For as long as I can remember people have told me that I’m “anti-social” or that I’m unapproachable. While I could try to attribute some of this to RBF (resting b!tch face), in all actuality, I’m just an introvert. When in new situations or circumstances, I’m the friend who is sitting back people watching rather than engaging in the moment. I pretty have that same swag on-line /with social media. It’s rare that I go a day without logging in to see what’s being posted but I sparingly decide to join in on the sharing.
The Social Set Up
Whether you think it’s a good or a bad thing is social media is now deeply embedded into daily culture. By social media I mean those staple apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat , Youtube and whatever other new social apps that out are here (but I’m getting too old to keep up with the new new). What was once intended (at least to my understanding) for connectedness, sharing and togetherness has turned into something ugly and taunting for me.
Why you ask?
I can see my peers making power moves, just living their best life and it makes me sad. I wouldn’t call it jealousy per se because I am happy with others are exceeding. However, when I think about how my life has dramatically changed since having my MG it starts making me feel bad about myself. Those lovely pictures somehow trigger voices in my head telling me that I’ll never be able to do that.
As if having a rare disease like MG isnt hard enough, I feel even more isolated from my peers when I look at their social media lives compared to what mine would look (like if I actually posted). They are concerned with the latest Kanye tweets, and where to eat on their European vacations. A victory for me is having to take one less pill or day or making it through the week without a headache. That’s a pretty large gap. Even though I consider them my peers/friends/family our lives (social media or real) are just so different and I don’t really feel like I relate to them or vice versa.
A Bit of Perspective
While that is true that having myasthenia gravis has altered my lifestyle, one of my main objectives is to not let my diagnosis define me. But in comparing my life to the lives of my non MG peers, I’m allowing my diagnosis to be this dark cloud of doom, this vortex of limitation, this sunken place. MG affects my body but it can’t have my mind and my mood (as much as I can help it).
Sometimes the only way to tune out the noise is to disconnect. That’s exactly what I do. When I feel myself going dark, I simply delete all my social media apps from my devices. The first few days are rough because out of habit my fingers just go to the apps. After about a week or so I’m over my FOMO (fear of missing out). After three weeks I feel calm and centered.
When I feel like I’m in a stronger place, I log back in. I don’t plan on getting rid of social media permanently. (I’m not a mole person) It’s about being mentally and emotionally strong. Those empty minutes or hours spent absorbing other people’s highlight reels are now converted to finding peace with myself and my situation, focusing on my goals, my needs and things that make me happy. I’m my own hype man giving myself daily DJ Khaled pep talks… it may sound crazy but it works for me.
Am I the only one who breaks up with their social media apps from time to time?
-Morg the Anti-social