We’re striving for bullshit. We’re feeding on lies. Every moment I spend thinking about what I don’t have is a wasted moment. I have it all. I have a family, a home, clothing, food, pets, safety. And yet.. I want. I want fame and fortune, glory and attention. I want to be seen and heard. I am seen and heard! But I want more. I’ve been taught to want more. I was taught by my parents and then by American society. And even after detaching myself from those original teachers, I’m still left wanting. I sit here teaching myself. I tell myself that what I have isn’t enough. It’s not enough to blog for a small audience – I need a HUGE audience. Why? I don’t know. I just know that that’s what I’m supposed to want. It’s what I should have if I’m going to feel like I have purpose.
I’m supposed to do more. Louder. Bigger. I’m supposed to attract attention – a lot of it. I’m supposed to be universally appealing. I’m supposed to have money that I can spend on things that will allegedly make me happier – things like clothing and VR headsets and expensive vehicles. Survival is no longer coveted. No, we must go beyond that. We must THRIVE. And by whose standards? I can’t say I know anymore. I think it comes from American/European values, which are hollow and meaningless and yet so many of us strive and strive and strive to achieve them.
It makes me feel awful.
I am happiest when I’m not trying to achieve anything for anyone other than myself. I feel best in the woods, surrounded by no one but trees with no need to impress anyone or anything. This pandemic + the changing of the seasons makes living up to that ideal kind of difficult. And as time has gone on, I’ve spent less time in the woods and more time in front of screens. I’ve been trying to find happiness in places like TikTok that do nothing but make me feel small and worthless.
Social media is a comparison machine. The higher the numbers I see next to the people smiling at me from my screen, the more I feel like I need to compete. When I turn it all off and enjoy the silence of my life, I feel better. I had a nice life for a few months when I was completely detached from social media. I took pictures and went on road trips and had a more stable mood throughout. Then I decided I needed more. I needed to share my photos, so I went on Instagram. I started following other photographers for inspiration and then the comparisons began. It got so bad that I completely stopped taking pictures because I realized how many skilled photographers exist and how far behind I am with my own photography. Just browsing Instagram made me give up a hobby that I previously found so much pleasure in – just for me. Slow, beautiful enjoyment. It was gone like that, just because I was following some strangers on a stupid app.
The numbers game started. Once I started posting my own photography, I started obsessing over how many likes my photos got. They didn’t get a lot, so I told myself I was shit. I had restarted the addiction cycle. The attention I was getting there wasn’t enough, so I downloaded TikTok and started posting there, though I knew that was probably the worst place for me to spend time. And sure enough, after a few weeks on TikTok without much “success,” I decided that wasn’t enough and started thinking about going back on OnlyFans, which would undoubtedly trigger a manic episode. Where in the hell would I find the time or energy for that? I would find it in the extremes of my ego, probably.
So here I am, just a few weeks later. I’ve mostly stopped blogging. I’ve entirely stopped taking photos. I spend hours upon hours on TikTok, just staring about people and striving for things I don’t have. I’ve started obsessing about fame again, which is a red flag for my mania. Last night, I was strongly considering restarting my OnlyFans and even posted an “I’ll be back soon” message. The more time I’m on social media, the more I think about my other addictions, especially weed. I’ve thought constantly about smoking again. By spending time on social media, I am feeding the cycle of addiction. It is safer and slower here on WordPress where I can share my thoughts and feelings for you without worrying about numbers. I mean, I will still probably worry a little bit because that’s what these platforms are designed for, but it’s slower and steadier here. I can manage it better.
And I deleted TikTok. Let’s hope that lasts, huh? It’s amazing how fast my life went down the shitter after I downloaded it again. I’ve been chronically dissatisfied since the moment I opened that evil app and I’m tired of it. I’m better than that. Though it doesn’t really matter how much self-control or awareness you have – TikTok, by some sort of black magic, will easily destroy all of it. The only solution is to stay away.
Anyway, that’s all I have. Let me know if you can relate to any of this. I would love to hear from you.