Social media has a bad reputation. It gets accused of being shallow and showing the world only the best and most exciting parts of a person’s life. That it breeds narcissism, selfishness and egotism. You can after all, at any moment, show the world your OOTD*, what you ate for breakfast and give your critique of the movie you watched all while sitting on the toilet taking a dump.
These types of bed head pics don’t usually make the cut, unless of course you’re ok with people seeing morning eye crusties:
Usually, we post the perfectly filtered profile picture ready ones like these:
As much as I’d love to peg Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media site as the scapegoat I know the real problem isn’t the media being used, but the person using it.
I don’t think social media is the problem. As much as my dad may disagree. I think the issue of shallow relationships, selective sharing and spotlighting achievements has been happening since before the Internet was even invented. Before electricity even. You see, from the beginning, humanity has been trying to cover up the undesirable parts. (If you want an explanation on that, check out my post “Showering Naked & Other Fears”.)
I assure you, I agree there is a problem. I guess I’m just more frustrated with people who ask, “How are you doing?” and then look at you like you just rained on their parade when you give them an honest response. I understand there are certain social norms that dictate that the “appropriate” response is “fine” or “good”, but I can’t bring myself to lie if that isn’t how I’m feeling. I’ve found my honesty is unwarranted most of the time, but I figure they’ll think twice before asking me again.
I also understand that not everyone is meant to be in the “inner circle” of your life. That some people are strangers, others are acquaintances, others are going to get ice cream friends and others still are sitting by your hospital bed companions. There’s this relationship hierarchy and with each level comes higher responsibility, deeper commitment and vulnerability. There’s wisdom in boundaries, to a certain extent.
Here’s the thing: Genuine relationship is rooted in honest dialogue.
And sometimes honest dialogue comes when someone finds out, “Hey! I do that too” or “I’ve felt like that”. So even though I might not want people to know certain things, sharing those things can make a connection. And I believe, ultimately it will bring freedom and relief to know I’m not alone, but someone can relate.
It’s not easy and everything inside is screaming: DON’T SHARE THAT! THEY WON’T ACCEPT YOU ANYMORE! THEY WON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE. THEY’LL LOOK AT YOU DIFFERENTLY! But that’s just the enemy trying to keep you isolated. Some people may look at you differently, but for others you may just be the breath of fresh air they’ve been gasping for.
That’s one of the reasons why I write this blog. If someone, even ONE person can connect with my struggle, my story, and find some kind of freedom, some kind of Life for their weary bones than its all worth it to me.
*For those of you who don’t know what this acronym stands for, let me help you out. Outfit Of The Day. Yup. It’s a thing. I promise.