Friday, 24 June 2011

Not so social media

Hello online world.  Did you miss me?  Did you miss me at all?  No, thought not.  And it’s okay.  It doesn’t remotely matter. 

I’ve been in one of my bad places…possibly the worst one for a very long time.  One of those declines – oh, okay, let’s not mince words – it was freefall skydiving without checking you’ve got a parachute first.  Which is a really fecking stupid thing to do.  At first I couldn’t speak. Couldn’t get my fingers to type. Couldn’t do anything much really.  And as I sat at my desk, doing nothing, I watched social media drift by for a day or so.  And I wondered…what’s it all about?  What is it all about?
Yeah, I could have tweeted.  Yeah, I could have put out a ‘poor little me’ yelp on Facebook.  I could have written a ‘hug me’ blog.  But, you know, that’s not my style.  Anyhow at first, I really didn’t have the capacity.  And then, as the days went by, I began to wonder. 
Does anyone even notice if you’re not there? 

Bald answer?  No. 
I had to laugh really.  I was the online equivalent of the old lady in the council flat, lying on the floor being eaten by her cats.

I tell you, it’s a good lesson for the ego.  Bottom line, if you’re not out there shouting or wailing or emoting or waving your arms in the air, nobody notices.  And, let’s be honest, why should anyone?  We’ve all got so many ‘friends’, so many followers and followees, how on earth can we keep tabs?  Would I notice if one of my online *friends* wasn’t around for a week or so?  Probably not.  I’d assume they were busy or on holiday or just going ‘dark’ to get work done.  One shouldn’t take these things personally.  Yet one does. Stupidly. And I take first prize in stupid, I really do.
Social media does have strengths. It's a virtual water cooler. It’s great for wasting time, for procrastination – superlative in fact.  It’s incredibly useful for driving traffic to your business (if you use it right).  
Twitter can be fun. Sometimes it’s downright funny.  And I still hold that, if you look or if you get lucky, here are some gems of people to be found.  There is inspiration; there is information; there is interconnection.  And there are messages – there are always messages.
lonelypierot @ deviantart
But, but, but…is it any good if you’re low?  Now I am just not convinced by that.  Because when you’re way down low, when you’re really in the pit or hanging on the meat-hook or the black dog is slowly and methodically chewing out your throat, you don’t have the energy to make contact.  You watch people ‘being normal’, laughing, joshing, discussing minutiae or whatever and you simply can’t join in.  Because none of it makes sense.  It’s like they’re talking a totally different language. 
Anyhow, that’s it really…  Just an observation.  What do you think?   Maybe it’s just me.  After all, I just don’t talk about my “stuff”, not to anyone (though sometimes, in the very dead of night, I whisper in the SP’s velvety ear).  I know talking is supposed to help but hey…I’m not big on talking.  I did do a whole bunch of therapy many years ago but, when I think back, it was hilarious really - we would settle down in our chairs with the box of tissues between us and my therapist would tell me about her problems and then we’d spend the next hour brainstorming how to fix them.  Then I’d get up, hug her, tell her it would all be okay and then I’d say ‘thank you’ and pay her thirty quid or whatever. 
What a prize plonker, eh? 


zenandtheartoftightropewalking said...

I noticed.
I also thought you'd already gone into headless chicken mode getting ready for Israel.
But I take your point. It is hard to keep up with who is where etc.
I do find that what cheers me is when I return, from being silent or away, I do get people saying, oh good, I was just starting to worry about you.
I also think that people do hesitate to contact someone for fear of looking like a worrywart or a fool. I know I do.
Just because people didn't express concern doesn't mean they didn't feel it or know what to do about it.

Sessha Batto said...

actually I noticed ;) you and Tee both disappeared and, of course, I assumed I had done something stupid and you'd just ejected me from your streams. THAT'S the downside of social media for me - not wanting to reach out to someone for fear I've offended them and will just make it worse!! So know,, even if you don't hear from me, I'm worrying about you!!

Mrs Jones said...

Well, I'm afraid to say I hadn't noticed - it's only been 4 days or so since your last posting, and I quite happily can go 2 weeks between posting on mine, and there are others I read who only post once a month.

I can, though, remember the first time it hit me forcefully that the world really didn't care. My father had just died suddenly and my world stopped for me. I remember being numb and immobile with grief, but also astonished that everything else just continued happening - people went to work, moronic television programmes were broadcast, friends still went on holiday, while my life had just....stopped. And then I realised, me and my life are insignificant in the scheme of things, and no-one else gives a toss.

Hope you feel better soon.

zenandtheartoftightropewalking said...

I know at Christmas (before I think we knew each other) that feeling of being lost and no one caring; being so ill at that time of year(after the bungled operation left me with post-op infections ect) made it somehow much worse, and the world did just go on without me.
However, each of us has a value in the world, and someone once said something about someone noticing if even a single sparrow falls....*mumble mumble*
shuffles off....
xx said...

Awww u poor thing. I know how you feel, there are days when I can barely get out of bed never mind tweet witty thoughts. Sometimes I mention on Twitter if I'm having a rough day & I am usually overwhelmed by the kindness of (effectively) strangers - it made me cry last time!

Dragonfly Dreams said...

The black dog can certainly take someone and shake them violently, but in the midst of the attack (or even after) try to remember the Ray Bradbury short story " A Sound of Thunder." Even something as small as a butterfly has a rippling effect across the universe. We are one with it.


Rob-bear said...

I noticed. I thought, "Hmmmm. No wisdom coming from Dulverton recently. Her Ladyship usually posts more frequently that this." I was, in fact, ready to send the St. Bernards, with some brandy, when lo, you appeared.
There's a fine balance, I think, in being friends, but wanting to leave them with their freedom in tact. A bit of a challenge; one wants to be present, but not intrude. That's particularly challenging at a distance, when we don't see you physically around and about, or not.
That said, I'm sorry that you've been in a bad way. I certainly have been. And I understand the desire for support. Supporting and encouraging one another is one thing we all can do, one way or another. But I guess we need to know when.
Maybe I should send the St. Bernards, anyhow.
Blessings and Bear hugs, m'lady, Jane.

Jackie said...

I noticed you were quiet and wondered how you were. Last seen ordering the gruelling Karmic essence that can pick you up and carry you to dark dark places so I wondered.....and since I've decided that we're basically the same person I decided you probably wanted to be left in peace until you could gently find your way out of the woods and back into the world again. I saw you'd been for tea with Hen and knew she'd be zapping you with the gorgeous Hen love vibe so that reassured me. Hope things are moving through for you. I still shudder remembering the pain of taking Karmic essence about 7 years ago but being present with the pain enables it to clear at really deep levels xx

Fran said...

Haven't been around myself either and have three million zillion blog posts to catch up on, which just isn't going to happen. If only social media would stop when we do, and just wait patiently for us to get back, eh?


Jane, I should have read this before I read and commented on your most recent post. If it's any consolation, you're still pushing out more writing than me despite your Black Dog!

I certainly understood a long time back that the internet it fickle. I knew it even before I got the Blog of Note thing (like millions of others!!). I knew it would mean a spike in 'followers' - the large majority of whom I knew were piggy backing on me to get traffic to theirs. I'm under no illusions there! I value my 'real' followers - the people I love reading and who were there from way back when. They're like your old friends in real life. Everyone is so busy, in reality and in virtual world, that very few notice if you're not around - in the real world too. I have gone completely underground in recent months dealing with so much stuff - but half my real-world friends haven't really noticed. Even if I've tried to tell them the why's and the wherefores and the fact that I've been really struggling. So I figure that if the real world doesn't notice, then the virtual world certainly won't!

Interestingly, I was planning a little piece in my head on this subject just a day or two ago (and hope I will eventually find a moment to write it). Ultimately we are alone in this world. That's the harsh fact.

But on a brighter note, I'm here for you now! I've been drawn to you by cosmic energy as I often seem to be with you - I always pitch up when we're going through similar things, it seems!

Thinking of you, love you lots - and we've never even met! The internet can't be all bad, as you say!

Nora said...

Lots of us disappear off the radar when the black dog comes and visits and mostly people don't notice unless you're gone for a long time. When it becomes very noticeable and obvious that we're not around. It takes a while to register. Mostly we are alone in our dark days and have to get used to that. We have to be out own fixer uppers. There's no team of cheerleaders standing at the ready. I'm gad you're feeling better.

hasenschneck said...

Mmm, I often feel like that. Spending too much time alone and wondering if anyone wonders what I'm doing. Whether I'm still alive. Often think my cats will eat me one day.

Sometimes all the social media can feel a bit like having your nose pressed up against the windows of a busy cafe, watching everyone having fun, while the rain pours down on your head outside.

Making lists of things to do and then talking yourself out of them and doing nothing all day. But, with luck, this passes. It doesn't help. But you're not alone.

Frankie said...

Oy. The times I managed to make it on, you were there. I would def. notice if you were gone (when I wasn't gone too). When all's well, you're one of the people I always look for specifically and think things like, "I hope Jane will be around soon."

As far as social media and all the rest of it, god only knows. I can't help but think sometimes, as I look at all the people around me texting and tweeting and lost in their own worlds, that sometimes technology isolates us more than it connects us.

Gillian Philip said...

Ohhh, I know exaaaaactly what you mean, Jane, and I've had my own Dog Days staring at the Twitterfeed and watching the world go by. Ironically I've come by just now because I've just done one of those emotional-vomit things on Twitter, and I saw a link to here, and I so wanted to read it, and it struck such a chord.

The funny thing is, in those moods when I watch the Tweetworld go by I sort-of don't want to get involved and I sort-of don't want anyone to miss me (yet. There's always a first time). I kind of like knowing everyone's still out there having virtual cocktail parties. I wouldn't dream of contacting anyone I know in 'real' life when I'm in those moods, because I'd rather talk to my FB/Twitter friends - but I sometimes just want to step back from there, too. I don't want to feel like a drama queen, and all that...and I'm a bit embarrassed when anyone does notice, and messages me, and I feel a bit ridiculous....

But I do like knowing they're still out there, having fun, and I can jump back in the pool when I'm ready. I think my Tweet/FB friends are the perfect friends, in that respect.

I'm doing that emotional vomit thing again, only on your blog, so I'll stop... ;-) But be of good cheer, missus; I think people DO miss the absent friends, even if we don't realise how terribly till they reappear. x