When You Allow Social Media to Shape Opinions of those You Already Know

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Social media has crushed a sense of authenticity. Those who post sad stories or rants are ridiculed because, really, who wants to read such news? Those who only post how amazing their life is are ridiculed because, who lives like that? We either think, “they’re always complaining,” or, “they boast about their perfect life.” A happy medium is rare.

We don’t like seeing an excessive amount of selfies or continuous Buzzfeed quiz results. I am not ashamed to admit I have spent the time to filter out Facebook friends. Out of my 1,000 friends, I see maybe 80 friend’s posts. I found my heart getting bitter, annoyed or jealous towards people who I truly enjoy in the real world. Many of my now “unfollowed” friends are great, but I resented them because of our online friendship. That could be conceived as pathetic, but I needed to take an action to prevent myself from judging.

For me to prevent feeling that way, I unfollowed them.

We are all guilty of checking in on our crush or ex-boyfriends on social-media. If you aren’t guilty of that, God has treasures for you my friend. We see pictures of the guy with a new girl, new friends, at a party or tagged in a status—thus creating F.O.M.O or jealousy inside of us and we are left bummed. What’s (not) funny about this is when we’re on the other side of everything,…in those pictures, one of the people tagged… many times those moments aren’t even fun. That picture of the guy was forced by a girl who says, “oh my god get it get in,” and then click, picture is taken, up on Facebook. That may have been the most time the girl and guy spent together–she just wanted a picture of them to put more value on herself, her reputation.
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Not everyone is like this and yes, some events are as fun as they appear. I’ve posted pictures on Facebook where the picture truly didn’t capture the joy I had within the frame. The authenticity of it all has been severely minimalized: with my 1,000 friends I easily think everyone has babies, everyone has a wedding, everyone goes apple picking or carves a pumpkin, everyone travels to Europe, there’s always “that girl” going to help people in Africa—I don’t need an entire album, thanks. I also don’t need to hear how your husband left a cute note saying “you’re amazing babe, the love of my life” on your car before you went to work. Like, good for you.
With our 1,000+ friends it can be difficult to truly care about these events, unless they’re our closest friends who would share their adventure with us in an outlet independent from Facebook.

I REALLY don’t like seeing on Instagram what other people like. When guys double tab on pictures of girls who’re practically naked, or a selfie that has 8+ filters over it, I’ve seen myself lose respect for them. Men, if you don’t think girls notice who you follow, what you like, what you choose to feed your soul with, educate yourself.  Women, same goes for you.
Who am I though to truly know the heart in the matter? That naked girl could be his cousin and he’s supporting her (doubtful, but things happen). The girl could be posting the inappropriate picture because her manager demanded it (which I would say R-E-S-P-E-C-T yoself and get a new manager), and there’s more to the story (things happen).

That’s the thing. This is all relative.

I’m going to retract back to the woman who posted a picture of the cute note by her husband. My guess is her sisters and mom genuinely appreciated the picture. I love it when my sister posts about anything her and close people related; I feel connected. When I’m not the close friend or sister to excessive posts, I don’t double tap or “like.”

Hey, I’m guilty of posting. I gram my family regularly; I love taking pictures of my cat Karen. When I post pictures of my cat, I know my siblings and certain friends appreciate it. I don’t except someone I went to high school with 10 years ago to take a second glance.

I like to believe every post has (most likely) an appreciation from someone…somewhere….
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Sometimes I think that somewhere is in Neverland because I can’t handle a picture of oatmeal with 15 hashtags. What in the world is that about. Unfollow

I miss the days of developing pictures and showing my Gramma when she came over for lunch that week. I miss the excitement of going over to my friend’s house after their vacation and skimming through their memory card. Since I geographically can’t do that today, it’s nice to be able to electronically show and tell. Today I get hourly updates on how someone’s vacation is going and it has made me numb towards many people. I am frustrated with myself for becoming numb because each event IS exciting, and many times there IS an amazing back-story. Maybe that vacation took five years to save up for, that couple could have had three miscarriages before this miracle was born, the “A” someone got an their exam was a result of countless sleepless nights of studying…we don’t know. Usually, we are only invited to share in the end result, not the process. And hey, I’m not saying I want to be invited to the process. I can’t emotionally handle hundreds of updates weekly from people who share with me their hardships or frustrations. Ain’t nobody got time for all that, and someone with an empathetic heart like mine surely can’t take that on.

stock-footage-happy-businesswoman-dancing-after-a-good-phone-call-in-her-officeOn the other side is this: it IS fun seeing what people are up to, even if they’re the kind of “friend” we see at our local grocery store once or twice a year. Social media is truly addicting, enjoyable, frustrating and destroying.

There isn’t a “right” answer: to get rid of or promote social media. Either side can be healthy, and it comes down to a matter of the heart.

The heart plays a pivotal role in social media.

We all have our annoyances with how others navigate their profile: what they post, their captions and the frequency of both. Personally, I don’t like selfies. I think more than two posts on Instagram daily is obnoxious and don’t see the point in tweeting where you’re eating dinner. I don’t know why people “check-in” everywhere they go and it’s annoying to me when friends change their profile picture constantly. It’ll be interesting to see who deletes me after reading this ; ) Naturally I think, “they want people to say they’re pretty, they have nothing better to do than post pictures and they just want me to know who they’re eating with.”

Heart problem.

I have friends who post selfies, pictures of their food, type countless hashtags and “share” every article they read. I decided that if I find myself bitter towards how a friend navigates social media, I shouldn’t follow them.

I encourage you to do the same. Facebook isn’t reality. Instagram isn’t reality. They’re fun, they’re convenient, they’re addicting. Authenticity is hard to find in social media and if you’ve found yourself discouraged or bitter towards someone via web, abort. Figure out what action works best for you and do it—there is nothing healthy about growing bitter towards someone just because of social media.

Rather than grow bitter, acknowledge your heart and do something about it!
snaps-sbfree

One thought on “When You Allow Social Media to Shape Opinions of those You Already Know

  1. I recently trimmed my Facebook friends list and have since then felt much safer and more content. Spending less time on social media has helped, too. I love your blog. Miss you. Coffee soon? xoxo

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