My phone is pretty much permanently glued to my side in 2018. From scrolling through Insta to chatting on Whatsapp to hunting down the best memes on twitter, I am obsessed. But, being so clingy to my phone means there's a total expectation that you can reply to messages instantly; so what happens when your mental health means you can't?
Whilst I love social media, it can be totally overwhelming, and I find it much easier to just pop out a tweet about how I'm feeling than have to read someone's message and reply. There's the anxiety based around 'oh god what's the message going to say?!' over things even from the closest of friends. Then you have to consider how to respond, and deal with the anxiety of clicking 'send' only to be inundated with the WHAT IF I'M A MASSIVE IDIOT AND I'VE SAID SOMETHING RIDICULOUS panic.
The thing that sends anxiety really spiralling though is this belief that if you're online you've got to reply to your messages. Everything is getting more extreme about this, and Facebook messenger's even going to the lengths of now showing how many minutes ago someone was last online. Just in case, you know, you wanted to be extra obvious that you're avoiding replying to someone that stresses you out.
This whole culture needs to be turned on its head. We've been trapped into this idea that we owe everybody a reply to everything as soon as we head onto the platform they've contacted us through. But the reality is that we don't owe people anything.
I'm sure we've all been frustrated at some point with slow repliers, or no repliers, and the phrase 'stuck up bitch' comes to mind. We've been made to believe that lack of an instant reply is rude and happens because that person is too self-absorbed to respond, but it's just not the case. The truth is that this pressure to be ever present in our responses adds fuel to the hell fire that is the pressures of social media. The realisation that everyone expects instant replies, and the idea that you can't pop onto a platform without having to answer things is just beyond intense.
So, although it's frustrating at times, I think we all need to take a little step back, and accept that people can reply to us when, or if, they want. Social media is there to give us the opportunity to interact with others on a rapid, free and open basis, but we need to change this mindset that suggests that messages and chats need to be instantly replied to. Let people do their thang and the world *might* become a little less scary.