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Antisocial Diaries

Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and singing to herself.

Antisocial Diaries is an ongoing thread exploring the concept of connection in an age of constant connection. Written by Emma, currently living in New York City and without any social media.

“Sometimes its like.. why am I doing this?? But if it makes you feel more like yourself, no need to even ask “why?”’

My friend Aisling texted me this last night. She quoted it from an article she was reading, but it was a part of our ongoing dialogue about social media. I went out on my porch in Seattle, wrapped in a blanket with a mug of ginger tea surrounded by the stillness, coldness of the air. Silence to me is starting to feel loud, I can’t fall asleep to silence, I can’t think to it. So I called, and tucked the phone between my cheek and my shoulder, pacing back and forth as one does mindlessly on a phone call. I described my place and perspective, and she said, “It’s funny, now that you don’t have a social media I have no idea where you are. I like it.”

Before she could follow my random trip through Europe or in New York via little squares, and maybe feel more connected to me, and I could feel more connected to her through the same means, but we hadn’t had a FaceTime or phone call. I felt like I was up to date with her, filled in enough, a thin fabricated relationship. Illusory and misty, falls apart at the touch. I had this sort of faux-relationship with a LOT of people through social media. Oh, how easily I could have had someone brought up in conversation and be able to detail what they were up to and doing and feeling, all without having a conversation with them.

This conversation with Aisling went on for an hour and three minutes. She was telling me about how she was struggling with social media as well, identifying it as the source of her anxiety, pressure to be creative, pressure to be liked. But she felt held back, wavering and thinking maybe for New Years she would delete it, or just delete the app, or just try and use it… less… but the next day she texted me that she had deactivated her Instagram and was already feeling a lot better. I half-heartedly hoped maybe social media was dying, or at least evolving, and how that might cause a different landscape of connection to emerge.

We sent back and forth our feelings and inspirations, from me: a photo series featuring denim on denim outfits, stargazer lilies covered in plaster, and peaches on white linens. From her: an article about the interpersonal value of phone calls, an amazon link to a book about gender identity, acts of kindness on NYC subways, and how September’s New Moon in Virgo is effecting all of us. I read the entire phone article, ordered the book, and reread this passage about how the moon must be seriously.. seriously fucking with me.

“The next half of the year is going to be all about rebelling against the status quo to get to the core of not only who we are but what kind of life we want to build.”

Call me sometime…

21 Comments

  1. Darah Bueche says

    I love everything about this. I have been struggling lately with being in touch with myself and am starting to consider taking a break from social media and deleting my apps for a while. Very inspiring 🙂

    Also if anyone could point me in the direction of a good blog or any articles about astrology or the moon cycles, anything of that nature I would appreciate it! I am having a hard time finding one I like.

    • yes! astrology related blog/article recommendations would be very much appreciated! 🙂 x

  2. I deleted Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat in April. The Apps and my profile. I don’t regret the decision at all, it felt like a weight has been liftet off my chest. But it still feels weird sometimes because it took aways my outlets to share moments and thoughts with my friends and, well, the world. I journal, I send picture to my friends but its not the same.
    Now I’m trying to figure out if I really need that oulet or if it’s just a thing I’m still used to after more than 10 years on Social Media.
    Lots of Love from Germany

    • Minaida says

      Same here! Don’t wanna miss that feeling of finally being able to focus on things that are important to me. I would give you my Instagram name so we can connect, but “unfortunately” we both don’t have an account 😛 xx

  3. Michelle Louise says

    Hey Emma, what is the name of the gender identity book? I would be really interested. xx

  4. I deleted my social media apps a few months ago and it feels so liberating. Suddenly I find time to read books and learn how to play the guitar. Precious time that I used to waste on scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. Energy wasted on pictures that would make me feel bad about myself. Best decision I’ve ever made

  5. Emma, the insight you share is a constant inspiration for me in so many different aspects of my life. Miss you and love you

  6. Sylvia Louis-Marie says

    At the start of this year I deleted my Instagram and made a new one. It was a fresh start. No more following people who I didn’t feel like following, no preassure to post. Now I can post what I want, when I want to. I can curate a deed of people whose content inspires or teaches me, and I can make my account into a mood board and collection of memories as opposed to a place where I allow myself to be judged and compared to my peers.

  7. I have actually never had a social media account and I am 16 years old. I know this extremely unusual for someone of my generation but I have seen how much time other people spend on social media and the pressure it puts on them so I decided early on that I do not want to be a part of it. It is interesting to hear from people who have had social media that no longer use it and are having a sometimes difficult time without it, because it’s something I’ve never experienced. I’m glad to hear that so many people are getting rid of what is often a big source of negativity in their lives. Good luck to all of you!

  8. Love this.. and “The next half of the year is going to be all about rebelling against the status quo to get to the core of not only who we are but what kind of life we want to build.” has never felt more obvious.

  9. Eleanor says

    Hey Emma, what’s the link to the interpersonal value of phone calls article? would like to give it a read x

  10. Cait C says

    It’s amazing how the universe brings things you need at the right time. I was having a bad break down today and decided to delete all the social media apps. It’s odd, I keep reaching for my phone to kill the time. Every time I’m tempted to redownload everything i remind myself how they’ve been fueling my anxiety and lack of motivation. The past few days I’ve seen this article and never clicked on it until now. Somehow your articles are always about the right thing at the right time for me. Love

  11. Odeosa says

    Hey Emma! thank you for being such an inspiration! 🙂 please keep doing what you’re doing. I love you

    Also, would you mind telling us the name of the book you ordered on amazon?

  12. Caroline says

    I really enjoy this type of posts by you, Emma. It’s personal and always leaves you with a new way of thinking, making you more approachable to your readers. Somehow, this text exposes your inner thoughts while exposing ours too. We too feel this way. So please, keep writing more like this and connecting to your audience more deeply

  13. Lea Tanesha says

    just short time after you I deleted Instagram off my phone too, it is so liberating. this way I got my whole minimalism on a absolutely new level, connect with people on the street and people around me deeper and do have less of an ego, being better or worse than someone based on the number of followers, likes and comments on Instagram. I still enjoy youtube and blogs, but I reduced my time using it immensely. I am simply not interested in other things than my life and what I can do in order to help others, not only listening to people preaching about it. also, now thinking about it I find It so ridiculous why I wanted some people’s life so bad when I didn’t even know them in person, don’t know ANYTHING about them except what they want to share with me on social media via their posts where everything always looks perfect (I totally understand that, why would you want to share a picture you don’t look beautiful at)

    I focus so much more on dancing, interpersonal action and thinking about me, making real connections with real people, ugh yes <3

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