interneting and introverting

Just needed to document (or vent) some thoughts about how I’ve been feeling this year when it comes to online activity (hopefully they will change at some point? Disclaimer: part of my experience is affected by things from 2018-2019 and also stressful expectations I have for myself) —

  • Why does it feel like the Internet is some kind of game/examination sometimes (i.e. marks for who can be the funniest or the most put-together/optically successful/productive/connected to cool events and people/booked and busy *eyeroll*). It’s such a limited tool to know people well and assess how hard they may (or may not) actually be working.
  • Though I also have to participate in it, I struggle with the Ghanaian digital space (mostly Twitter) where it seems like the only way to reach/advertise to your audience is by sharing one thing 10 millien times, or through as many people you can get to repost, and so everyone is grabbing for a percentage of everyone’s very limited attention span/engagement/schedule space…(and probably getting anxious/exhausted/frustrated when they don’t see the engagement that they want – whether from particular people or in general).
  • The Internet (for me, right now/this year) feels like an expected means of explanation for who I am/what I do and don’t do. Like, let’s say I ‘like’ or retweet someone’s story about having a rare genetic disease — that doesn’t necessarily mean *I* have it or that I’m going through it. I may know someone who does or I may just find it a moving story to share! I don’t know. Or let’s say I’m really quiet online for a period of time and because I’ve shared about mental health issues before someone assumes I’m somewhere allowing myself to sink into a dark hole of depression. Or a different example – maybe I randomly share a joke or a meme online a day after I informed someone I was exhausted/wasn’t feeling well; clearly I must be fine and just didn’t want to talk/meet up/do xyz.
  • I miss being able to just share things about myself and not feel like someone assumes it’s an attempt to add points to my social capital or public profile. Or to collect pity points or mask my weaknesses. 🚶🏾‍♀️Or worse, consciously or subconsciously updates their ranking of who is cool enough to be part of their social life.
  • I definitely can’t keep up with everything being shared and also work a (stressful) day job and work on projects at the same time. I used to wonder why visual artists I love are so abysmal at Twitter and sometimes even Instagram too, but a part of me gets it. I still think social media is great for sharing your work to an extent, though.
  • My threshold for acquaintances is very close to being reached. (The room I have left for new ones – I feel like it’s only for people who are closer to the ideas and interests that I’m moving toward as I grow older.) Tbh I would much rather have actual friends who have at least some interests I have, and whom I can see in real life (frequently, preferably). Knowing so many people flippantly (which the Internet facilitates and granted, can help when it comes to needing support with anything) can be overwhelming and even lonely, especially as an introvert who actually likes meaningful connection.

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