I love social media. I have met some kickass people who loved me from a distance, or through their art, or intelligence or vulnerability or smiley faces during a shit hard time in my real life. I wouldn’t exchange them. Oh geez, nothing out of the ordinary that I’d need a “go fund me” for, but a shake up. That being said, I feel fortunate that it wasn’t around when I was a kid. Real life is hard enough as a teen, without a constant barrage of more things to think about.
As an adult, I have been accused of spending too much time there and not enough in the real world. I find it hilarious, if it says anything about me it’s that I take a lot of breaks from my work. Before social media, I read books during my breaks, so nothing has really changed about me. The accusation does highlight one of the risks in social media. I believe if you don’t think it through, it can lead to making false assumptions about other people. It’s still kinda funny, in most RL (Real Life) social interactions most of us only show a dimension of ourselves. If we were full throttle, trying to be our multi-dimensional selves in every meeting, would anyone have any friends? You know the joke, “When I first met you I thought you were a bitch … .” Nobody knows anybody without extended periods of interaction, whether it’s on social media or IRL.
Here’s an example, I have a habit of sharing funny memes. Now I’m no comedian, you have to go to Dry Bar for those guys. I see something I think is funny and push a button and voila, giggle city. But my family and friends would never define me as a comedic actor. Still, it’s the same, in a good week I can possibly say something funny on a daily basis. If you look at social media, those thousand memes are a snapshot. A piece of my personality. If that’s all you see, and assume I am a laugh riot, it’s because you just scrolled a week’s worth of humor in two minutes. Another assumption made is that posting is a cry for validation. Well maybe sometimes it is. For me, when I see the little happy faces, I picture a momentary smile on my friend’s face and it makes me feel good. Doing things that make you feel good, no sin there.
I write this blog, obviously, and occasionally a bitter little soul condemns me for over sharing. Oh-Kay, reality check, I do that in person as well. It’s a personality quirk not a flaw. I have a thing for honesty and I’m not ashamed of my inner thoughts. But of course, value judgements are made on our differences IRL all the time as well. Doesn’t make it a good idea, wherever we find it.
IRL every person needs to keep boundaries. Some people will rub you the wrong way and you need to keep distance. It’s actually easier on social media. Snooze. Unfollow. Block. Deactivate. Delete. It’s just dumb to let yourself be triggered by someone you don’t have to listen to. Yes, I said dumb, but I’m allowed because I’ve been there. Been dumb, I mean. That’s how I know.
Anyway, if you are regularly making assumptions about others, you are probably wrong. I actually have way more issues than spending too much time on social media, in case you really wanted to know. But it’s a free country and if I rub you wrong, just let me go, K?
And for those of you that came to me out of social media and into my real life experience, I love you.
“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”