As human beings, sometimes we’re programmed to over think in certain situations, and I would say I have been dealing with this lately, more so on social media platforms. I think intently about what I want to post on platforms and not only how it could affect me in the future, but what it was like at that present moment. Over the last few days, this thought has been stirring up quite a lot and I’ve found it very hard to put it into words, so forgive me, my head is a little scattered.
Recently I went down for a lovely weekend trip to Dublin with my boyfriend who had organised the entire trip and it was a complete surprise. We had a lovely trip but not once did I feel the need to post about it on Twitter or Instagram at the time. I didn’t feel the need to lift my phone for a photograph like I normally would and this behaviour for me, it wasn’t something I was used to. I’m not attached to my phone but as someone who loves to share photographs of what she does, where she eats or where she visits, I was conflicted. I took a small number of photographs but it wasn’t anything significant.
I love having memories, even the upsetting ones. The feature on Facebook where you can look at your posts from a year ago or however long you’ve been on Facebook, I almost have to put up an emotional barrier to stop myself getting attached to certain memories. As much as they can hurt sometimes, it’s nice to have a memory of a place I visited or an activity I took part in that day, in photographic form. That’s where my issue lies, it could be seen as fear. Do I put something out in the social media atmosphere that while I love it now, could be upsetting in the future or do I continue to post what I would normally but try and let go of an emotional attachment?
(Photography by Jess Lowe Photography)
I could consider myself an emotional person. Having been in therapy for a few years, I know that this isn’t a bad thing, it’s very much the opposite. It shows you aware of your emotions and you are passionate but it’s also a curse. I’m very sensitive so when it comes to criticism, I have gradually learned not to take criticism personally but that is still very hard and it takes time. Looking back on a memory can be very rewarding but if I have an emotional attachment to something I have posted about, then those emotions can go into overdrive. Having dealt with symptoms of depression and anxiety over the last two years, my emotions if they aren’t controlled quickly, can spiral out of control and it can take time to come back from that (depending on the situation).
Both scenarios that I spoke about earlier, aren’t what I want. Posting on social media while having that fear, is living in the past of what has happened before but worrying about the future. Continuing to post and trying to cut off my emotions is telling myself that my feelings are not important and I should avoid feeling sad or disappointed. Surely that’s not the way to live my life? When you realise that negative feelings and being upset are part of life, why should you try and shut them off because they’re uncomfortable to deal with?
Living in the moment will never be one hundred percent sustainable for me and I’m completely fine with that. I will never not worry, I can work on my personal development skills alongside my emotions to combat my stress and worry in particular ways but I am under no illusion that I will be able to cure my worry of predicting the future or thinking too far back into the past. What’s more important right now is that I am aware of this behaviour because while I can’t control every single emotion, it also lets me think more intentionally about what I post online and why I post it. That is more important that fighting the internal battle of trying to let go of emotional attachment or pushing against the past and the future at the same time.