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Why I Quit Mental Health Twitter

Okay, we need to spill some tea (oh, this is going to be good).

When I started this blog back in March, I had the good sense to create social media accounts for Earth, Mind & Fire, so that I could reach more people who wanted a little laughter injected into their lives. After playing around with them, it turned out that Instagram, Facebook and Twitter were the best platforms to showcase the blog (because Pinterest was a flop). From the get go, Instagram established itself as the prime social media platform (because who doesn’t love a good featured image?). Facebook has done pretty well with my friends, although not so much with global audiences (this bitch ain’t got £40 to advertise a post). And then there was Twitter. I have a personal Twitter account, and often, I will tell people that it is my favourite of the social media’s for many reasons, such as: news updates, memes (we’re mostly here for the memes) and reduced numbers of annoying baby boomers. When I started to engage with other mental health bloggers on Twitter, it was a success. It felt rewarding to be able to join a new community.

Photo Credit 📷: George Pagan III

That being said (here comes the shade parade), I did feel like a new kid in a new school where everyone has already formed cliques (like Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls). This wasn’t necessarily a problem (because I’m a cool kid, innit) but it definitely felt like I had to win some respect, in order to gain some respect. Months went past, and it was becoming clearer that I wasn’t really getting a reputable audience on Twitter – I maybe had a few likes but not enough traffic was flowing through. On the whole, the amount of readers that this blog gets doesn’t particularly phase me too much, for I believe that as long as a handful of people find value in it (there can be 100 people in a room), then I’m producing meaningful content (and only 1 will read your blog).

Creating content when Annie the Anxiety Police is clouding up your head, can make you feel as though what you’re producing isn’t good enough. So, the lack of audience on Twitter disappointed in myself (loser). Whilst trying to not let Annie win, the political landscape of Mental Health Twitter was getting wild. In my opinion, unless you’re an extremist bigot (I’m looking at you, Trump), your political stance doesn’t bother me – if we all thought the same then we wouldn’t be able to grow. However, a lot of these ‘advocates’ (oof, quotation marks) really enjoyed branding people racists, homophobes and xenophobes if they didn’t believe in the exact same thing that they did (extreme lefties are just as bad as extreme righties). Brexit is a tricky subject at the best of times, but in an environment where people are supposed to be supporting each other, it is hypocritical to make them feel ashamed of themselves for not agreeing with their peers. One blogger in particular seemed hell-bent on putting their opinion across everyday, to be honest it was verging on being aggressive. Every time I would scroll through Earth, Mind & Fire’s Twitter feed, I could feel my anxiety being triggered.

Photo Credit 📷: William Iven

My initial solution was to stop following this particular individual, and that it would brighten up after not seeing their hatred spread across my feed. For sure, there was a grace period where I felt better about the content I was seeing on Twitter. Yet, this cliquey community still hovered. No matter how much I tried to engage with people, I didn’t seem to get that same respect back. If someone had tweeted about needing advice on a mental illness matter, I would do my best to respond to them – since we should all be supporting each other. When I did the same though, I was left silent. Indeed, one person could post a meaningless selfie and ascertain a crowd of attention, when another who is in a dark headspace could receive silence.

In 2019, it is downright disappointing that this environment exists, as all it does is entice mental illness triggers. We like to spread the word on how we should help one another, and yet, we tear people down for having a different point of view. In politics, we SHOULD be tackling bigotry, NOT everyone who supported a different side of the argument. We SHOULD offer our support to anyone who needs it, NOT to those hoping to gain likes through selfies.

Photo Credit 📷: Daria Nepriakhina

Perhaps one day it will change, and I am more than willing for this blog to become active on Twitter again in the future. For now though, it just isn’t the appropriate environment for myself, and the blog, to recover and grow.

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Featured Image 📷: Kon Karampelas

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