overwhelmed by social media


I’m slightly flustered by social media and marketing myself via social media. I’m at loss for how it all works and how I can take advantage of it all. There also seems to be a non-ending stream of websites that purport to teach us how to use this instrument to our benefits. I don’t even know where to start to read about how to start.

To be completely honestly, I’m more than overwhelmed by this channel of communication.

I first joined Facebook in 2007 when I moved to Tokyo from Paris. I had been on MySpace, or was it Friendster for a while but never really used it much, dismissing it as one of those weird things where people might stalk me and trick a naïve little girl like me into bed. Even with Facebook, I declined invitations quite a few times, until a guy I had met over a weekend told me to join. He was visiting from the UK and I wanted to keep in touch because, well, yes, obviously, I had a crush on him and wanted to see the same photos of him every evening after I got home from work, and ate a cup noodle at my desk before falling asleep on the sofa watching a DVD.

So I entered the realms of social media. Back then, it was simply a method of staying in touch, and getting invited to events since it seemed that every expat in Tokyo was on this intricate web. Then Twitter came along into my inbox, then Linkedin, then A Small World, then more and more. I could not keep up, and did not bother completing my profiles.

Three years ago, I deleted myself from the social radar. My accounts lay dormant. I put everyone on limited profile – and I think a few people noticed for they sent me a message to ask why they can’t write on my wall anymore. Not only could I not face people, I couldn’t even face the surrogate of real people via cyberspace. I thanked every recruiter who contacted me via Linkedin and said I wasn’t interested in moving companies. Little did they know, I wasn’t even interested in moving on in life generally speaking.

I did not interact and deleted photos from my account. I did not want anyone to know I existed. I felt extremely unhappy seeing all these bubbly updates from my friends around the world, travelling to places I want to go to, or the business school that rejected me.

Despite some reluctance, I’m forcing myself to resurface these days, albeit timidly. I’m still not entirely comfortable with extended social contact. I cannot deal with a room full of people. I cannot “network” and prance around meeting strangers as I once did with a big fat smile on my face. But with venturing into writing and blogging, I see the merits of social media.

I’ve reached a lot of people I do not know and seemed to have inspired a few to not kill themselves even though they are also wrought with this monstrous creature, depression. I’m touched when readers write to me and say they like what I write. I jump for joy when an article I posted got shared. I’m encouraged when I see a mini spike in my analytics – I had 33 readers today instead of zero! Yipee!!

Yet, I cannot keep up with all these different forms of media.

I didn’t even now Twitter had “lists” until today, or that I could tag my Weibo messages. I don’t want to stare at my computer screen everyday just trying to upload tweets or status updates. I don’t want to walk on the street with my head buried in my phone to chase the latest news on my friends’ pages. My eyes get tired, and my elbow cramps, and my neck tenses up into a headache if I’m lucky – and a full on migraine if I’m not. I simply cannot deal with this physically especially when I’m trying to recover fully.

I don’t know what to do. I got very nervous last night as I stumbled through other bloggers’ tweets and photos on their fan pages. I didn’t really do any of that – maybe I need to do that too?

Slightly agitated and engulfed by waves of new tweets. I don’t know what to do. Can someone help me manage all the social media, get me more followers, and tell me what this # sign is about when typing my updates? So much to do, so little time.

And, why does everyone seem so happy on their Facebook updates? Is something wrong with me?

When I see tweets or weibo updates from people who have a few hundred thousand fans, I wonder what I was doing inacurrately. It seems people like to follow religiously those who have a colourful life, fashion shows, travelling to Paris, shopping trips, latest trends. Perhaps most people do not have all that within easy reach, and so they aspire the same, and idolize those who have that.

Less people seem interested in reading about a life with depression. I faltered nearly. I thought, well, I could post photos of my trips from before and brag about the 150 cities I’ve travelled to, the people I met, the latest Louboutins I bought… would that get me more than 100 followers?

Slightly empty and superficial I think. And really, these people are happy 24/7? I doubt it, but it is not for me to judge.

I need a break from this entire social media rave. So be it if I have no readers.

Perhaps best to do what makes me comfortable.

Irony is, after posting this article, I’ll probably share it on Twitter and Facebook…

Oh wells.

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.