This rant is sponsored by a) a bad headache b) this chai I am drinking c) these pretzel m & m’s…
Seriously, why aren’t we kinder to people on social media? We tend to judge people’s pain and methods of expression quite a lot.
To give you an example, I know a woman trapped in a loveless marriage and has no one to confide in. Ergo she will once in a while post statuses about how marriage is the worst thing since unsliced bread etc etc. People have often come to me and (in reference to her facebook statuses) said, “wow, cringe much?”
I mean yeah maybe, because we all know those words aren’t general and are most likely aimed at her personal situation. But maybe throwing them up on social media is her way of crying for help, attention, company. Maybe it’s the alternative to having a fight with her spouse that night. Maybe its the difference between unloading words off her chest or unloading a gun onto her head. That’s not even a far fetched statement to make these days. How many suicides have there been this year alone?
But if we’re not compalining about tmi on social media. We are complaining about; long captions because we have the attention span of a gold fish, selfies because instagram is for travel photos, travel photos because they remind us we can’t afford to travel, polls because we can’t be bothered to vote, a million and one insta stories because why is this person so self obsessed?
The simple solution of course being, skip, unfollow, delete, block and for god’s sake don’t comment telling someone to lose weight. I’ve unfollowed nuff vegans and super moms in the last month and not one of them has come up to me and demanded an explanation or that I return. Problem solved.
If you’re wondering why, because the vegan wouldn’t stop posting photos of elephants being tortured and I cannot stand looking at any form of violence. It makes me sick (no, vegan who is reading this not enough to give up meat yet). That’s actually why I don’t watch the news. And super mom made me feel useless to be honest and I have no kids so I can’t relate to anything she’s up to. I followed them for a reason at the time of following obviously but I guess we outgrew each other and that’s okay because this gives you room to get to know more friends whom you actually have stuff in common with.
So if we’re not using social media to cuss out one another what can we use it for? Displaying your art work for business, your photography skills, your family snaps, food pictures, your political opinions, a medium to meet new people…
That being said, someone I know who disapproves of online friendships told me recently that the reason they hate them (and always advise me against them) is because they are temporary. It starts off exciting and new. You talk to people for hours on end about all the topics in the world. But then the excitement fizzles to mundane familiarity and you move on to getting to know someone new to renew that excitement.
I personally think that’s a risk you have to take when talking to people online though. Real friendships are also arguably temporary to be fair. In fact, what in this life is permenant?
Long story short; be kind.
P.s. I used “we” as opposed to “you” throughout the post because this is a reminder to me as much as it is to you.