My New Year’s resolution for 2020 was to no longer be physically perceived. In February, I deleted 1,000 people from my Facebook, and, after briefly resurrecting my Instagram, decided to deactivate it again. Twitter is all I have and sometimes, I don’t mind it after my initial morning check for missed stories or discourse. But every so often, I stare at my own profile, wondering why the hell more than 10,000 people are here. I feel like Spongebob SquarePants’s Patrick returning home to a horde of blinking, unfamiliar eyes, and anytime someone @’s me I have to resist the urge to reply, “Who are you people?”
Even when I feel the urge to disconnect, I can never fully log out, and I’m long past the days where deactivating is an option. As a freelancer, I depend upon social media and some degree of visibility to work, whether that’s browsing calls for pitches on @WritersOfColor—a Twitter account dedicated to amplifying writing opportunities for writers of color—making relationships with editors I would never otherwise meet, finding sources, or promoting stories.