This is Why I Suck at Social Media | Blog

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Social media interaction is the first thing to fall by the wayside when I’m depressed. Long story short, it’s because I hate myself so passionately that it’s almost funny.

My self-esteem tends to be pretty low on a regular basis, but when depression takes hold it gets even worse; I find myself hating everything about myself and tearing myself down in every possible way. My appearance, my personality, my ability to write – everything about me sucks. I’m the real life Britta from Community – I’m the worst.

Britta: I'm the worstI then develop this impulse to withdraw from the world because I feel like I have nothing of value to offer it, and that I will only embarrass myself if I try to prove that I do.

When I’m in this state of mind, interacting with anybody is hard. However, interacting with near-strangers – people who I only know via online communities like Twitter and WordPress – is even tougher. That’s because I feel like these folks don’t know me well enough to remember that I might have some mildly redeeming features that could excuse a dumb thing I say or an unfunny one-liner or a joke that falls flat. I’m scared of looking as stupid as I feel.

I joined the writing community on Twitter in August last year, and yet I’ve never really quite felt like I’m a part of it. I kind of float around the outside, like that weird new kid that tags along when nobody has actually invited them.

That’s my own fault. I don’t interact properly. I’ll like and share Tweets, but I’ll rarely reply to them because I feel like what I have to say isn’t worthy enough of someone’s time. If people respond to my own tweets, I get too scared to reply in case I say something idiotic or don’t say something interesting enough.

It’s a similar situation here on WordPress; I’ve avoided interactions because I don’t feel like I’m good enough to justify wasting the time of whoever has to read my comment. And don’t even get me started on Instagram; I’m so unfamiliar with that platform that the thought of attempting to get involved in the writing community there breaks me out in a cold sweat.

I’m only holding myself back in the process, though. I’m missing out on making connections with wonderful writers. And that makes me really sad.

I don’t think there’s a simple solution that will stop me caring about what others think of me, or stop me thinking the worst of myself. All I can do is ignore those nagging, self-deprecating thoughts, suck it up, and try to connect with others, even if I genuinely am the worst. So that’s what I’ll try to do from here on out.

And I promise I’ll get a mildly useful and insightful writing-related blog up next Sunday! May just happened to be a bit of a self-pitying month. Ugh, I really am the worst.

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance copywriter and fiction writer from Sheffield, UK. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Short Story Competition and published her first book, 'Merry Bloody Christmas: A Short Story Collection'. You can often find her hanging out on Twitter (@itsemscott), Instagram (@tinysillystories) and Medium (@elliemaryscott), or hibernating on her sofa with a book and a very large glass of gin.

14 thoughts on “This is Why I Suck at Social Media | Blog”

  1. Hey Ellie, thanks for being so honest and articulate about this. I go through the exact same thought routines myself so it’s great to know I’m not alone! It does feel very limiting though. Should I just face the fear and get back on Twitter?

    1. It’s so good to hear I’m not the only one.
      I’m planning to start posting on Twitter again soon after a short break so I’m gonna go ahead and say yes, you should totally face that fear too! I think that’s the only way to try to deal with it, anyway. Maybe if we tweet 25 times a day we’ll eventually become numb to the crippling fear?!

    1. I have, and while it’s something I struggle with because I’m shy, I think I find it easier in real life. Perhaps it’s because I can see their faces and how they respond to me – it’s not quite the same dynamic on social media!

      1. I sort of guessed it already about you. Who’d not love to have an honest friend like you? Imho social media is fake and I use it only for business pulrposes. Pls keep a healthy distance from it.

  2. If you don’t mind, here’s a bit of my own experience: When I first started blogging and engaging in social media years ago, I was in the same predicament as you, greatly worried that I would say or do the wrong thing. My anxiety would spike every time I hit the “submit” button, and it would stay high for hours or days after . (I should also point out that I am extremely shy and I had my own battles with self-esteem in my younger years.)

    But over time, things improved greatly. The big driver behind that? I finally learned to stop worrying what others would think and just trusted in what I was writing and what I was saying. And when I did that, I started finding my audience, my kindred spirits. (This happened slowly, but it DID happen.) There are a lot of “fluff” people on social media who are only interested in numbers and not context, and you just have to not worry about them. If you are true to yourself, that truth will lead people to you as well as lead you to others.

    You may have noticed that I follow your blog rather faithfully (I do fade out from time to time because, well, life), because you have some terrific pieces and I enjoy reading them. The good folks need to find you. And part of that finding process means that you have to go out on a limb here and there, spending just as much time on the “networking” side of things as you do on the writing side. Make comments when you feel like it, use the WordPress Reader and search on tags that you’re interested in so you can explore new writers and, this might be the most important, try to visit the page of everyone who clicks “like” on your posts, every time they do so.

    You may not care for what you find on their page, and you shouldn’t give them a “courtesy” like if you really DON’T like it. But at least visit. You’ll be surprised how often these little visits can turn into enjoyable relationships that benefit both of you, especially if you leave comments on the pieces you really enjoyed. And the more you step out of your comfort zone, the easier the stepping becomes.

    Now, I know all of this sounds a little preachy, and I suppose it is. But I’ve been where you are, and it wasn’t until somebody said some of these same words to me (and I took their advice) that my blogs and my writing finally started to get some traction. And my enjoyment of the experience increased tremendously. Because this bottom line is true: If you trust in yourself and BE yourself, the right people will find and appreciate your work.

    Best of luck.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I will definitely take this advice to heart. Sometimes the networking thing feels so futile (and stressful) but you’re right – it is just as important as writing and it’s good to hear that it will get easier with time. Thank you 🙂

  3. The polite name is ‘bipolar.’ HA! The effing disorder is really ‘Manic Depression.’ I know the mountain, both sides, the up, the down. It is my weakness, my strength and my weapon of choice when called upon. Chin up! Thanks for the honesty and your bravery!

    1. I’ve never been diagnosed with anything other than just multiple individual periods of clinical depression. Doctors don’t seem too fussed when I tell them I’m up and down like a yoyo but there’s definitely non-stop peaks and troughs. Good to hear it can be used as a strength. It makes life more interesting, I suppose! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. For what it’s worth I enjoy reading your sharp writing. I’ve never been on any Twitter writing pages, but I’m on a few Facebook ones and some of the drama that happens on them is story within itself. And some of the questions that people post of them are just inane, and they receive an avalanche of equally inane comments! But I digress. At least you’re calling out the problem and not letting it fester, and that’s the first step. All the best!

    1. Thanks! I agree, sometimes social media just results in a lot of unnecessary drama, I’ve seen a fair amount on Twitter and just don’t understand how it all blows up. It’s easier to just keep out of it! Thanks for reading 🙂

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