I Love Social Media, But It Makes Me Hyperventilate

I have been swimming in the social media space for a couple of months now, but there are times when I feel great anxiety about proper netiquette. Like, “hand me a brown paper bag” anxiety.  When it flares up alongside spelling and grammar worries, I might as well sit in a corner and rock until the feeling goes away.

But it never does.  It’s probably because I am, at heart, an introvert and people pleaser. I might as well get “LOVE ME!” tattooed on my forehead. At least then people know what they’re dealing with. My need to be loved, looks like this in the real world:

Pinkie Pie

Pinkie Pie, as drawn by moi.

I wanted to use a picture of Benedict Cumberbatch photobombing U2, but I had a panic attack about what was legal to use. Then, I thought I’d use a photo of Pinkie Pie, who is a needy and energetic, and suitable to represent my people-pleasing angst. Once again… copyright. I do not want to tick off the Ponies. So, I decided to draw my own image of Pinkie Pie. I know. It’s awesome.

Ah, yes. Twitter.  It’s 140 characters, chock full of wit & wisdom. I understand the basics; tweet a few times a day, don’t promote only your stuff, interact with your virtual friends, and don’t tell the world when you’re using Twitter in the bathroom. What I get stressed out about is…. When do I favorite? I usually favorite a tweet that I find amusing or when someone has tweeted me. But, what happens when I’ve had an interaction, but really don’t have more to say? Do I just favorite? Do I add a winky face or emoticon? Is the person on the other end of the tweet sitting there, waiting for my reply and thinking, “Is she still there? Why is she not continuing this conversation? Forget her. I’m taking my ball and going home.”

Other things I worry about…. When retweeting, if I want to add a response, but there aren’t enough characters, is it ok to delete parts of someone else’s tweet? It reminds me of college when I’d ask a friend to read one of my term papers to make sure it made sense and they would start shuffling my words around. Stick in an Oxford comma or tell me to tighten things up, but don’t squirrel with my words. It’s not cool. Does the same thing apply in the Twitterverse?

And, when is it OK to unfollow someone? I was following someone who I thought was humorous, and then their tweets turned into selling their own stuff and links to other random things. No real thought or interaction. For the longest time, I kept following them because I thought they followed me too, when I finally checked out their feed to see if they did tweet anything other than self-promotion, I saw they weren’t following me. I nipped that twit-lationship in the bud real fast.

Speaking of unfollowing, why is it that some people will follow you to get a followback, and then unfollowing you? In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “How rude!” Why is that a thing? I am probably putting more into Twitter than need be, but I follow people that I think I’ll find interesting, or at least will promote the heck out of me when I am my hilarious self. It just seems so cheap and dirty to do otherwise. All I can say is, “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?”

When I started blogging, I thought I would whip up brilliantly humourous blogs every other day, no problem. I had outlined several topics, set aside time to write, and had been inspired by other bloggers via Facebook and Twitter. I burned through a couple topics, and then it struck. Writer’s Block. My muse left and I could only muster up my Dorothy Parker-esque wit every few days (okay, I’m no Dorothy Parker, but, you know, maybe one day). Then, worry set in. Am I not REALLY a writer? My readers will leave me! And if I’m not writing, I’m not commenting!  And I look ungrateful! I am an uninspired, ungrateful hack!  Commence heavy breathing into a paper bag! In, out, in, out, in, out…. Getting light headed here….

PR Friendly
I read an article that compared labeling oneself as “pr friendly” to having a sign that reads, “Will work for cupcakes.”* Part of me thought, “Hey! I like cupcakes! I would work for those.” And then another part thought, “Am I tarting myself out for cupcakes just to be left with an empty wrapper when the company is done with me and my Twitter followers abandon me for being such a tart?” Other than obviously putting too much thought into cupcakes and tartery, I was faced with a moral dilemma. Would my blog/twitter feed/whatevs turn into me promoting stuff? Would I feel compelled to write things like, “Hanging with my hubs on our new #SealyPosturpedic mattress. I’m getting good sleep tonight!” The thought makes me want to vurp. Or maybe that’s the sushi I had for dinner.

You know… some slutty cupcakes might make me feel better. I think I’ll eat them on my Sealy mattress.

*I can’t find that article anywhere. If anyone knows what I’m talking about and has the URL, let me know. Thanks, love you, mean it.


March 4, 2014 · 10:21 pm

9 responses to “I Love Social Media, But It Makes Me Hyperventilate

  1. Your little poney is fabulous. Does it fart rainbows and sparkly bits? 🙂 I don’t tweet, and am getting more and more irritated by Facebook as time goes on. I like it for cheerful communicating, but not everyone appears to work that way. Even with a limited number of friends I get sick of seeing selfies, hearing self-complacent whinging, reading half-truths designed to get people begging for more information, seeing photos of suffering animals,reading “words of wisdom” typed by people who have never used a dictionary in their lives, and (arrrrrggh) being old that sharing the photo of a child in a hospital bed will raise funds for cancer research.
    For blogging, why put the pressure on yourself to blog every other day? I try to post at least once a week, but I wouldn’t post every day because I’d be scared of drowning people in “too muchness” (moi? paranoid? Naaaah).


    • ick. being “TOLD”. “old” is bad too, though.


    • Of course Pinkie Pie farts rainbows! She also sneezes confetti. All part of her charm.
      I would recommend Twitter. Overall, it’s a pretty good experience, probably because you’re limited in what you can write. And I have yet to see “Retweet or puppies die” photos.


      • I’m a bit scared that if I start tweeting, I won’t have enough words. I’m a very vocal person. I get told off at home as it is for spending more time blogging that doing “useful” things (read “painting, cleaning and ironing”. Yawn). I think I’ll be asked to leave the nest if I start tweeting too.


  2. I love your drawring, super cute and no lawsuit. I’m pretty new to this whole game, and I’m with you: Sometimes it is very disheartening. One piece of advice I can offer is just do what feels right for YOU. Don’t worry about anyone else. It’s really hard to make money blogging, and if you go that route, you will have to sell a tiny piece of your soul, which is okay, but if that is NOT what you want to do, then don’t worry about anything other than what feels right to YOU.
    I used to follow EVERYONE on every social media channel that followed me back, and at times it was overwhelming. Have you done a social media specific hop, like a Facebook hop? Oh man, I did get more Facebook likes but they were only other bloggers, most of whom don’t comment and ALL they cared about was whether I liked them from my page AND my personal page, and some of them got snippy when I didn’t do both fast enough. I just couldn’t keep up. I missed a few by accident. I’ll never do that again.
    I also get TONS of Twitter people who IMMEDIATELY unfollow. There is a service/sight/whatever you call it called “Unfollow” where you can see everyone who has “Unfollowed” you in one fell swoop. Don’t take it personally! It’s super annoying, it’s not YOU and there’s not much you can do about that. Now when someone follows me on Twitter, I look at their profile and if they’re in music, or coupons or don’t even speak ENGLISH or something, I don’t even bother. They will unfollow me in time, I’m not giving myself that extra task right now. Too busy, don’t need the numbers.
    I decided that it’s not about the numbers, I would rather have a SMALL handful of people that actually interact with me, than a ton of people I don’t know who just clog up my feeds with ads and promoting themselves, and never promote me back. There ARE bloggers that do promote you back, but most of them are like me, they don’t keep track and if it seems like they haven’t promoted you in awhile, they may just be busy. I haven’t written a “real” post in months, just busy and winter crabby, so I haven’t been promoting much, just a little here and there.
    Don’t let it overwhelm you, that’s my advice. There have been days when I wanted to shut the WHOLE THING DOWN <– dramatic font. I just took a break, and don't worry if absolutely nothing goes up for awhile, or just a Wordless Wednesday post, etc.
    I can also tell you if you do blog hops, the best blog hop that I have ever been a part of is on the weekend, it's called "Ten Things of Thankful" and not only is a great exercise but the COMMUNITY of people for that hop is like no other. They're really nice people, VERY supportive and they've become my "friends." They actually inspire me to write more, to keep it real, etc. I link up with a blog called Considerings, I'll paste the link below in case you want to link up. It's the only hop I've done for weeks and weeks and quite often it's the only POST I throw up at all, because it makes me happy and feel good about blogging again, even when I am to busy/crabby/uninspired to write anything. I highly recommend it!
    Sorry for this giant writing assignment! I just felt the same way several times.
    Anyway, if you're interested the blog below will have the linky tools to link up, all you do is write a post about ANY 10 things you are thankful for that week. Like a weekly wrap-up of whatever, and what I usually do is take crappy/funny things that happened and try to put a positive spin on them. Some people bang out a quick list, and some write more, and some are sarcastic and list things they're actually NOT thankful for. This is a very open group 🙂
    If you want an example, the last post on my blog is my entry in this last week. I doubt I'll put anything new up until my next link this weekend.
    Good luck!


    • Awesome advice! And thanks for the encouragement. It can seem like I’m blogging into a vortex :). I’ll look up that site tonight; I plan on trying to blop my little heart out.


  3. Sarah (est. 1975)

    I loved this post. I have so many of the same concerns. Definitely try blog hops (“blops”) and also invest in the JustUnfollow app. So worth it.

    We started blogging around the same time, so know that I’m sticking with ya, social media faux pas or no. Support! Love! Fist bumps!


  4. Pingback: According to Art, Motherhood Stinks | Ponies and Martinis

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