How To Stop Feeling Isolated In An Online World

how to stop feeling isolated online
 
Blogging is a strange thing sometimes. Actually not just blogging, living in an online world is strange all the time sometimes. I think more so than ever, we’re all having to navigate the waters a little differently as we try and balance our on and offline lives, and I know myself, feeling isolated online was not quite something I expected.

There’s this weird thing we all do where you follow someone online, you feel like you know them well and then you realise…you’ve never even met them in real life, you don’t really know them at all. You scroll through your Instagram feed and write a comment on someone’s post with a bunch of smiley emoji’s….but you’ve got a completely flat, emotionless face as you insert those emoji’s. Weird, huh?

So with keeping an online presence and with our friends, friends of friends, acquaintances and strangers all having their own online presence as well- how do you stop from feeling isolated?

 
 
how-to-not-feel-isolated-online

Be open about what you love.
I honestly think so many nice things about other people in my head, but I keep all of that in and don’t usually express it. I’ll see photos I think are incredible or read a post that I LOVE but I won’t say a thing. Why? Because I am batshit crazy. Just kidding, I have no idea why (maybe it’s because I think people already know when they’re doing good things?). Anyway, it recently occurred to me that I should be spreading that positivity.

If you’re a blogger especially, then you know what it feels like to work really hard writing a post, only for it to receive a lukewarm response. Then on the other hand, a single comment from someone saying that they loved the post or a re-tweet on Twitter can completely turn around your perspective and give you the warm and fuzzies. Because something as simple as that reminds you that while you may write posts, write a Tweet or post a photo alone in your bedroom, there are actual real life humans seeing that stuff and so when someone takes the time to give you positive feedback and connect, it means a lot! It breaks down the barriers and in an online world, there are a lot of barriers.

So if you read a post you love, re-tweet it, if you see an Instagram photo you think is amazing, write a comment telling that person why and if you feel like someone looks incredible in the photos they post, tell them! The more I do this, the better I feel and the more I feel like I’m part of a community of actual people, rather than 1 person writing a post that no one will ever read.

 
 

Show your true self.
We all know that on Instagram it’s a refection of our best selves, and for a lot of us our blogs are like that too. I don’t mean that people are untruthful or fake on their blogs, but do you see me posting a photo of me crying at 2am because I’m having a moment? Oh hell no, I really don’t think anyone wants to see that. For me, as much as I love putting my creativity into my blog and social profiles, I do sometimes feel like a bit of an imposter. My personality in real life is the same as it is through the posts on my blog (albeit I’m a little more over-dramatic in ‘real’ life) but there are times when I’ll be having some kind of a meltdown and it just doesn’t feel right to log onto my site and see all of these photos of myself where I’m all happy and you know, not wearing Mario Badescu drying lotion all over my face like I am for 90% of my days.

Then I wrote this post about my struggles with anxiety and an incredible thing happened, I was getting extremely genuine, lovely comments from people who either could relate or were supportive and it made me feel grateful in a whole other way than when I get typical positive feedback on my blog. It felt like people were actually accepting and being proud of me, as opposed to online me and that’s all because I opened up a little more. Now I’m not stupid (well, sometimes I am…) I know that online you should be careful about just how much you share, so don’t go crazy or you know, share your address. But if you are feeling quite isolated, like you’re going through something alone or like you’re just another number, try sharing something a little closer to the chest, be more genuine, take more chances and see what happens.

 
 
how to stop feeling lonely and isolated
 

Go out of your comfort zone.
Not too long ago, I read a blog post where someone was talking about a pair of Harry Potter pyjamas they bought (stay with me, I promise this story has a purpose). In their comments I off-handedly mentioned that I would LOVE a pair of HP pyjamas and that person asked me if I’d like them to send me a pair. People, this was sending a pair of pyjamas all the way across waters, seas, strange foreign lands and Narnia to get to me in Australia. It may not seem that big to you but I was floored. The kindness and generosity to me who was basically a stranger?! It made me SO happy. By the way, I got the pants and they are bloody amazing. You see, this whole experience has taught me that sometimes going out of your comfort zone, reaching out to people and breaking these supposed walls between us that exist online can be so beneficial. Who says you can’t send a reader a pair of pyjama pants? I mean, as long as you’re pretty confident they’re not a serial killer it’s pretty harmless and a brilliant act of kindness that can make someone feel special, and like they’re not so alone in a sea full of Internet users. If you’re feeling lonely, I’d really encourage you to be more spontaneous, reach out, break down the walls of what you think is ‘social etiquette’ online and go above and beyond sometimes, you might just find that you’ve made someone across the globe feel uplifted and included. Crazy what a pair of pants can do, eh?

 

Do you ever feel isolated online?

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  • Sure do! Even though I “keep in contact” with some of my overseas friends online, I still feel alone & isolated. That said I reached out to them for some help with a recent blog post & they came through for me, which was great since not all of them knew I had a blog to begin with (for some reason I like to compartmentalise & separate parts of my life from others).

    I know what you mean re: showing your true self. When I spoke about my anxiety battle on my blog, it was daunting in so many ways but ultimately liberating as I received a lot of positive feedback about it. I’ve felt more comfortable letting people get to know the real me this year (although I’ve tried to be as careful as possible when it comes to sharing bits about myself) & even published another highly personal post yesterday about body image. I’d been working on it for ages & was almost too scared to post it because I talked about some of my flaws as well as my best bits, but decided to feel the fear & do it anyway. Again, so far I’ve had nothing but positive feedback. Funny how the world works sometimes huh?

    Shell // The Novice Life

    • The Sunday Mode

      I think I tend to do the whole separating parts of my life thing as well, not sure why though.

      i love that you took the plunge, felt the fear and did it anyway. Good for you and that’s so inspiring! I know what you mean, sometimes the most personal posts that you think you’re going to cop flack for actually end up being the ones that people love and relate to the most!

  • Erin Russell

    I don’t know what I love more your post or your tshirt – I know – terrible, but I have a thing for stripy tshirts at the moment lol,

    I totally understand though, and relate. the online word can be so daunting at times, and sometimes I feel like I know all these people when in actual fact they just know my blog, which isn’t me. I love making friends beyond that point, chatting properly, facetiming, blogging can be lonely and its so good to find people who relate to weather struggles and lighting struggles!

    I love how you were sent the HP pyjamas, that is the sweetest thing I have heard all week, it just shows there are people out there who are pretty amazing, and the online community isn’t all bad! 🙂

    Erin || MakeErinOver

    • The Sunday Mode

      Aw thanks Erin, I love stripy shirts as well, I actually need to stop buying them now! haha

      I feel the same, it’s like I’d love to be able to have a giant meet up with everyone that read my blog so that they could all get to know the real me, as well as the blog/online me, because they’re the same person but still different.

  • mybeautrip .com

    Great post dear! I need too be open with my feelings but online world can be really cold sometimes!

    xx

    http://www.mybeautrip.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      It can be, and it can be daunting to open yourself up online when you don’t know what kind of a reception you’re going to get to that. All I’ll say is that try and feel our your readers, because sometimes putting yourself out there really pays off in the end 🙂

  • Personally, I never met you properly but I really like your content and they way you write. From some reason I feel like we are chatting over cup of coffee (mhmmm australian coffee). And also you look fantastic in these photos, some simple yet not simple;) xx

    http://www.hairwonderfulday.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thank you! I’m so glad that my posts are coming across that way because that’s always what I’m aiming for, I never want people to feel like they’re reading a magazine or something like that.

  • It can be hard being online I agree. Your tips are amazing and so true x

    franklyflawless.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks 🙂

  • Ah – I absolutely love this post and you’ve really got things spot on here. The way you write your posts and interact with your readers is such a lovely way to engage and make other people feel like they know you.

    I remember when I first visited your blog and it was so inviting that I kept visiting and now, I love the content you write as I feel like I can relate to this in the perfect way.

    People can get too carried away with the online world so we do need to bring ourselves back and make time for ourselves – especially when you’re writing a blog and having to keep things going.

    Love, love, love the post – great topics and cannot wait to see more lovely!

    Hope you’re having a great week so far!

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

    • The Sunday Mode

      Wow thanks Layla, I don’t think I could get better feedback on my blog if I tried! That’s really brightened my day 🙂 x

      It can definitely be easy to get carried away with the online world and all of that mumbo jumbo, sometimes you really just have to take a step back from it all.

  • Hi,
    I think to not be isolated is to like you said to promote kindness and support in the online world. I found others have liked my tweets or follow back.

    Love Jordyn /junerobin.blogspot.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      That’s great Jordyn, it’s an awesome feeling when people support you on Twitter as well isn’t it? 🙂

  • I think that being my true self as much as possible, and using my own voice when writing blog posts, as well as not being afraid to be honest about my thoughts and opinions has helped so much in making connections. I mean, it can be daunting to put yourself out there and it’s certainly not for everyone but it is much easier to build a community around yourself when you are willing to trespass online conventions. Instagram is the worst for feeling isolated because it’s so visual and you rarely get to experience the person behind the flatlays but even sharing a bit about how my day has gone in my captions usually evokes a response from my followers and gets a conversation started.

    Loved reading this post as always, and your honesty about the online experience!

    Maria | whatismaria.com

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Maria and I agree about Instagram, I think even more so now than ever Instagram feels like such a cold place to be online. It’s true that finding actual genuine people and having genuine conversations through that platform can feel really difficult, but I love your idea of sharing a bit more through your captions.

  • Being open about what you love is great advice! Even if you’re not getting a ton of love back, sharing and spreading kindness can really help you feel connected online! Totally with you on sharing other people’s content etc. Love your red and white striped top by the way, you look lovely!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • The Sunday Mode

      Thanks Gabrielle, yeah I’ve found that spreading the kindness has made me feel a lot better and like I’m a part of something bigger 🙂

  • Ah I loved this post, it actually sort of gave me the warm and fuzzies as you mentioned because I was thinking ‘yep, these are the things I love about blogging’. I’m the same and can easily be quite passive but now I do try to be more vocal when I really like something online. I love spreading the love and the fact that someone sent you some Harry Potter PJ pants is amazing! It’s things like that, which really do put a smile on your face, it even made me smile just reading it. 🙂

    Samio x
    http://www.samio.co.uk/

    • The Sunday Mode

      I can be really passive as well which is why I’m actively trying to speak up and be more vocal with things like that.

      I’m happy it made you smile reading the story about the PJ pants, I always get really happy every time I wear them as well 🙂

  • Lovely post! I agree – being your true self is definitely so so important! And also getting out of your comfort zone – so true! I need to do more of this! x

    TOUCHOFGS

    • The Sunday Mode

      Don’t worry, I need to get out of my comfort zone more as well!

  • The internet is a funny thing. At times I love it and then at others I can find it so difficult. x

    Tiffany Tales | Lifestyle & Beauty

    • The Sunday Mode

      It’s a bit of a double edged sword for sure.

  • I definitely agree with you here! The internet can make you feel strangely isolated. Loved this, and the photos are gorg!!
    Liv x
    livwrites.co.uk

  • Laura [Merkitty]

    I feel isolated a lot and I’m still trying to find my way among the blogging community, but being true to yourself is definitely important.