social media guilty complex

Feeling the social media guilt

feeling the social media guiltyI FEEL LIKE I’M FAILING AT SOCIAL MEDIA.

I also feel a bit like I should be apologising for this to the people who follow me there… even although I know that’s stupid, really, because seriously, Amber, no one is sitting around on Twitter, just breathlessly waiting for your next update, I mean, get over yourself.

Twitter, though. I just can’t with it any more. And I never really could with it, if we’re being totally honest here, but lately… oh, man. Every time I go on there, I feel like I’ve just gatecrashed someone’s party. I wasn’t invited, and no one really wants me there, but I hang around anyway, smiling hopefully at anyone who glances my way, and I occasionally work up the nerve to try to insinuate myself into one of the conversations, but I always end up feeling like I’ve made a bit of an ass of myself, really, and that they’re all going to be talking about me behind my back when I leave.

Every time I post something there, no matter how innocuous it seems, I’m immediately unfollowed by at least 4 people. Every. Single. Time. So I keep my thoughts to myself, and just let WordPress automatically tweet the links to my posts, and then I feel guilty because I am social media-ing WRONG, dammit.

But who can fit all of their thoughts into 140 characters? I can barely fit all of my thoughts into my HEAD most of the time, and every time I try to release them onto Twitter, I have to spread them over 15 separate tweets, each one containing a typo I won’t notice until approximately five seconds after I’ve tweeted it.

why I don't love social mediaI don’t use Twitter much any more. Every time I do, though, I’ll see that people have been tweeting me, and mentioning me, and I’ve been completely oblivious to it all, because Twitter? What Twitter? But OMG, those people must think I’m SUCH a bitch, for not replying, or re-tweeting, or whatever it is I should have done but didn’t, and I should probably quit right now, because I’m basically the worst blogger EVER.

But then Facebook. It’s not much better, is it? I pretty much stopped using Facebook when all of the inspirational messages started, so, like Twitter, everything that goes onto my page is automated. It’s supposed to be there just to let people know there’s a new post on the blog, but most of the time people just read the post excerpt on Facebook, and reply to THAT, and OMG, here we go again with the, “people are talking to me, but I don’t know they’re doing it, because I never seem to get the notifications, and it never occurs to me to go and look at my own page,” thing. So, I’m just sitting there, twiddling my thumbs and wondering why no one’s commenting on my blog, and meanwhile people ARE commenting… they’re just doing it on Facebook. Which I rarely look at.

With Twitter, it’s like I gatecrashed someone’s party. Facebook, on the other hand, makes me feel like I’m at the wrong party altogether. Like, I’m sitting there in my living room, with a party hat on and a table full of carefully laid-out snacks in front me, and meanwhile everyone else is over on the other side of town, getting drunk at the party of the century.

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With Twitter, it’s like I gatecrashed someone’s party. Facebook, on the other hand, makes me feel like I’m at the wrong party altogether.
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And Instagram. Oh, Instagram. You used to be my favourite, but then you, too, became filled with inspirational quotes and screenshots of Whatsapp conversations, and now I just don’t fit in ANYWHERE any more. Also, a few months ago I discovered your secret “direct message” box, and it was filled with messages I didn’t know were there. And, OK, most of them were from foot fetishists, but some of them were from real people, and those real people probably now ALSO hate me, because they sent me a message on Instagram once, and I didn’t reply, even although they could SEE me still uploading photos! The nerve!

Now I keep promising myself I’ll remember the existence of the secret inbox and I’ll do my best to check it every day, but then weeks go by and suddenly I’m all, “OMGSECRETINBOX!” Sad trombone.

Don’t even get me STARTED on Snapchat.

I feel like I should be better at this. Other people seem to manage it, after all. Other bloggers, especially: they all have multiple social media accounts, updated multiple times per day, with different content for each one. “Social media is SO important!” they say. “You must have a strategy! You must stick to it! You must schedule all your tweets three weeks in advance, and your Instas, too: so you must go live your life in advice, take photos of it, then schedule them to go live every few hours: it’s so easy even Amber could do it!”

But I just can’t. I can’t with the scheduling, and the mentioning, and all the different places people might send me messages. I can’t with the non-stop notifications from multiple different accounts (three blogs = at least 10 social media accounts that I can think of, just off the top of my head…), and I can’t with the pressure to be entertaining in a totally different way on every single one of them, so people don’t get bored.  And I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but…



Remember the days when all you had to do was blog? When people would respond to you ON YOUR BLOG, and you didn’t have to trawl through 34,876 different websites just to find the comments people had made about your post? I miss all of that. Because I KNOW I could do better at this. I know I could make more of an effort to schedule tweets, and go through the junk folder to find all of those Facebook notifications I keep missing. I could try harder to check for messages on Instagram, and I could do my best to remember that hey, Google Plus still exists! (Er, Google Plus still exists, right?) I could finally figure out Snapchat. Probably.

It’s just… I don’t really WANT to. I get exhausted just thinking about it. I can’t keep up. And a lot of the time I find myself wondering what the point is. Does it really matter that I don’t tell Twitter what I had for lunch today? Does anyone on Facebook really want to see photos of that pretty sunset that actually came out quite crappy on my phone, but seriously, you should have seen it in real life?And how do I get better at it, if so?

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  • Žanete


    Amber, don’t worry so much. Even people who aren’t bloggers (for example, me) get tired and loose the meaning of social media. Sometimes I wonder why I even still kepp my Twitter account. I’m the kind of person who just don’t post. I just don’t understand whyit would make me feel better.
    But I really enjoy your writing. Every day I keep checking your blogs around the usual time when you’re posting just to read your posts in the morning. But like you said I don’t fell like Twitter person not at all. So usually I get here direct or from Facebook.
    And really I keep thinking that people shoud comment your blog posts in your blog not somewhere else. Because those automated Facebook posts and tweets are meant to bring people here. I think of them just as heralds who inform the great nation of your followers that sometihing is happening right there, on Forever Amber.

    May 20, 2016
  • The Other Emma


    This is the reason brands have a social media manager / team – it is a job in itself to manage. I have twitter and instagram but don’t really post anything on it, I kinda think of as the news messages that pop-up on your phone, something to click into if you’re interested but feel free to ignore if you’re not. There are some people who post multiple twitter messages (all following on from the initial one) and I always wonder how they manage to keep their thoughts on track across 5 or 6 different tweets.

    May 20, 2016
  • I think Twitter is my nemesis. Everything I read says if I want to grow my blog I must use Twitter. I must interact, join conversations, show my personality. Really?! I am not good at interacting with strangers in real life, why on earth would I be good at it online? Especially when we are talking about a platform where you are supposed to be witty in 140 characters or less.  I totally relate to the feeling of having gatecrashed a party. I keep trying to use Twitter properly but I am very glad to read this post and know I am not the only person who feels this way.

    I like the comment above that compared tweets to heralds. Heralds just announce, they don’t converse. 

    May 20, 2016
  • I so understand this. I literally only have a Twitter account because blogging says I have to. Otherwise, I really just don’t get it. Maybe I am too old! Facebook used to be okay, but now it’s like you only get to have fun at the party if you’re the popular kid, and I’m not. Plus you can’t comment as your blog page, how annoying is that? So now I have my personal Facebook which I keep for people I actually know, being filled up with blog friend requests (which is nice, but I like to keep things nicely separated, you know?). I still love Instagram, but for how long? They seem determined to mess that up too. I’d love to go back to the old ways – not that I ever knew them! 😀 x

    May 20, 2016
  • Amber I truly and sincerely appreciate this post. I come from a slightly different place — my Instagram account blew up two years ago and thats WHY I started a blog. Instagram used to be my favorite. I’m a full-time photographer so, unlike Twitter, I could tell a story with just my photos. But everything has changed so much.

    All the “influencer” Instagrammers I used to hang out with here in Chicago have all turned into little DIVAS overnight. It’s like having 30k followers on Instagram has given them permission to treat brands, restaurants, and followers like dirt. It’s bizarre. And the content on Instagram has homogenized so much that it’s just not inspiring anymore. It’s suddenly become work.

    I used to think I was lucky that this was my “job” but now the pressure of posting to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, all of it has become overwhelming. What happened to just sharing beautiful content you create yourself? Suddenly I have so many messages and emails to answer I literally don’t have enough hours in the day. People are rude and frustrated because I don’t answer them in a timely fashion and all I can say is “hey I’m genuinely sorry but I need to live my life and be present for it”. I can’t sit in front of a screen for 8+ hours a day just doing necessary clerical work, social media blasts, and correspondence for my blog. It’s just NOT possible.

    So glad to know I’m not struggling alone. I can’t even imagine what intense pressure an account of your size must put on you as a person so know that even if you never responded to one of my messages and never interacted with me anywhere, I’d be the LAST person to take it to heart. I swear I have your “Here’s Why I Unfollowed You On Instagram and Why You Shouldn’t Care” post pulled up in a permanent tab on my cell so when someone asks me why I unfollowed them, I at least have a response that doesn’t involve me embarrassingly mumbling to myself and walking away. Because it’s just TOO much.

    Sending you love and luck with these issues. Thanks for opening up a dialogue on this! I’m so tired of reading about all the blogging and social media requirements I’m not getting to yet.


    Ashley || Sed Bona

    May 20, 2016
  • Grasshopper


    Amber, I think you are spot on with your feelings and your intent with how you currently use social media for your blog. As a fellow introvert, I completely get the overwhelmed feeling that social media causes. Similar to what Jennifer said, I’m not super social in real life, so why on earth would I be like that online? For me, just keeping up with my own personal Facebook and Pinterest feeds is enough. I have Google+ and Instagram but I rarely ever post anything or comment on others’ posts, and Twitter… well, I’ve just never felt the need. I do have a LinkedIn account, but I use it for professional networking and I rarely ever read through the feed that comes with it. As someone who is looking into starting an online business and blog, I’ve been reading through lots of advice and I see so many posts advising to be super active on social media. Just the thought of all of that is mentally exhausting to me. I figured the best I would be able to do was simply automate posts as you do, because in my mind, those posts should encourage people to come to the actual blog and read it, right? But, apparently that’s not always the case. Maybe I’m just a different sort of animal, but when I find a blog I like, I bookmark it and come directly to it anyway to see if there are new posts or I subscribe by email.

    May 20, 2016
  • YEP. Some days I love social media. Other days… not so much.

    You know, I kind of forgot that back in the day it was all just the blog itself. But it’s true! Everyone just had blogs, no social media accounts, and I think the blogging communities were a lot stronger because of it — everyone really *knew* each other at that point within the small communities. Because there are now so many different ways to connect away from the blog, we have this great opportunity to connect with a much broader audience… but I wonder if it’s at the risk of losing out on those small, intimate, meaningful communities.

    *wanders off to ponder*

    May 20, 2016
  • Girl, you are speaking to my soul! I feel the same way about Twitter and Facebook. Rather than an active participant, I mostly use it to follow news sources and as a feed for information, but I feel like I’m that awkward girl in the corner at a party. I still love Instagram but sometimes it can feel like this anxiety-causing cloud in the corner of my eye. I too, frequently wonder what things would be like if it were like the olden days and we didn’t have to connect across so many different platforms, and rather simply had the main hub- our blog.

    May 20, 2016
  • Lily


    Agree wholeheartedly. I’m so bad at facebook now, and people tend to assume you’ve heard their news through facebook. The worst time being when my friend’s dad died and I had no idea and everyone else knew. Yet noone had thought to pick up a phone or text me or, god forbid, email me. God, that was awful. 🙁

    I miss getting letters in the post. Pretty sure that makes me a dinosaur.

    May 20, 2016
  • Myra


    I keep getting notifications that random people are following me on Twitter, and I don’t understand why because I rarely post on there ???

    May 20, 2016
  • I must confess that I also have a blog, but I don´t have any FB, Instagram or Twitter account (only Pinterest mainly for get inspiration of kids craft ideas). My blog was set up more or less like a diary and when we moved to Switzerland year and a half ago I wanted it to share with my family interesting places and events we have been to here. Even thought I would appreciate bigger traffic on my blog (I also considered creating an account on FB!), something happened that has totally put me off. Here is the story: from time to time our friends or family come to visit us (who wouldn´t use family B&B in Switzerland for free? ;)) and these days we have here my cousin with her boyfriend. Every day when they come back from a trip, they are stuck up in front the PC screen, uploading pictures on FB, comment comments…they don´t even talk to us, just with their friends on-line. What have we done to them? I thought we would have a glass or two of good wine, talk about their stay here, what did they like or not…Ufff…I am quite disappointed and sad about it 🙁
    So that was my complaint about social media and I wholeheartedly agree with all that have been said!

    May 20, 2016
  • Yes. I still enjoy Instagram because it’s a stream of pretty (though the advert breaks are getting increasingly annoying) but I’ve lost my love of Twitter (who has the time to scroll through THAT MANY tweets?!) and I haven’t been a fan of Facebook for years. Are we… not kids any more?

    Also: what’s with the Whatsapp screenshots?! It’s the internet equivalent of bragging to your mates that you told a joke this morning and somebody laughed – surely it’s more dignified to keep that pride to yourself?

    May 20, 2016
    • Sophie


      I laughed so hard at the screenshot thing! Yes! Just why?!

      May 23, 2016
  • Julia


    Hi Amber, gosh social media guilt? That did sound like a moment there. Sounds like you maybe are falling in the trap of “I need to be on everything”. Well not really, I’d guess you need to be on the networks that actually get you results, whatever you want to call it. Not everyone’s style suits every network. Say after me “we’re all individuals”

    Maybe you should try looking at where you find what interests you? Maybe it’s Twitter or Pinterest or Facebook, or whatsapp or slack or instawhatsit. You can’t be everywhere. So you have to try a few out. If it’s not working though don’t beat yourself up about it, just move on. You could always ask people around you how they like to be kept up to date? I don’t blog, because I don’t have time and not got a lot to say. My job is more about workplace collaboration (don’t ask), so trust me when it’s over for the day, I want to sit back and read your posts and get great ideas for what to wear. To read something heartwarming or just funny, or sad.

    Maybe ask others who do the same as you what works for them? You could always do some kind of opinion poll on your site. Feedback is generally a good thing.

    You could find out if there’s some kind of day course or such. One that covers changes in social media and how you can promote yourself on new networks or old networks too. You might feel you know it, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of the basics, as well as other people’s experiences. Evenif they don’t do what you do. Please though, just don’t lose the real you. I think you have a wonderful “brand”. It’s warm, friendly, relaxed, chic, honest. All the things we love.

    May 20, 2016
  • I know what you mean!
    One year ago I was addicted to Instagram, but now I don’t like it that much anymore. Of course I go through my newsfeed every now and then to check out new posts, but only pictures are not enough for me. This is why I love reading blogs like yours. I really enjoy to read what people have to say and I love to read a lot. 😉


    May 20, 2016
  • Trudy


    I don’t have either a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account, or any other social media account. I’m not a technophobe, I’m just not a social person or an extrovert, so I don’t feel the need to put my life out there for the whole world to see. If someone wants to get in touch with me, I have an email address, or phone me. That’s it. Or, like, perhaps talk to me in person? I think that’s what I hate the most about social media – people seem to be losing the ability to live in the moment, and interact with real people face-to-face. I follow quite a few blogs, mostly through Bloglovin’, a few (like yours) that I enjoy enough to come every day to check for new content, so I bookmark them. Please don’t beat yourself up over not doing social media. Those of us who love your blog know where to find you!

    May 21, 2016
  • Fiona


    This really struck a chord with me as I’ve long despised the obsession with social media that seems to be taking over our lives. People don’t interact with each other any more, they interact with their screens! How many times have I watched a group of people sitting around a table in a restaurant or bar ignoring each other because they’re too busy posting online about the ‘fun’ they’re having in said restaurant/bar? I’m clearly missing something here because I always thought fun was something you had with your friends, not your phone. I don’t get this obsession with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc…to me, it’s the equivalent of trying too hard to be the cool kid in school! And while I understand teenagers trying to impress each other (it’s a rite of passage, we all did it, and anyone else who says otherwise is LYING), it baffles me to see adults doing it. Seriously, I thought we parked all that nonsense when we got older and wiser, but social media proves that we never grow out of it (I should probably point out that I’m young enough that I should be all over social media like butter on a hot scone). It’s painful to watch, and there’s something incredibly narcissistic about people posting pictures of what they had for breakfast/lunch or their morning yoga workout and assuming people will be interested (we’re not. We’re too busy paying attention to ourselves). I know people could argue that there’s also something narcissistic and self-indulgent about blogs, but I disagree; blogs are more substantial (the ones that are about more than just pretty pictures anyway). They produce content that can be thought provoking, eye-opening, original, or witty, something the quick sharing of ‘inspirational’ quotes (which are another person’s words anyway) or ‘try-too-hard’ in 140 characters or less posting that Twitter encapsulates, fail to achieve. Many blogs provide food for thought – of the sumptuous, four-course variety that leave us satisfied long after we’ve finished. The ‘instant’ appeal of Twitter, Facebook etc is more like fast food – tasty initially, but in the long run can leave us bloated, nauseous and longing for something more substantial.

    What I’m basically trying to say (after my long, soapbox rant) is, don’t try to force yourself (or your blog) into the gaping chasm of social media that is Twitter, Facebook etc. Your blog is interesting, witty, well crafted and enjoyable. I love reading your posts and actually found your blog through another blog’s recommendation, not Twitter, or Facebook or any other ‘lookee meeeee!’ platform. Those of us who want to read substantial and interesting posts know to come here, and word of mouth will help bring others of similar tastes to your blog. After all, not everyone likes fast food.

    May 21, 2016
  • Im starting to hate social media too and have been considering leaving it altogether for a while.

    May 21, 2016
  • I love Twitter, but Facebook its terrible. It can get overwhelming when you can’t reply to everyone. If I’m busy for a few hours, I come back to Twitter and I have notifications I’ve missed – if I don’t have time to respond there and then, then I forget about them. I just press like and hope for the best.

    You really don’t need to worry, your blog is already really successful with many loyal readers, you don’t need to do extra promotion!

    Corinne x

    May 22, 2016
  • Oh man I totally get how it could be super difficult to keep up with messages from so many different accounts but I guess in the end, people probably do understand that you’re busy or you just forgot to check messages for that particular account. (And hey, you also made a post about it so at least there’s that!)
    I think I always got that gatecrashing other people’s parties feeling on Twitter when I first made an account because I was relatively new to social media and the blogosphere in general. But for someone who barely knows any other bloggers/bookworms/writers IRL, I feel like social media is so perfect for meeting all these other cool people. I mean it’s hard to keep up at times but other people are probably feeling the same way too!

    June 28, 2016