On this weeks episode of The Petting Zoo, Brandi and I played a game called “5 Second Rule” where we were given a topic or category, and we had to name 3 items in under 5 seconds. For the most part, we smashed it! There was 1 question that Brandi was given really got me thinking. I almost immediately pulled an example from my own social media feed.
I wanted to take a moment to elaborate more, on what I’ve learned through various social media interactions over the years.
Its been a test of will and patience, to say the least, growing with social media, and constantly being connected with people of all ages, from all walks of life. Some of our past seems to reappear in the form of a friend request, and sometimes, reconnecting can be a good thing! Meeting new people through mutual friends, work, or hobbies, can be exciting, but before social media, you could keep some things secret and it took a bit longer to get to know someone. Now, with all the sharing, and rehashing, long posts at 2 am, and drunken direct messages, it speeds things up a tad.
As I’ve grown, so have my social media “habits”. Sure, I find myself scrolling through the same 10 posts at 2 am, just like everyone else, but my tact has definitely changed. In 2007, if I saw a post or a comment that I didn’t care for, I was out of the lions den, usually to my own detriment. For instance, someone making negative comments on a friends photo, was instantly public enemy number one. I was hoping straight into the comments section to give them a thorough read, straight away. Politics, sex, drugs, alcohol; nothing was off limits. Every post was glamorized. Every photos was filtered. I wanted my life to be perfect on social media, and I wasn’t stifling my opinion for anyone.
Oh boy, how things have changed; drastically!
Back to TPZ this week, and our little game. It was all for fun! Some of the answers were a last resort, while others a genuine opinion. One of my favorite questions was “What social media posts annoy people the most?”
What a loaded question.
I believe Brandi went with, “I’m skinny, look at my squishy baby, and I’m getting married” posts, but I beg to differ! While the public opinion may side with those and they are all easy to take a jab at, I typically enjoy seeing self-love and positive on the internet. I’m the first to congratulate a friend on any accomplishment, personal, professional, or otherwise! I went from judging every photos down to the cuticles, to enjoying every aspect of a selfie!
GET IT GIRL! WEEEEERK!
However, there are a few things I HATE on social media and I gave a great example of one during the podcast. Tune in to hear more about that scenario, but they are all one in the same.
I am all about self-love, community support, and building each other up. With all the horrific things broadcast in the news and readily available to ruin your day online, I try to focus more on the positive. When I see a friend or family member having a rough day, I try to jump in and make it better. I do an advice column after all, so you can probably imagine that I am typically the advice giver in my groups.
One of the most annoying posts on FB, is the “I am having the WORST day, please don’t ask about it” posts.
There are infinite examples, all falling into this category and the just rolls right over into the comments section as well! I’ve seen paragraph long posts, and millions of uplifting comments and suggestions, turned into a sour ass pity party in a matter of seconds. It’s the most frustrating thing I have seen online. I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson in taking a step back, even when you think you are helpful, and overall in the right.
It’s important to remember, even when you think you can relate, that many things can stop a person from wanting you to. That helpful comment, can turn into a hurtful one, without any poor intentions. That positive encouragement can spin itself round on you really quickly, if you let it. Its all about the poster, their current state of mind, and of cores, how they feel about you.
For example, my parents are divorced. I can speak on my experience as a child of divorce, but it won’t always apply to another person’s situation. I can provide comfort, and an ear, but a lot of the time, I inject my own experiences and feelings into another person’s and like it or not, it may not apply.
Sure, is it embarrassing to put yourself out there, and try to boost someone up, build their confidence, and allow them a safe space to confide, only to have them smack you down with misunderstanding. Does that mean we can’t take a step back, and realize that you can’t expect everyone to be you? No.
Now, by this point you’ve already read through my frustration, and if the person referenced is reading this, I really did take your words to heart. I understand now, that while my intentions were good, and our experiences similar, WE are not the same, and that’s okay. It’s okay to need more time or a different approach to grief. Its okay to feel misunderstood, and taken aback by comments that aren’t your own or don’t reflect your position. I understand, better probably now, than I did before.
We grow, but that’s the point isn’t it?
I guess what I am getting at, is that while these types of posts, and the lack of reception for support still bothers me, there is always something to be learned about yourself and other people. You can change your opinion and still be yourself. In fact, we’d all still think its illegal to drive with the interior light on in the car, or that if we swam too early after eating, we’d be sick if we didn’t LEARN. It’s part of life. So while you might not like person A’s post on FB, or B’s comment, its important to understand that everyone is different, and lashing out at someone having a difficult spot in their life, isn’t the answer.
If we could all just learn from each other, and grow as people, the world would be much better off!
What social media posts drive you mad?
Which ones have you learned to live with?
How have your interactions on social media changed with age?
Leave your responses below!