Part of the problem

So, it is May and I am back on social media. Not sure how to feel about that kind of responsibility now. After coming back to Instagram, I had that same feeling from before that "my life is boring and I need to prove to others it is not". I have also come to realize that I am part of the problem when I only post about the good things in my life. The obvious solution is to also post about the bad things too, but I do not believe that solves the problem.

Posting about the bad things going on in my life on social media feels a little bit like complaining and chasing after the wind. It is a bit inappropriate as well. Think about it like this:

Imagine yourself on one side of a tall brick wall and on the other side are all the people you are friends with on Facebook. Anything you say out loud gets heard by everyone else on the other side of the wall and vice-versa. You say something about an exciting event in your life like finding someone who you have mutual feelings for or a new dog you just adopted. Everyone on the other side says things like "I am happy for you!" and "Like!". Now, that does not sound so bad at first, but what happens when you say something like "my brother and I had an argument last week and we have not spoken since. I don't think he cares about me anymore." Everyone else on the other side of the wall tries to send words of encouragement like "I'm so sorry" and "have you heard this Bible verse about families and patience?" This is where things get a little weird. Maybe you even feel a little better after these comments, but give it a little time and you will realize you were not helped at all by these comments of encouragement. They can only go so far.

Compare this type of relationship with one where you meet someone face-to-face. For me, I default to imagining myself sitting with a friend at a coffee shop. Partly because I do actually meet friends at coffee shops often, but also because I like coffee a lot! So, you say something positive that's going on in your life. Your friend's response is to give the same praise and excitement as the example above, but here you can see them. You can see their face change and you feel that they legitimately care that you are happy. Now, imagine yourself mentioning something tough going on in your life. Your friend probably looks a little sad after you say this. It turns out, they don't only care about your happiness, but they also care about your sadness too. They say "I am so sorry" just like before when the wall was there, but now they can allow themself to be vulnerable with you about the things that they are going through too. They can empathize in a private conversation that no one has to watch or know about. You truly feel cared for in both cases.

You may feel the same as I do about social media, or you may feel that social media is the best thing since sliced bread, but as of now, I am not sure what purpose social media really serves in my life other than bragging and distracting me from the things going on in my own life. Every time I go to share something cool, I feel it comes from a place in my heart that only desires acceptance and validation from others that my life is something it isn't; fun. My life, unfortunately, by the standards of my generation, is very boring and I continue to get comments about how "old" I act. It is the life I have chosen and I don't see myself changing to appease the opinions of those people.