I’ve never been a big social media person. Before I started blogging, I briefly had a Facebook account, but that didn’t last long.
Once I started blogging, I created accounts on Pinterest and Twitter. I started a new Facebook account, but deleted that pretty quickly because I just don’t like Facebook. Last year, I created accounts on Instagram and LinkedIn. For a while, I was posting fairly regularly, although WordPress was very much my focus all along.
Then the coronavirus hit, and things changed. Very little about my day to day life actually changed; I wasn’t working, and I was spending the vast majority of my time at home anyway. It was more that I was just trying to limit the amount of coronavirus talk I was exposing myself to, especially on Twitter.
My online presence contracted in other ways, too. Every morning I used to pop over to Medium, another site where I post, and read a few articles to stay active on the platform. In the time of corona, I stopped doing that. There was no particular reason for that; my world was just shrinking. Even now, I only spend time on Medium maybe once a week.
I’ve remained pretty much absent from Twitter, although I check my notifications somewhat regularly. I’m on Instagram maybe once a week, and can’t think of anything to post other than guinea pig pictures. I swing by LinkedIn maybe a couple of times a month.
The only social platform I’ve stayed active on is Pinterest. I like it because it’s really not social, and it consistently brings people to my blog.
So, after all of that rambling, what’s the point? Social media didn’t matter to me all that much before, and while it matters even less now, the difference doesn’t amount to all that much.
What I am curious about, though, is whether it’s a byproduct of a greater trend toward restricted functionality as a result of my mental illness.
Last year, besides maintaining this blog, I was writing new content to publish on Medium, I was working on books, and I was active on social media to an extent that was consistent with its level of importance for me. I can’t do that now, and it’s hard to imagine how I did it then. My brain simply doesn’t generate that much activity.
The blog has stayed consistent, because that’s my top priority. I’ve stopped writing for Medium, and only cross-post some of what I post on my blog. I’m working slowly on a book, which is fine, and it’s priority #2. Social media has mostly fallen off a cliff except for Pinterest.
This doesn’t interest me for the sake of judging my output; I do what I can, and I have no interest in pushing myself to try to do more than I can. But I do like to be aware of what’s going on with my depression and where it’s taking me, and this isn’t the only indicator of functional decline. I’ve been too slowed down to be able to work at all this year, and while the physical aspect of that is most immediately apparent, the mental aspect has take a toll, too.
So, spending less time on social media is no big deal because social media didn’t matter to me in the first place. But I do think that it is an indicator of a reduced ability to be multi-functional. That it was what it is, but I think it’s better to be aware of what’s going on rather than be surprised by things I hadn’t noticed.