Does my social media presence matter?


#1

I am small, I am nothing. I have nine twitter followers. A lot of the people that I follow on twitter will tweet out things about stomping out homophobia, racism, sexism, and all other things that are quality to stomp out. I like reading what they have to say about it, their different views on how to tackle these things, or what people can do to make a difference. I then will find myself feeling like I am not pulling my weight, I’m not posting about this stuff all the time. Yes I hate all that stuff just as much as they do, and I do my part in getting out and voting. I put a big focus on the local politics and elections in my community, (which side note, more people should care about this local stuff) I vote in every election, attend city hall meetings to engage with my city council members, donate money to good causes when I can, and try to stay engaged in these topics. But at the same time, I’m not out fighting the good fight on twitter and facebook, and sometimes this makes me feel small and shitty for not constantly tweeting and replying about this stuff. But at the end of the day I have 9 twitter followers that are just my friends on twitter. I’m not making any difference by tweeting about how fucked up thing X is, or why thing Y is just wrong. I have no money, and no power. I guess my question is, what should I do here? Does anyone else feel like they are a pico percentage of a larger pond? Why do I feel guilty when I read about the things that people are upset about, I did zero of those things, yet feel ashamed for not doing enough? When I feel like I do more than most of the people tweeting about this stuff?

Sorry if this post is just a bunch of word salad, I’m just super confused/struggling with these feelings. would love to hear what ya’ll think about this.

much love,
Isaac.


#2

I had a Twitter account for a while but had to shut it down and restart.

I’m a black guy. The internet is rough out there for me. Just having “hiphop” in my username on Reddit was enough to get people PMing me n****r spam for days at a time. The only thing that’d make it worse is if I were a woman (and especially a black woman). When I hung out on Twitter, I gained a bit of a following and followed a bunch of people. They were heavily focused on homophobia, racism, sexism, etc., like the people you follow. But for me, after a while, it came to be too much. It was a bunch of negativity, day in, day out, and it felt like a wave that just couldn’t be stopped. These things were happening every day, and I’m too young/inexperienced/voiceless to do anything about it. It felt like the world was against me.

I felt super guilty and deactivated my Twitter account. And surprisingly - or not, perhaps - I felt a lot better. My mind felt calmer, I felt less stressed out, got a little bit more productive. But most importantly, I realized that not being bombarded by these issues and fighting for them 24/7 doesn’t mean I don’t care about them.

Sometimes it’s okay to just take a break from social media entirely. Take your eyes off of these issues for a bit, take care of yourself, and jump back in when you’re ready. I promise you those issues will still be there when you return, and people you care about won’t think less of you for stepping away from them for a while. Every little bit helps, and you can’t fight this fight if you’re too exhausted to even look at a Twitter timeline.


#3

Thank you for this, glad to know that I’m not insane for feeling this way. I might just take a step back from the social stuff, Like you said, you can still care and make a difference where you can without focusing on them 24/7. Thanks buddy.


#4

I’ll definitely agree with what eightbitsamurai says. There’s nothing wrong with needing to take a step back, especially if it gets to feeling like an unrelenting wave. If you’re engaging in the variety of ways that you are, you have nothing to be ashamed of. In the social media distribution, sometimes (in fact, often, for many of us), you just don’t have the influence or leverage to have your voice reach out to others. Again, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just a condition of being online in 2017.

As they say, there’s more to life than Twitter.


#5

yeah, don’t stress about social media activism if you’ve got a very small following and are also engaging in local politics in person. social media i think is fairly new and it’s hard to judge the effect of saying things on it but i feel like you have to have a really big audience for it to have any kind of impact. and then there’s the weird thing where your audience usually doesn’t see your stuff at all - i have 2.8k followers and usually the stuff i post will reach like 20 of those, unless it really takes off.

i think in general it’s probably healthy to limit social media engagement since it’s comparatively little impact for a lot of effort and stress, unless your job is being on the internet for a living, which is a lot of games media these days. i would looove to just switch my twitter off and forget about it but all the people i get to connect with and the exposure i get from retweets feels too vital as a freelance illustrator to just throw away like that.


#6

I have almost 4k followers and I decided to not tweet about activist shit all day because it stresses me out. Feeling like I’m some sort of robot making feminist content for well-meaning men to consume all day is horrible. Do what you can as a human being offline and let the optics sort themselves out, friends. Your social media is yours and how you choose to use it is your choice.


#7

Social media is weird.

For myself, the only platform I use regularly for social engagement at this point is twitter. I blew up my Facebook years ago when people on it were complaining I was just sending my twitter feed there and that I wasn’t using Facebook right (whatever that means) and the only other account that’s close would be Tumblr, however I spend like NO time on that anymore other than to scroll through and look at some pretty pictures by illustrators I like.

So that pretty much leaves me with Twitter, and for me its very much a wholly social thing. I like to interact with friends of mine, artists I enjoy and like to converse with or at least express my admiration in the work, and aside from that shit post whatever insanity pops into my head. Whenever I do get any level of political though, it’s more for myself than for other people.

Or rather, I don’t want the things that I say or do to be taken as some kind of rule to live by. I’ll speak my own personal views and philosophy and often I welcome discussion with others on such things just because I find it’s good for my soul and my mind, and hopefully in exchange, it is for others. Because I feel that conversation is far more important than whoever’s voice speaks the loudest.

The second reason I use twitter is because I’ve been using it for so gat dang long now it’s been the most vibrant catalog of my adult life. When I started using it, I was 17. That was 10 years ago now, and let me tell you, once they enabled users to download their tweet archive THAT was a trip and a half to go through, seeing how my behavior, attitude and concept of self developed as I got older, it made me think about how I used to be without the filter of nostalgia of what I think I remembered that time like.

But I digress. Social media, despite what many would like to think, isn’t an obligation nor is it something you have to be a master at. My own comfort and knack (image) more or less stems from my being a performer, and with that in mind, it gives me an audience to perform for. I don’t think about how I can go about saving the world and instead just think about giving people a sense of joy or fulfillment from me entertaining them.


#8

I’m the opposite. I read about social justice causes all day but never go to any meetings or anything. It’s alright, I’m just trying to satiate my own needs for personal development and understanding. This might be pedantically simplistic, but why not just post activist stuff when you feel like sharing it and post art or whatever when you feel like sharing that?
I just followed you on Twitter, if I find what you put up tiring or disingenious I’ll just stop following you. No pressure.


#9

So earlier this year I had lost my original Twitter account. I had an account from 2008, when I was 16, I logged in one day and my account was gone, tried to contact Twitter but was met with no help, so I started a new one.

But it was really cool to be able to look back at myself throughout time, because you can see all the changes and phases, oh here’s when I was sad all the time, or here is when I just used homophobic slurs like a fucking asshole, oh here’s where I start to become less of a piece of shit.

That was cool to see the arc as a human being.