As I continue to deal with/recover from my mental health issues I feel that part of said recovery is putting myself back out there and have, therefore, decided to re-add the blog feed to my account on micro.blog.
I mentioned self-exclusion in the previous post and feel it's a double-edged sword. There is no doubt I needed to take a step back but I sometimes wonder whether I went too far.
Was killing my social accounts a knee jerk (over) reaction? By leaving these services and not blogging/removing my feed from micro.blog, etc. was I cutting myself off from a potential support system?
We always read that humans are social creatures so is deliberately removing oneself from certain social environments potentially more damaging than staying?
It's a hard one to call, but second guessing the decision is probably even worse. What's done is done; what matters now is how I go forward from here.
@colinwalker Welcome back
@colinwalker good to see you posting again ? All the best for your recovery!
@hutaffe @hjertnes Thanks guys.
@colinwalker nice to see you around here again!
It's early days so I'll see how it goes. I felt the time was right.
@colinwalker Nice to see you.
Thanks Patrick, and I love the "Mentors" post.
@colinwalker good to see and read you.
@colinwalker great to see you back Colin.
@colinwalker welcome back!
@colinwalker Good to see you again!
@colinwalker missed you - nice to see you here again.
@colinwalker great to see you back. Your contributions are always valued
@colinwalker good to see you around.
@colinwalker I must admit that I missed Facebook during the early days after my knee injury laid me low. There are a good number of folks there that I care about and who care about me, and it would have been nice to be in touch when I couldn't do anything else but stay put and heal. The good folks on Micro.blog did do their part cheering me up, with a much better signal-to-noise ratio.
@colinwalker got your back, brother! Looking forward to seeing what you have to say, again
@colinwalker Welcome back. I hope this space is safe enough to aid your recovery.
@colinwalker Welcome back, friend. Glad to have your voice back here, but also glad that you were able to take the time that you needed to separate yourself for your recovery. Sending strength as you continue to heal.
Thanks Sameer ?
@colinwalker Good to see you back ?? Also good that you have time & space to think about what is good for you.
As part of my recovery and reconnection I headed back to RSS (using NetNewsWire on the Mac) and resubscribed to a few podcasts including Internet Friends by my internet friend Jon Mitchell and his, Drew Coffman. I'm not sure if it was truly serendipitous or subconsciously influenced by my recent reflections, bit I started with the episode "#GoodFaithTwitter" which ties in to thoughts I've had for quite a while and that I mentioned in passing in Recovery. One overriding theme from the episode is that of the conflict associated with social media, not just the toxic back and forth between participants but the internal conflict experienced by those who want to love it but are also appalled in equal measure. For me, the latter won out and I deleted my accounts. As well as the conflict between the good and bad there exists a struggle in using it in such a way as to meaningfully contribute rather than just for passive consumption.
James Shelley's statement is still just as powerful and just as relevant. Indeed, in the episode Jon mentions the "obsessive, passive grazing on the status indicators" of others for which he has no place in his life. Jon and Drew both stepped away from Twitter; Jon, like myself, deleted his account whereas Drew went dormant. Both, however, are now active again. It is on this premise that the episode is built. I have, on occasion, considered returning myself - wondering if the self-exclusion was more damaging than the exposure - but refrained due to various issues also explored in the podcast. From a personal perspective, the struggle with social is wider and deeper than good versus bad. Why, what, who, how Something I realised early on is that the different social networks have different cultures, purposes, and that simply cross-posting is not a viable strategy. What works for one doesn't necessarily work on another, shouldn't work on another if you're doing it properly. There is a segregation of duties between them often not realised or ignored. It was restricting himself to just Instagram that made Drew realise this segregation. Now, despite returning, Drew states that he needs to figure out what Twitter is for him in order to stay on the service. That is something I battled with while still there and is possibly the biggest reason why I've never gone back. The old adage says "everyone's on Facebook because everyone's on Facebook" leaving many feeling obliged to be there due to no other reason than that's where friends and family are. That is no basis for a healthy and constructive experience on a social network. Instead, I feel it's a case of the why and what and who before the how. Why are you doing it? What do you hope to achieve? Who are you and who are you going to be on the service? There can be a difference. Only when these have been cemented and internalised can you start on the how? The how without the others will only serve to take you down a false path. Online, offline What's so poignant about all of this is that the struggle to find an identity and purpose online mirrors that of the same struggle offline. Answering the "why, what, who" for a social network requires those answers to already be in place away from it. I see the two as intrinsically linked. It may sound a touch existential but I don't believe you can effectively position yourself on a social network if you are unable to do so in life. To go even further, I don't believe you should even try thanks to the potentially harmful effects that getting it wrong might have. With the best will in the world, and despite our best efforts to be authentic, we all play a roll online - just as we have to offline depending upon the circumstances we find ourselves in. Offline, however, we are more able to gauge the situation on the fly and make adjustments, push the boundaries and allow the different parts of ourselves to overlap. Online, we often get sandboxed seeking to appear as one thing or another and that false path can become a dangerous one. Although I may have toyed with the idea of returning to Twitter for a while, depression, uncertainty, a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem argued firmly against it. With all of this how can you expect to navigate an online world fraught with problems and expect to emerge unscathed? If there are issues in your offline life then social networks, with their mixture of toxicity and carefully curated glimpses of "perfect" lives, are not the places to seek answers or, even worse, to hide from the problems.