HIGH ‘Social Media’ ANXIETY

high social media anxietyIt’s said successful bloggers devote 20% of their time writing, and 80% of their time promoting.  That’s one hell of a ratio.  For those of us who occasionally struggle on the motivational front, it’s often difficult to get that creative tap flowing.  Once it is, capping content and stemming the flow to promote, seems a tad risky.  With blogging time at a premium, how do we manage an 80/20 split?  That type of expectation can cause anxiety – social media anxiety.

Social Media Anxiety Disorder (yes it’s an actual thing), an ailment acquired when constant participation in social media affects a person’s mental and physical well-being.

For me, anxiety rears its head when I’m struggling with a topic, blocked, or playing the avoidance game.  As the clock ticks down and the pressure builds, anxiety rises, until I eventually muster the will to force myself to write something.  Good, bad or shite, the job gets done.  I breathe a sigh of exasperation and hit ‘publish’.

But wait, hold on.

I’m only 20% done.  Rain check the sigh, I’ve got work to do.

Social Media, the ever-growing, all-consuming entity that touches every aspect of our lives, regardless of latitude, nationality, lifestyle or Apple/Android preference.  If you have WIFI, you have social media. And if you have social media, there’s a chance you have social media anxiety.

I’ve had an online presence for years, yet I marvel at the growing magnitude and infinite depths of the Web.  It’s like a black hole, siphoning the life out of anyone within WIFI range.  And yet I’m here daily, with millions of others, in stark contrast to my real-life persona.

I’m not an anti-social person (my wife disagrees) but as I age, I find myself content in pursuing a pseudo-hermit lifestyle.  It suits me.  I don’t dislike people, I prefer my own company.  So why is it I feel compelled to participate in social media platforms and engage with a thousand virtual friends?  I’m not a narcissist, despite the occasional selfie, so that’s not it.  Perhaps it’s the freedom of expression.  Where else can you engage with people in your underwear and socks, drinking a Coors Lite at 11 am?

But it’s more than that.

Why do we do it?

Simple.  If you want your posts read, you have to promote (unless your last name happens to be Huffington).  For the rest of us, building an audience is work. Truth is, no one is waiting on your next article.  It doesn’t happen. Sorry to ratchet up the anxiety meter, but it is a hard fact.  Endless content spewing forth from that black hole bumps and buries a post at warp speed.  While SEO’s, key word optimization and Google rankings increase your odds, if you don’t promote, you don’t get read.

And not getting read leads to disillusionment, loss of motivation, sometimes anxiety. Not necessarily a disorder, but hardly a booster shot either.

frustrated_bloggerWhy is no one reading my posts?

Because you’re not reading theirs.

Simple fix.  Get out there and mingle. Interact, share, +1, comment, ‘like’.  For those who don’t reciprocate, cut the ties, dump the dead wood.  Like purging Twitter ‘Unfollowers’, there’s nothing wrong with taking stock and cleaning house once in a while.

My anxiety is limited to looming deadlines and occasional self-criticism.  While I find wading through a half-dozen social media sharing platforms time-consuming, you get back what you put in, so I don’t complain (often).  I haven’t achieved an 80/20 split, but I’m not far off, and heading in the right direction.

Blogging affects my mental and physical well-being positively.  No disorder here.  Rewards far outnumber the disappointments.

How about you, how HIGH is your ANXIETY?

High Anxiety’ is a 1977 comedy produced and directed by Mel Brooks, a parody of Alfred Hitchcock films, and box office hit.  Rotten Tomatoes rating: 7.2/10 

High Social Media Anxiety’, is a 2016 blog post by Mike Senczyszak, panned and dismissed by critics and bloggers alikeRotten Tomatoes rating:  1.3/10

Until next time,

Tell_Me_More_Anxiety

 

52 thoughts on “HIGH ‘Social Media’ ANXIETY

  1. Bless the internet gods for G+ it has been a new lifeline for me and of course my blog 🙂 And I’m not going to share what I wear or don’t wear ;} while I communicate with the masses. And on a different vein, Gene Wilder is one of my all time favs. Entertaining as always Mike, Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so brutally honest. When I started blogging I did not realize that it would be so tough to get 500 ppl on my personal Facebook to read my posts! Reaching other people was even a more difficult task. Now I am spending more time in getting connected to bloggers than asking friends to read my posts!

    Learning the game bit by bit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s no quick fix that I’ve found. That’s why so many people give up too soon. You have the right attitude and perspective, that’s not very common. Keep at it and thanks for commenting!

      Like

  3. Ugh, this is me all this past week. I have had ZERO desire to do any social marketing/networking, but maybe that’s why my stats tanked. I’m trying to not let it agitate my anxiety. Instead, I’m trying to focus on other goals: getting Twitter followers up, networking for my podcast, re-organizing Pinterest, etc. Sometimes, you need to change your goals to get out of a lull!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So happy to hear someone relates! Thanks Kate. I’ve recently tried to re-discover Pinterest which confuses me, and my Instagram account is even more pathetic. Your comment is much appreciated! Cheers!

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  4. Can relate, although I have only been blogging since late December 2015. I try not to focus too much on how many have read my blog page today or how little followers I have, I figure if I keep at it and do what I am passionate about while focusing on being effective in making a difference it will sustain itself one day. I always make an effort to read your blogs as I do find them interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Deeelightful!

    I too had SMAD. The first 3 years I didn’t even know it. Then, once diagnosed, I sought and found a cure that worked for me — I simply decided to not give a rip.

    I post. If its liked, that’s awfully nice. If its not seen at all I still created art — for myself. Art I like. And building a body of same is my own personal reward. Some quite lovely, honest and caring people have continued following me these last three years and so I in turn DO go visit them and see what they are up to. Because I want to. Not because I must in order to ‘survive’ the blogasphere.

    You are oh so right that the very nano second you stop going to the blog cafeteria daily to see and be seen (in hopes of getting a nomination for blogging prom king or queen) your Likes and Comments will plummet precipitously, instantly.

    I suppose there are other cures for SMAD (perhaps attempted with Lennon’s “Cold Turkey” as the soundtrack). But switching to posting when I want versus feeling I must to stay in the fray was most liberating. Having a life then became oh so realizable!

    I would give your post an 8.5 Mike! What does Rotten Tomatoes really know anyway?

    PS Food for thought: Is there a SMAD’s anonymous?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Total agreement. Regardless of feedback or likes, it’s great to acquire a body of work you can look back on with some pride, a small legacy of sorts. I think I will hold off seeking help for my SMAD until the day comes I get run over because I had my nose in my IPhone. Probably won’t be too long from now. Thanks commenting! I always look forward to your latest posts. Cheers!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Ha! I love this! I feel the same way – and this line: “I’m not an anti-social person (my wife disagrees) but as I age, I find myself content in pursuing a pseudo-hermit lifestyle. It suits me. I don’t dislike people, I prefer my own company,” sums up my entire being.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post Mike and timely for me. I’ve only been writing since December and have learned so much since then. I’m a little disheartened at the moment with not reaching as many readers as I’d like to and the promotion can be tiring, but the most important thing for me remains the writing and I love the process of it and the response is always satisfying. I’m also reading more blogs by other people and am finding that I’m getting a lot out of that. Always enjoy reading your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words. It can be frustrating at times, but the process keeps me writing, so that’s a huge positive. I’m still trying to pin down a niche, but for now, I just writer about whatever pops into my head that week.

      I keep an eye out for your posts as well, always entertaining. Keep at it and best of luck! Stay in touch.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mike, you just nail my situation exactly in your every post. I had been writing to other blog owners and got paid for some time, but was not satisfied as I could not write topic of my choice. Hence I and my friend started our own blog. As you said its so much work mostly in promoting. Sometimes it really demotivates. But to be read we gotta go out there and participate and truly appreciate others efforts too. Again good post.
    – sarojavasanth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment. It is work in the end, at least for most of us. And for Blogs like mine, with no central theme or focus, it’s even more difficult to promote. But like you, I’m still grinding it out. Keep at it, persistence wins out in the end. Cheers!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. This post is such a Great Truth! I really love the way you write and -Unfortunately – bloggers’ situation is exactly the same you described.
    I don’t know if there will ever be a cure for this”blog-Statistics anxiety ” of ours . Mah…
    By the way, Thumbs up!!!!
    Buonanotte 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Slowly but surely I learned that being known and liked on the social media sites was a great big high. Now I post as often as I can and then I start reading the comments I’m getting and it’t smiles all around. I read and follow back as much as I can and I have discovered that Twitter makes it easy for me to show what I like by sharing and through it I share to FB. Then I always post my blogs on G+ and the groups I am part of there and finally it all ties up nicely with some things on Linkedin. If we add to all that the sites I belong to and write on as well all I can say is that I manage and I am truly grateful for all of my online friends. As the years have gone on I have learned quite a bit and I am happy to say that right at this moment I have much more to want to share than I can possibly write up. That I think is a good thing. There was a song about high society I guess now we can sing high social media, high, high social media swirl. Take a listen to Louis sing it.

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    • That is wonderful. Sounds like you’ve put in the effort and are reaping the rewards as a result. I hope to be where you are in a year or two, time will tell. Thanks for commenting, and for sharing the link. Gotta love Louis! Cheers!

      Like

  11. I’m so glad I came across your blog, when I started mine, it was purely for therapeutic reasonings, but as time has gone by, I’ve interacted with so many people, have made many friends. I believe also , my blog has helped others too. I don’t think I have the social media anxiety. But I do feel that sometimes I should be blogging more than I do, and promoting more than I do. So maybe I have just a tiny bit of anxiety lol. Keep blogging, I have loved reading some of your musings. Best wishes 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers, thanks for the kind words. I’m sure plenty of readers have taken some positive material away from your posts. Anxiety is part of everyday life, it’s just how we cope that makes all the difference. It’s not worth doing if there’s no challenge. Keep writing, I enjoy visiting your site!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thankyou, I do hope that I’m helping, my life has been a challenge for many years now, but I will not give in. I take each day as it comes with a smile on my face. I believe that is what gets me through. Will be reading more of your blog. I like your way of writing. Thankyou again for visiting my blog. All my best 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Spot on, I’ve been putting all my energy into getting my blog going but at the end of the I feel stressed with no reason why. It feels like networking is a giant sink hole, sucking the life out of me. Argh! At least I’m not alone. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lorraine. It is an endless pit sometimes, every time I open my browser there’s another recommended sharing platform or site. I have joined and abandoned so many different sites, I lost track. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is so true. You think getting the post written is the hard part but it’s not – promoting is. And there are so many different platforms to choose from, it’s overwhelming.

    You have it spot on here Mike, kudos to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Promoting. – Reece Gordon media

  15. Thank you for this – It’s a great post and I’m glad I’m not the only one! I’m just starting out in the world of blogging (via an academic course) and it’s decidedly disconcerting when you post and no-one reads it – I’m taking yours and everyone’s advice and starting to connect with other people and will see if that works 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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