The Social Media Effect

A decade ago, who would have thought that social media would take over our lives the way it does today?

It’s funny how we eat Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To be honest, for me, scrolling through my social media feeds used to be some kind of break from studying or working. “Used to” because recently, social media has been causing me stress and anxiety (and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this).

Which brings me to my next observation: I’ve seen discussions and arguments going around, saying how social media is such an evil invention. This got me thinking, “Is it really that bad?”

Personally, even though it has been causing me quite a lot of stress and anxiety, I still don’t think of social media as an “evil invention.” When social media was first introduced to us, its main purpose was to give us the opportunity to connect with relatives and friends who live quite a distance away.

What really makes social media platforms “evil” are its users — Us. As the years go by and as each social media platform improves, its users have also changes with it. In my observation, discussions turned into arguments, being friendly was confused as flirting, and sharing or posting achievements was misunderstood as boasting. So unfortunately, these changes are bad rather than good.

My point being is that no matter how many times Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter improves or changes their policies, if the users continue being as toxic as they are today, I do not see social media being a better place anytime soon.

Two.

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Here’s an attempt at writing our story. I’m not really sure where or how to even begin with this post — How did we really begin?

As I have mentioned in all of my previous blog entries, I found you when I wasn’t even looking for anything or anyone for that matter. You were just there — someone I know by name and someone who I casually have small talks with whenever we ran into each other. It has always been like that between us and nothing more.

Thinking about it now, I can’t believe that just a couple of years ago, you weren’t even part of my life. It feels weird because I feel like I’ve known you forever. Looking back at those days, I can’t really tell when I started developing these feelings for you. There were just no signs — no anything. It just kind of happened.

I remember your birthday back in 2018 when I greeted you a few days early because your birthday fell on a weekend. I vividly remember you telling me to greet you again on your birthday, and I did send you a message via Messenger. The following day was a work day, and you dropped by my work station to give me some gummy worms. Casually, I asked you what it was for and you said that it was your birthday. I honestly didn’t know what to say because you really didn’t have to, so I managed a “thank you.”

I think our conversations frequented after that. It was supposed to be just friendly conversations, given that we both arrive early in the office. It was really nice having someone to talk to early in the morning. I guess, some time during those conversations, something just clicked — I couldn’t say when it all changed, but it did. I used to find myself looking at you from across the room and a lot of the time you were already staring back at me.

I knew I was in love when you started reading one of my favorite book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and my stomach made a double-flip. It was the butterflies, as most people would call it. I just couldn’t stop talking about it, so you told me you were going to read it. It was just the sweetest thing.

Fast forward to 2020 and we’ve been through so much and created a lot of memories together. I know I told you this already, but being with you was the most alive I’ve felt in my 26 years of existence. You made me look at the world in a different angle — I know I still sometimes fail at doing so, but you always manage to get your point through, that everything in this world is all about perspective. It’s hard to do so sometimes when I feel like I am trapped (you know what I mean), but you always try your best to change my take on the world.

Thank you for making my life worthwhile and for bringing out the best in me. Happy anniversary, babe. I will always love you. ♡

The Dusty Diary #1

When I first started blogging, I used to write about my daily encounters with different things. My Tumblr blog used to be a diary of sorts and since this pandemic has been really affecting my mental health, I felt that I needed to write these kind of stuff again because writing my feelings down is therapeutic for me. I needed to take extra steps that I think will help me get through this, so here I am:

It has been nearly three months since the lockdown was imposed in my country, and despite forcing myself to stay positive amidst all this ⁠— well, this pandemic and quarantine really did take a toll on my mental health.

During the first couple of weeks, I was able to stay sane by focusing on work, reading books, and sometimes I even tried to learn new things (e.g., cooking and making dessert). I thought I had my anxiety under control, but as the days go by and as the quarantine period in my side of the world was extended and extended and extended, I found myself more and more anxious. I tried distracting myself by spending way too much time on online shops which resulted in, of course, me buying so many things like books and skincare products. For a while, I was really happy ⁠— receiving a package sort of  gives you that giddy feeling like receiving a gift on your birthday or on Christmas. It worked for a while, I felt happy whenever a package is delivered on our front door and I liked the thrill of opening it and, of course, using the products.

Again, I thought I had it under control, but last week, I’ve been having a hard time sleeping. I am tired and sleepy, but every time I try to close my eyes, my mind goes into a spiral of thoughts that I just can’t shake. I am overthinking again, and it seemed a lot worse than before this pandemic started. I’ve been thinking about the pandemic, the lockdown, my future, my stress from work and my deadlines ⁠— there were so many things running through my mind all at once that it felt like my head was going to crack open. I even came to a point where I cried and begged my mind to just stop thinking and just let me rest ⁠— I was so freaking restless.

Right now, I bought an over-the-counter medicine for some dosage of melatonin to help me sleep at night and I’ve also been drinking tea or milk before going to bed. I’ve been taking the meds for two days now, and so far, it’s helping me pretty well with my sleep though I’m still having occasional breakdowns during the day. I hope I get to cope up with all that is happening because having a mental breakdown at this time is so much harder.

I’ve also been constantly talking with my boyfriend and some of my friends about it, and most of them keep on telling me to just don’t overthink things as I do not have control over everything. I agree, I totally freaking agree, but the thing is, I just can’t force my mind to just stop thinking about everything. As I’ve mentioned, I even came to a point where I begged my mind to just stop ⁠— the noise in my head just don’t know how to stop. It sounds crazy, but it feels that way and I’ve been having intense headaches because of it. It’s so hard to deal with my anxiety, stress, and panic attacks when everything around me is stressing the hell out of me.

I hope that these baby steps like taking in dosages of melatonin, drinking tea/milk, and writing my heart out helps a bit with what I’m currently feeling because I don’t know what else to do.

You Are What Matters

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” – Jack Kerouac

We’re kind of iffy when it comes to exploring things out of our comfort zone. What makes it a problem is that most of us would rather stick with the same familiar pain that have been hurting us for quite a long time. We settle for the pain that we’ve been trying to fix rather than just dive into a foreign one where new things await us — maybe with even lesser pain. Most of the time we’re overthinking about how we don’t want to mess things up — crowding our minds with the thought that we might be making the wrong decision or for most of us, we’re all just afraid of not being able to meet the standards that were built for us by other people — family, society, and friends.

Almost two years ago, I was bound to make a decision that will change a big part of my life. I was so eager to choose what I know is best for me and what I know for sure will make me happy, and that’s exactly what I did regardless of what other people might think of me. It wasn’t a very smooth journey and there were a lot of rough times, but up to this day, it is still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

There are still other situations where it’s really hard to get it inside our minds to stop overthinking and just go for what we feel is right. Of course, it has always been easier said than done when we’re choosing between what we’ve grown too accustomed to and something entirely new. Personally, there were some situations in my life recently where I’ve been trying to tell myself that I shouldn’t care what these people think. A cornucopia of thoughts keep flooding up my mind and it’s not really mentally healthy anymore — these people tend to make me compare myself with someone else as if that person is the “standards” that I have to meet when I know for a fact that I am capable of doing way better. I know for sure that I am also capable of being the best person that I can be.

To be honest, I will never be like the person they prefer, because I know that in my own little ways, I am better and I am slowly trying to make as much progress in my life so that I can one day turn into the person I’ve always wanted to be; not what they think I should be. It’s okay to never meet someone’s standards, we don’t live for them anyways.

I know that there are days when we feel so down that no matter how many times a day we tell ourselves that we got this and that we are better than what they think — that they shouldn’t matter, at the back of my mind, it still does and it sucks that we’re having a hard time burying those thoughts away. I truly want to set myself free of all the chains that are preventing me to move forward but I also know that it takes time to rid myself of the poison in my head.

Slowly, that day will come, one step at a time. I just need to keep reminding myself that there are so many ways to live, and if I continue letting these people pull me down, I will end up in the pits of somewhere I don’t belong to. Sometimes our prison is our own mind, but please take some time to think things through and realize that we shouldn’t let these negative thoughts slow us down.

So to everyone feeling the same way, please always remember that there is so much beauty in each day. Free yourself of the prison that is your mind. May we all emancipate ourselves from this. We’ll all get through this.

Love in the Time of Corona

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In the past four weeks, the digital screens have taken over the world.

It was five weeks ago when the government enforced the community quarantine in my area, but to most of us, it already feels like a lifetime ago. Most of our usual activities like meetings, lunch dates, happy hours, and even play dates have been reduced through the digital screens.

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