Putting the Me in Social Media

I’m not good at this.

I’m putting that out there.

I’m not good at social media. I’d like to blame the period I grew up in. Just before social media was huge, but not so long before, that I get a free pass from understanding it all.

I love technology. I love computers. I love that Facebook means I can keep up with everyone without going near the dreaded telephone.

But then there are all these new rules. Rules that I wish I’d broken earlier.

I wish I’d joined Twitter in the early days, instead of now. I wish I’d started a blog. I wish I’d learned the social rules while they were still being established.

This isn’t an autistic thing, it’s a late to the party thing. I’ve turned up late to Fight Club, and I’ve already told all my friends about how great it is. It’s only a matter of time before I’m excluded.

Every tweet I send out into the ether feels wrong. I’m breaking the social rule of butting in to a conversation I wasn’t invited to. I can hear my mother somewhere in the back of my head reminding me not to interrupt.

When people include me, I reply a couple of times, thrilled that I’ve been noticed, but then I test the waters by dropping back, and by the time I’ve analysed what I’m doing, everything has moved on.

I’m learning, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. It makes me feel like a Luddite, and I’m not. I don’t have techno-fear, I have techno-joy!

But I don’t have social joy. Not when I don’t know the rules. And cool people (can I still say cool people?) don’t read rules. They absorb them. They make them. They instinctively know what they’re doing.

So I’ve been trying to work out what I want. What other people want. How I fit.

And I don’t think I really do. I need to bend to fit, and I’m not quite there yet.

If I get it wrong it would be really nice if you told me. My world is literal and I don’t get subtle nuances.

I’m the friend who never calls. Who doesn’t send cards (and doesn’t expect them). Who when matched with someone who needs those things, will always seem selfish.

But I’m also the friend who will be there without hesitation if you need me. I’m the friend who will think of you often and send you things that she thinks you’ll like, just because.

I’ve been using social media to try to share my thoughts on being autistic. I’ve wanted to help people to understand what it’s like in my head.

As I sit here with my smallest children, eating our cereal out of small plastic tea cups (just because), I can’t help but analyse and over analyse the reactions to my interactions.

Because that’s what I do.

Who am I in social media? I’m me. I’m the me I’d be in the real world if I didn’t know the rules there. I’m still finding my way.

If you like socially awkward people, follow me on Twitter HERE.

It’ll be a pleasure to meet you. I’ll be the one hovering about, with the unintentional Don’t-You-Dare-Talk-To-Me face. Just ignore it. It’s a silly face at best.

8 thoughts on “Putting the Me in Social Media

  1. Recognise my daughter in you . She would benefit so much from meeting adults like you and as an anxious mum I benefit from hearing you. I tell her off for not smiling as she walks toward classmates, she tells me it is her resting face. Fortunately, they must be used to it, they smile at her regardless. Twitter will too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The right people let you put very little effort into the “face you present”. It sounds like she’s already got a good group of classmates and knows her own mind. It’s all a balance of doing the right amount of “social stuff”. The right amount being enough to make other people comfortable without exhausting yourself and wasting your energy on (what is essentially) superficial stuff.

      Love “Twitter will too”. You’re right. It will.

      Liked by 1 person

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