Universal Longing


“Quiet when I’m coming home and I’m on my own/ I could lie, say I like it like that, like it like that.”  Billie Eilish  When the Party is Over

We are all looking to connect with someone, a song, a place, ourselves so we walk through life smiling but we are not smiling inside. We are checking our phone every few seconds to see if someone liked our posts or if someone commented, and everyone’s favorite to see if we got a reply from our comment. If an alien came to earth and asked what the hell is Instagram?  I would say it is a virtual place where you can put up pictures of yourself or things you like, and then other people can see them and tell you if they like them or not, and you can look at other people’s pictures and decide if you like them or not.  Then every few seconds you can check to see if anyone out there saw your stuff and liked it or made a comment. If they did you get this hit of dopamine which makes you feel connected and a little proud, but if they didn’t you will feel like complete and utter shit and wonder why?  I’ts crickets and there is no dopamine hit, so you post a new picture to try to get someone’s attention, anyone. We scroll through our photos and find just the right one and press next and then write some deep message about how we love yoga and we need to breathe better and the person is usually on a cliff or near the ocean. That should work, oh look it only took 2 seconds and the likes are coming  in with comments, woo hoo!  It’s like we are playing a game of “Look at Me.”  But deep inside there is this lack; there is this gnawing feeling that we know we are doing this to get someone to notice us, to connect.  And this realization, which we try to hide behind this facade, makes us feel oh so lonely and no matter how many likes or comments we get, they will never feed the need to connect; they are false. We comment on public pages and make “friends” but really? These are friends we rarely if ever meet. I think the alien would say why are you humans trying to connect with pictures, why don’t you just connect with others in person?  For some people, they have a life with ongoing connections so Instagram may not be a place for them to get a hit, or not. The danger is when people are lonely and don’t have an ongoing connection; this is when they seek it from the internet.  Somehow seeing a like or comment makes them feel not alone.  It’s a vicious cycle, and it can go on for hours. The developers of Instagram have created it so it’s like gambling, which is pretty sucky of them.

I fall into this category. When I feel good social media takes a backseat, but when I don’t feel good I begin to seek and waste hours of my life, so I close my account only to reopen it, and this pattern repeats over and over. Then I remove the app on and off, even within a day and that helps, but not for long. It’s frustrating that I can’t use this platform in a healthy manner, and I’m so damn tired of trying. I deleted it months ago and I felt free, but my daughter joined when she left for college so I told her I would have an account to check on her; it was her first time on social media. And I can see she is fine with it; she hasn’t posted for months. So it was no pic of me, no posts, and just her and I following each other.  Slowly, it started to grow with a picture of me, then a quote from a song and look at that I posted 10 pics of music I like, but since my account is private nobody is going to see them except my daughter!  It feels like a way to connect with her since she is gone; I need to go back to the original plan. I feel like a rag doll being pulled back and forth with this damn Instagram. You may be thinking, Traci just delete your account, which I have, but I want to be able to use it like everyone else, and the fact that I can’t pisses me off so I keep trying with all these guidelines, but I always end up stepping over them into the bad place.

So when Billie sings how she’s alone when she comes home (check out video), I know exactly what she means. I could be at a party and feel that way before I even get home, then when I get home I ache. So………… let’s pick up the phone.

I’m done. I’m done. I’m done.  Goodbye you evil double edged sword stealing all my time and telling me I don’t matter without likes or comments. Fuck you!

I know I am not the only one that feels this way.  Ed Sheeran got rid of his phone and only used email on his laptop. He decided it wasn’t healthy. Now he only follows 2 people on his Instagram; one is his fiance and the other is music related.

People open their eyes and immediately reach for their phones; they could spend hours reading stuff before they even get out of bed.  That’s not a healthy way to start our days. Ed said instead he gets up and has a cup of tea. So many people take social media breaks and feel so much better. The fact that we have to take breaks from social media because it’s become too much, is a problem in itself.  I have picked up my phone sometimes and wasted hours before I got out of bed and filled my brain with news, gossip, new music videos and of course checking my Instagram. I am glad to say this is not my norm; I usually can wait until I meditate before I look at my email etc.

I have no idea if anyone has the patience or interest in reading this, but that’s okay; I needed to write it. And if you did thank you. I’ll be looking for comments; psych I’m just kidding!!


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