Social media is something that I have a really hard time with. I’m serious. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. It really depends on… well, I’m not really sure what it really depends on. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is only a fraction of my social struggles. Let me explain.
I was out for lunch at The National Club the other day with a couple of friends when I had a rude social media awakening.
My girlfriend and I wanted to take photos by this super cute brick wall because we thought our outfits were stylin’ and it would look good on Instagram. Our other friend asked what we were doing and why we had also taken photos of our Cobb salads. His exact words:
“I’m just curious because the only time I’ve ever seen this done is by immature 16 year olds.”
That comment brought my social struggles to the surface once more. (You can only hide them under filter after filter for so long.) Why did I want to take a photo there? Why would this lunch meeting have seemed incomplete if we didn’t snap a pic of our beautifully chopped salads?
First of all, I consider myself to be a pretty private person – at least online. I would never post anything too personal, but I’ve never seen a problem with posting an occasional #ootd pic or an aesthetically pleasing meal.
But when do we switch off social media and just live life?
The Social Struggles of Finding a Balance Between Online and Real Life
Who should you be engaging with?
Your BFFs? Of course. The person who sits a couple desks over at work? Okay. But complete strangers?
Consider this: If you were walking down the street and someone said to you, “Wow! You look gorgeous. I think I’m in love with you!” you’d probably scrunch your face in disgust and ask what the hell is wrong with them. But online, it’s a completely different story. Your reaction is already stimulated from another ‘like’ on your ‘best photo yet’ and your reply is probably something like, “Awe, I’m blushing! Thank you xoxo”. Sickening, right?
What to keep private and what to share?
One of my biggest social struggles is figuring out what to share online and what to keep private. There are certain things (like, an ultrasound photo for example) that I personally think should be kept private for your close family and friends to enjoy. But then there are other things (maybe a new job promotion?) that feel good to share with everyone.
How do you find the balance? I can go to some people’s social media accounts and find out what time they brushed their teeth on Thursday October 6th 2016. But why do we want people to know that? Beats me.
Where should you be filming/taking selfies?
I saw a photo of a guy who took a mirror selfie at his grandfather’s funeral. His grandfather’s funeral. If ever there were an extremely wrong time for a selfie, that was definitely it. Are we so narcissistic that we can’t even get through a funeral without showing the world what we look like?
Correction: I shouldn’t say ‘we’ because there is no way I would snap a mirror selfie at a funeral. Ugh.
How much time to spend in front of your smartphone?
I cracked the screen on my iPhone one time (okay, maybe more than one time but anyways) and went to this random tech place to get it fixed. There was a woman in there arguing with the guy about how long it would take for her phone to be repaired because she claimed it was impossible to fall asleep if it wasn’t within arms reach.
To me, that’s extremely disturbing. Talk about being addicted to your smartphone. I’ll admit, I’m not totally innocent of this. My phone is the first thing I check when I wake up – even though the screen blinds me. But I’m trying to stop and at least it’s on silent/airplane mode all night.
When will enough be enough?
Personally, I can’t wait for the days of social media to die down. And, yes, I realize that it’s still growing and it’s probably no where near slowing down. But eventually I’d like to be treated like an individual person and not judged by a following.
Is it not enough to try and fit in in real life? Now we’re forced to conform to certain standards if we want to be popular online? I’m over it. Really, really over it.