Folks, I’m happy to introduce you to Sudesna Ghosh. Sue is a great colleague, writer, hard worker and a compassionate animal advocate (among other things). When I approached her recently about writing a guest spot here she enthusiastically agreed. So buy her books, visit her site and read on further for her personal insights on social media.
Me & Social Media
By Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh
Author, cat mother and mental health advocate based in Kolkata, India
I’m an introvert. That doesn’t mean that I’m shy. It really means that I appreciate intimate conversations and interactions but get drained out from too much people-ing. So thank you to social media for making my life easier when it comes to keeping in touch with friends, fellow authors and animal lovers. While I have the bad habit of staying connected to the internet almost every waking minute, I’ve been more mindful about the impact of social media on my mental health and well-being.
Prone to anxiety, I have spent nights awake with racing heartbeat leading to palpitations because there’s always someone on Facebook who looks better than you, sells more books than you, and has more fun than you. Of course I know that most people love showing the shiny and happy because sadness pushes the average person away. BUT that never stopped me from feeling like rubbish and letting my self-esteem take a dip for the worse.
So fast forward to months of mental havoc later and I finally realized that deactivating Facebook forever wasn’t an option even though I had a love-hate relationship with it. Instead, I made myself a rule to log on twice a day, take a quick glance at my closest friends’ timelines, and to post my self-published book promotion posts, and log off. That meant, no notifications throughout the day. And no Facebook profile stalking during my free time that could be used better to read or write. Also, as a sensitive person, graphic images of animal cruelty would leave me crying nights, so I unfollowed those who post such things frequently. I’ve stuck to my plan and am feeling much better about myself and my life. It’s all about self-control. Easier said than done, of course.
The thing is, social media isn’t all awful as some people make it out to be. I for one, have bonded with several compassionate souls on Twitter and Instagram. These include animal lovers, helpers of homeless people, and supportive indie authors. I have seen compassion in the form of people quickly raising money for a cat’s medical help. I have experienced empathy when others have opened up about their struggles with anxiety and depression. I have learned so much about the writing and publishing world from other writers. There are a lot of wonderful people in this world and on social media. Wasting time online fighting with trolls isn’t my thing.
My motto when I use social media is to take advantage of the good and stay away from the bad. I think that path is a way to mental peace.