes and a big huge goal of finally getting a degree. A dream I've only ever dared to dream about and never acted on. You all know how excited I was to get that ball rolling, and when I thought that opportunity had gone along with everything else due to the pandemic, I was devastated. Again. Losing myself so deeply I truly didn't know how to continue. Why has it mattered so much to me? I've had to cry and wonder to myself, and reflect on the question, talk to a therapist, and really understand my own value for myself.
And that's just it...
Whether the world values me or not, I have to find my own value. My own worth. With the support of good people in my life, of course.
I have to start over. Or die trying.
I've done so much with my life that was all so passive and unimportant, or I've tried to force the value for myself and for others because I never felt like it was really worth much or going anywhere because it was all I could get from life and the opportunities I've had. It was never what I really wanted.
There's a lot to explain. It could be another book, but I'm done trying to prove myself to myself or to anyone else.
I'm lost, I'm confused, I'm depressed, and I have to find a way to take care of myself and my children in a world that does not make the least amount of sense to me, and see if we can still manage to have a future.
If the only place you ever see me is on social media, then I guess I'm saying goodbye.
If not, then I hope to see your beautiful face someday soon when the world makes a little more sense, and we can talk about all the bad and all the good that has come from this weird and devastating time in our lives. What a crazy time to be alive.
This website/blog will also be gone come March 2021. When my subscription to Wix ends. I won't be updating it. My book Raised By Narcotics will always be available on Amazon.
It really is a good thing for me to finally put this all behind me and focus on myself for the first time ever. My own dreams that have nothing to do with my dead family, and the guilt, regret, shame, vengeance... etc that I've felt as a result of their deaths due to the opioid epidemic and greed of humanity.
This is maybe the best thing that can come from all of this in my personal life. I can live, for the sake of living my own life without being weighed down by it all.
We will each have our own unique struggles due to the state of the world. I hope that in your struggles you can find your silver linings, support, and a future you're proud to work toward.
Love you guys.