Social Media Rock Bottom

You would think that in the vast, vacuous space of the internet that you could never hit bottom.

I’m fairly sure I found it.

The signs of a downward spiral appeared more frequently. Little whispers in my head, “stop this, get off, go do something else, there’s so much more to do” turned to shouts. If anyone in my life pointed out the problem I’d either respond by withdrawing, making justifications, or lashing out. I had these moments of relief when I could open my app of choice; relief almost immediately lapsed into shame. The screen became a cell.

Then, day after day, it’s 2pm, I’m still in bed, looking at my phone.

I’d like to say that it got to this point within the last couple of months. That it’s all due to a new, challenging mix of crumbling interpersonal relationships, unemployment, depression, and anxiety. But that would be to ignore the fact that I’ve been winding down this path for a few years; things are unraveling at a much faster pace and this incessant “fix” has become harder to tame along the way. Some days it just seemed easier to scroll through colors and publicly wax poetic in return for a quick dopamine rush. Who wouldn’t choose that over tackling very real and very painful issues? Except it’s not easier. Those issues just compound when a new addiction is added to the pile.

At first the media had an anesthetizing effect. This effect does not sustain itself long term. Lately, whenever I close out of the app, I feel acute psychic pain and I break down into tears. It happens more often than not. Am I losing touch with reality or am I really living this apocalyptic moment?

Over the last four months the persistent need to opine on everything in the news cycle got to malignant growth status. The irrational “I must comment or else the world may very well end unless my paltry sum of 500 followers know that I feel this about this” (To be forthcoming and modest only about 20% of people who follow engage with anything I post). I deluded myself into thinking this habit was helping me with some semblance of a waning creative process. A process I haven’t been disciplined about for a span of time I am too embarrassed to disclose. Why not make a 30 minute series of 15 second stories that will disappear in 24 hours?

At least I can commit to producing ephemera.

See, I have so many interests, ideas, and wild trains of thought, but I have trouble finding an outlet for them. I let the fear that I can’t effectively articulate my ideas consume me. At my best I sit and daydream about all the things I want to do. At my worst I go to the darkest places of self-hatred and failure. Then I try to set daily creative goals. There are at least three or four short stories I want to write. Take more photographs, make more ceramics, read, write.

I’ll find any excuse to sabotage those goals.

Another day scrolled away.

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