Sharing Life #5: Social Media Hiatus

This feature used to be called “Oversharing w/ Cassie” but I have realized that really this is just about me sharing moments of my life with anyone that decides to read this. If you do read it, thank you! I appreciate you. 

If you follow me on Facebook or on Twitter, you will have noticed that I am not on there. Literally, I either logged out (Twitter) or deactivated my account (Facebook). I still have instagram, which I have only ever used sparingly to begin with. I needed a break. Have you ever realized that something is impacting your mental health negatively, but just could not figure out what to do about it? That is what social media has become for me recently. I want to break this down into both parts Facebook and Twitter, so you get a clearer image of why I wanted to remove myself from these for awhile.

Facebook has been a negative since the 2016 election for me. I constantly am bombarded with negativity. Seeing people argue over some of the silliest things. I have also seen them fight over some of the things that I hold dear to my own heart; transgender rights, help for substance abuse, and so many other things. I have seen arguing since 2016 unlike any other. Our connection, as humans, is starting to wean greatly. We have lost that thing that makes us sympathetic to each other’s plight. We instead think, “Why should I help my neighbor?” instead of thinking, “lets build each other up.” I found myself on Facebook constantly bombarded with sadness and while I know that I haven’t solved the world’s issues by stepping away from Facebook or improved these situations, I know my mental health is doing far better for it. Constantly seeing people screaming “Fake news” or “Lock Her Up” or “Libtards” or “Snowflakes” (which seems to now be an insult for both sides) is just a bit much. Were we ever supposed to be THIS connected to everything? To always see negativity like this? I don’t think the human mind is fully capable of taking that all in, not all the time. There have to be breaks to reset and to see the joy in life again. When I could not even step outside my own door to enjoy the outside, that says something. I was in a constant, still am, state of worrying that someone, anyone, was going to hurt me. That somehow they were going to know my political views and were going to literally hurt me. This is paranoia, I know, but it is the fear I have felt. This is impacted by the constant bombardment of news on Facebook by a variety of people. Stepping back allows me to remember that there are people on there that I care for and love. There are people that I want to interact with, but I want to go back there fully-health. I want to go back there knowing that I can deal with that constant bombardment of negativity. I want to find the light in Facebook and that means I need time to allow the muck to wash away that is the negativity I have experienced there to date.

Twitter was a bit different. You see, I use Twitter for book blogging and discussing things with the book community. I have found though that I don’t feel like I fit in with the Twitter book blogging community. There are people on there that I love dearly, they know who they are, but for the most part when I would post things it felt like crickets. The straw that broke my back was when I posted I had went to the hospital recently and no one said anything. Not even so much as a “feel better” and I knew then that I had lost something in these connections, authenticity and real connection. It caused me to evaluate the last almost year on Twitter and recognize I have seen group chat after group chat implode. I have seen horrible interactions of people telling each other how to think, how to feel, what books to read, and what to do with their reading. I am not talking about the normal “Hey I enjoyed this, you should check this out” but a deep seeded almost inferiority for reading certain things. Ostracizing individuals that do not necessarily fit within those book preferences. I have seen people that are awesome be pushed out of the community for not being a cookie-cutter mold of what a book blogger is allegedly supposed to be. The fact is there are plenty of books in the world and plenty of readers. We shouldn’t be fighting over what someone wants to read, but Twitter does. I used Twitter as a means to promote this blog for the last year, it is where most of my subscribers come from, but I find the environment right now toxic to my mental health. I find myself trying to come up with something witty to get people drawn to here, but the reality is that they are not coming here. They are staying over there arguing with each other over trivial things. I have had a lot better interactions from going to others’ blog posts. Finding people that comment on there and following their blogs. These interactions come off more smoothly, more authentic, and more focused on actual loving books. It doesn’t focus on telling people what books have proper representation or not. It isn’t about telling authors if they are good, bad, or somewhere inbetween. When I post a rating on here, I make it clear it is how I felt about this book. It doesn’t reflect on the work of the author, but reflects on my experience with the book. People take vastly different things from the same book. These experiences came be important and meaningful, but instead I see Twitter using a gang-up mentality sometimes on books that could literally help change people’s lives. Books that may help someone else to see that their viewpoints should be changed. I have also found myself blocked from people that I have never once interacted with. That no nothing about me. That haven’t asked me the first question about my own life. Literally, I go to their page to perhaps add them to my followed list and they have blocked me. I have no clue why they have blocked me. I have never done anything so heinous in the book blogging community to have a complete stranger block me, however I have found this to happen. It is ridiculous. The Twitter community, for me, has become one that seems to be focused on creating a singular voice, when the beauty of books is that there are massive amounts of voices. That have different perspectives. That have different stories to tell to a wide variety of audiences. We should not silence voices, but I find book Twitter does if you don’t agree with their stances on certain things. This isn’t about diversity either because HELLO I am transgender. I am all for diversity, as long as you are actually listening to the voices that are part of those communities. If you are constantly saying you aren’t right to a person that is literally within that community, something is wrong with you. If you attack authors for allegedly catering to a certain type of diversity, when that person is literally that diverse category, there is something wrong with you. I have only seen this type of behavior on Twitter for some reason. These aren’t trolls either, they are well-thought out book bloggers that get mad at people, books, and other things that do not fit into their specific mold of diversity, that sometimes is not actually promoting or helping diversity in the slightest. That is, however, a tirade I don’t want to explore deeper in this post about social media. Twitter, just became a place for me to promote, instead of interacting. It was time to log-out long enough to refocus on interactions with the actual community. Building my blog up, instead of feeling like it is getting torn down by people I have never interacted with. I don’t fit a mold, but I like what little place I have carved out and don’t feel like I need to fit an ARC or otherwise “book blogger” mold anymore. That is fine to be something else, if that is what you want to be. I hope you understand that, if you have read this far. Be whatever you want. Don’t let someone else or a community to be this or that. Be whatever the heck you want.

So these are the reasons I left Facebook and Twitter for now. I need a break. I need to refresh. reconnect. reinvigorate. replenish. reeverything.

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