I got to thinking the other day about why I’ve had so much trouble gaining traction on social media.
The conclusion – I’m absolutely, without a shadow of doubt afraid of social media.
Sharing my thoughts, my day, my process – nope. Don’t want to do it.
Now, why do I care so much about social media? Well, that’s how I meet new people who may need assistance.
I’m going to be completely honest. The amount of anxiety social media creates for me can be a bit overwhelming. But I realized what my problem is, and I know that many of you can relate to these things.
Social Media Is High School All Over Again
Social media is like high school to me.
It’s the place where I spent some of the most traumatizing portions of my life. But there are 4 main reasons why I feel like I’m back in high school again.
Stand Up, Stand Out
It’s the place where the popular, or not so popular, people stand out. Everyone is drawn to them for one reason or another. Whether popular or not those people live in infamy. Easily remembered.
Let me be clear, I was not popular in high school. I was more unpopular for reasons that are absolutely embarrassing in my adult life. One of those things is being a teen mom.
At the time, I was a proud mom, as proud as a 15-year-old can be. But now, I see the magnitude of being pregnant in high school and that reality still bothers me.
Adults and kids alike admonished me with their eyes, many of whom stopped speaking to me.
I know you’re saying, “Trina, what does being pregnant in high school have to do with your fear of social media”.
As a personal brand, I always worry about how the world sees me. Many of the people who I’m friends with on Facebook or who follow me know me in real life.
The knowledge that I decided something which altered the course of my life the way it did leaves me with anxiety.
Being on social media I think of what people will say about the stances I have and stories I tell. Will they remember me as that girl who got pregnant in high school?
I know, it’s weird. But it’s a real thing.
Watch What You Say
It’s the place where if you say anything a little to the left, people will bash you. Everyone has an opinion, but some opinions aren’t received very well.
In high school, I had a tendency of saying things that rubbed people the wrong way. I mean, seriously dude, I had a mouth and a foul one at that.
I also lived in an era where little girls are best seen and not heard.
Saying things that little girls shouldn’t say was my superpower. But I wasn’t looked upon as a hero. I was more a villain, to be honest.
You can imagine how self-conscious I am about saying anything on social media. It was not fun being a snarky kid who got side glances anytime she opened her mouth.
While my vocabulary isn’t as colorful now, I am still very sarcastic which seems to get lost in translation. This makes it difficult for me to talk about certain topics because I still remember being that girl with the villainous tongue.
What do I say without causing drama…?
Everyone Knows It
Anything you do and/say is public record. Even when you think you’re being “private”, somehow someone always finds out.
Like most kids, I had people I talked to and those I did not. I belonged to only 2 groups – the musicians and student government. I also tended to hang with the upperclassman. Not many, but a few.
My high school was small, only about 400 in total. But the school is K-12 so there were levels to it – elementary, middle, and high school all wrapped in one. No matter what, it was guaranteed if you told someone something someway, somehow everyone ended up knowing.
And it wouldn’t be the most obvious reason. One time someone’s younger sister overheard a conversation. Then told her friend who was the sister of another high schooler. The next day, everyone knew what had happened and it was not a happy feeling.
Dreaded was the moment when someone exposes something you thought only a few knew.
That’s why it’s part of the fear. There’s a lot about me I’m not proud of and the moment I start talking about my past it gives me anxiety. Kids don’t see the lesson; they only see the mistake.
Anyone at any time can choose to ignore you. People can make you feel invisible.
There were moments in high school where I felt like no one could see me. It was a very sad time and I made some tough choices due to my loneliness.
It was worse for me in the 12th grade when high school becomes easier for everyone else. I struggled so much, I barely attended school other than to get marked present. It was so bad I had to attend summer school for the first time while other kids were getting ready for college.
I wished I was popular for my brains or my beauty or something to get the validation I so desperately needed at the time. But I wasn’t.
So, when I take the time to post something thoughtful the sting of being ignored comes into play. Will anyone notice?
The Reality of the Situation
That’s a lot of insecurity wrapped up into one, but these thoughts don’t serve me. They may be real feelings but they’re invalid ways of thinking.
Social media can seem like high school for many people but that doesn’t mean we have to go back there mentally or emotionally. And if you’re anything like me, you know there’s more to you than your past insecurities.
The whole point is my fears from my past jump out at me but I’m not that unpopular, snarky, vulgar-mouthed, invisible kid.
Am I going to allow what happened 20 years ago decide whether I make an impact or not?
I’m scared of social media, but it can be a friend.
And if you’re anything like me, I know how hard it is to put yourself out there. You may not have memories of high school like I do, but you do get a bit scared.
I’m here to tell you it’s okay. I struggle just like you, but I choose to keep posting no matter how fearful I am. As long as you believe in what you’re putting forth, no amount of fear or anxiety can get in your way.
You just gotta stop whining and start writing!
Has there been a time when social media rubbed you the wrong way? Were you ever afraid to post? How did you handle it? Comment below to join the conversation.