Maybe I’m Just Not Built To Be Online Anymore

In the past day or so a number of completely different things and places have conspired to suggest that maybe I ought not to bother trying to be online in any kind of social manner and I’ve got some serious thinking to do now about my way forward as I’m spiraling and I can’t even escape to the goats because basically I can’t function in this weather.

Despite knowing that I’ve got some sort of deep, inherent disconnect with being able to cognitively manage social media in particular, I did check out Bluesky this week. For about a day, at which point I checked out of Bluesky. It’s currently got a pretty solid antifascist vibe going there, in addition to all the shitposting and general gleefulness, but it’s definitely not something I should even be thinking about keeping up with without an increase in the tools available to manage one’s feed.

In reality, it’s probably as much a non-starter for me as is Mastodon, but I keep trying to scratch the itch that Currently would solve if it existed.

It doesn’t help that having returned to help out a bit with my former nonprofit’s social media during their anniversary year I’m already having trouble maintaining all of the reading I do during the week just for myself. Trying to explore another social platform at the same time doesn’t make any sense.

It’s true that in addition to the anxiety and OCD problems that crop up trying to utilize social media for myself it’s also an environmental trigger for my intermittent rejection sensitive dysphoria. Someone was having trouble getting their custom domain handle working, and I found the problem but only the person who showed up later with the same solution got thanked. There’s literally no reason this should matter to me, but it does, and it’s all the worse when combined with the general imposter syndrome social media can set off.

Then today I followed the directional instructions someone gave out (on the IRC server for the service and community where I have both my homepage and this blog) to something on a MOO-like game being constructed (on that same service) and it turned out to be to a room you then couldn’t leave. Within moments I was having an anxiety attack.

I’d logged into the game to do some more work on something I’ve been building that was based in part upon a thing I’d built previously back in the mid-1990s in another such game, and instead I was stuck unable to do anything at all. I’d already posted a feature request for ways to block other people being able to use the verbs “dance” or “hug” upon you, and here we were with a further instance of having control taken away. It’s not entirely clear to me if this prank in part was pulled off by someone who’s been given greater access to the game system, but if so that’s all for the worse as that simply cannot be allowed.

(There’s a good rule of thumb for interacting with the world: you never know what someone is going through. Pranks are clear violations of this rule. They aren’t funny—no, really: they aren’t ever funny—and you might never know what you just did to someone. For anyone drawing out their “but it’s just online” card to play: don’t. It makes you an asshole. We’re not in “A Rape in Cyberspace” territory here, but communities need to have rules against this sort of abuse, especially by anyone with privileged access.)

At any rate, I’m spiraling from it all, and while (because as usual I need to include this disclaimer) it’s not like I’m suicidal over all of it, I’m definitely feeling deeply self-judgmental and depressed over all of it, and that territory comes almost inevitably with a little but of “why am I even here”.

Meanwhile we’re still in this heatwave which at least isn’t into the 90s anymore but as I’ve recently confirmed my capacities suffer a dramatic drop-off even just as “73° and sunny”, so I’m basically stuck inside my apartment, unable even to walk down to a coffeeshop and sit outside to read.

I’m very much in a “burn it all down” mood and trying very hard not to burn it all down. I’ve already given some thought to pulling myself off this service and out of this community because I just can’t be bothered to risk the risks of any such, but just the idea of trying to get my homepage and weblog up and running in some other fashion just fills me with more anxiety, dread, and paralysis.

I just want a way to do my own shit, and a way to keep up with other people’s shit, without having to expose myself to the harms I keep inflicting upon myself by trying to do either of these things in an overtly social manner. Which, it’s exceedingly clear, just isn’t an option.

I’m left to keep spiraling and wondering just what are the options, really. I’m not sure there are any.


  1. I’m giving serious thought to dropping all of my daily reading other than the two books I’ve got going at any one time, barring somehow finding the spoons to do a deep cull.

  2. Except for Slack, I’ve deleted from my phone all the apps I’m using for helping out with the goats’ social media, with the intent of trying to turn it into something I do on scheduled, twice-daily basis from the laptop.

  3. It should be noted that this isn’t strictly speaking limited to online. A couple of weekends back when I filled in for someone for gate hours at the goats, I got into a confrontation with a visitor that fried my nervous system so hard that when I related the story in therapy later that week it fried my nervous system all over again and I didn’t visit the goats that weekend because I didn’t feel safe or comfortable. I’ve visited since, both during gate hours and otherwise, but my nervous system ramps up every time I do now.

  4. The issue, then, is a wider one of sociality just sort of in general coming with too high a potential of risk to my health, given my limited cognitive and emotional resources these days.