It’s hard to not be lured in by the images social media feeds us. The fact that the amalgamation of these images is even called a ‘feed’ makes me wonder: Did Al Gore predict this all along?
In all seriousness though, I don’t know how those of you who have resisted the pull of social media do it. I once prided myself in being a social media pariah. But then, as the story goes, I had to join for work. And now here I am.
Work, however, is not the reason why I check my phone before Fajr prayer. Work is not the reason why, on a Saturday morning, I’ve checked Facebook definitely more than once. To be fair, I’m not as addicted as some of my peers. But I haven’t been able to evade its negative effect; and so in the end, it doesn’t really matter how often I frequent. It only takes one quick scroll for the damage to do its work.
Yesterday, I was in a crummy mood. My husband works from home on Fridays so I didn’t have the space or time to compose myself (I need a full 8 hours!). Obviously, he picked up on it. Thank God for PMS as a ready excuse! But there’s always a provenance that goes deeper. PMS just makes me feel a bit more self-deserving about not being my usual anxious but amelioratory self.
There were many reasons why I was feeling crummy. One which Mr. Rafia was able to fish out of me (I’ve finally figured out that the way to stop loved-ones who “lovingly” bully me for my Ichthyophobia is to not give them the satisfaction!) was: my social media-induced jealousy. In particular, one Muslim writer who was featured on HuffPo. I read her article and thought, “Really? They rejected my article and published that!”
I am not proud of my reaction, but I am glad that I was able to talk it out with
Dr. Phil Mr. Rafia and then, what finally gave me closure, write about it in my journal this morning.
I am not going to extol the many benefits of daily journaling – it’s like telling everyone to exercise. We all know it’s good for us, but the highs of exercise just cannot compete with the highs of chocolate cake – but it is one thing I am most consistent about, because it’s helped me sort out my fears and anxieties. At the minimum, it makes me feel productive at least once a day.
We’ve all heard the adage “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” the not-so-common wisdom of not letting prejudices get in the way of our decisions, but I also think it can help ward off pangs of jealousy. No one takes selfies during fights or when they’re just having a bad day. It doesn’t mean they don’t have them. I mean, take a look at my own “feeds” and you’d think I have the best husband in the world who always buys me cake. He doesn’t, by the way. The Best Husband in the World would though.
I’m still new to the world of writing. I still haven’t been able to take full ownership of the fact that I am a writer, still using qualifying adjectives as “aspiring” and, as recently as last week, “trying to be.” One woman was kind enough to remind me that it’s become unconscious.
Clearly, I have lots of work yet to do – both mentally and in terms of output.
Through the course of my morning journaling today, I reminded myself of my many blessings and was in turn reminded why I first began to write: it was…is the way I best express myself. Recognition, if that is what is meant to be, will come. I surely don’t deserve it yet. There will inevitably be many rejections in the weeks, months, and years ahead. But if I am serious and committed, it will be the love, the insatiable need, the soul-stirring rattling that I feel in my bones that will propel me forward – not the accolades I see others get based on a three-minute read.