As I search for my identity through the debris of my past, looking for a topic to write about, an old friend taps me on the shoulder, Mr. Social Media – I’ve named him Mr.Facecrack. One that I’d placed firmly in the ‘Not to be socialised with again until my children are twenty’ box. I can’t ignore him though, if he’s not tapping me on the shoulder, he’s trying to poke me, which quite honestly, is not what I want. Reading through the virtual rubbish piles, piled high with teetering claims of over-achievement, I’m here fingering ripped Rizlas and discarded addictions. I have to acknowledge my heart picks up speed when I hear that familiar beep of new approval. Face-crack is at my door, he follows me around asking me to come out and play, ‘Who do you want to be today?’ circling my thoughts when I’d rather be writing a script or swimming in a healthy, full bodied way. He’s always there offering me a line that could temptingly change the reality I live in right now:-
‘Planning on shaving my hair off and running away to Nepal. If I get 1000 likes, I’m off.’
As a woman who is true to her word, once the die is cast and the words are written, I certainly can’t turn back. I’m only allowed one sneaky edit and even that is traceable, trackable, lines in the skin for all to see.
It’s a pure and intense hit for my ego to have a photo of myself, liked and shared and commented on, I don’t have to go out, or get on a stage for a sense of audience approval. It’s been scientifically proven my brain, along with everyone else’s gives a little boost of dopamine when we receive positive attention from our social media addiction centres.
I’m all good, know who I am and where I’m heading, until the buzz runs out and I start scouring the site for what else is out there. More popular people, with prettier dresses, single people with more freedom, married people with family photos where everyone is smiling. It’s too much, nothing can fix the come down that is triggered, when I click through the lives I’m not living. I am obviously aware of false advertising but my brain is full of suggestions from other people, intertwined in their own desires and complaints.
I remind myself that I can just say no. Been there done that. Mr. Facecrack, much as I enjoy your services, I am choosing to get my kicks elsewhere.