Sunday, January 22, 2017

Not always as it seems

The wisest man I have ever known once said to me;
“Nine out of every ten people will improve on acquaintance”;
and I have found his words true.

                                        Frank Arthur Swinnerton


Life is a funny business. Before this new type of social media that I have been seeing lately, assumptions were all based on that gossipy neighbour or the overheard school yard talk that came to your home via “kid messenger.” There have always been people who assume things. 
Especially, when things do not look as they have their own very strong opinions as to what they should look like.


Assumptions, about what is really going on have certainly taken on a whole new atmosphere. In a world of social media and the lives of those of us who partake in what it has to offer it has exploded with assumptions. Take Facebook for instance; have you ever been unfriended or seemingly ignored? The little social media world that you have based your real world on suddenly seems to spiral as you assume that this person no longer likes you and you do not understand what you may have done to end it. Most times this person did not even really know the “real” you. 


They may have assumed that they did. Oh yes, we are all very different in this world and that is a very good thing.
I honestly have “friends” who have several hundreds of “friends.” I will “assume” or guess that you do not really “know” all those people? Do you actually know what is going on in their real lives, or just what they choose to share? Could you have based who they really are only on their social presence? If you do have that many “friends” I certainly do apologize for assuming that you do not. Good for you. You must be a very likable and awesome person and there is nothing wrong with that. Possibly you have built yourself a little village of you own, where you know everyone.

In my experience as a child growing up in a tiny village, no one really knew what went on behind the door of every house you passed. Way back then, at least you would see the real person and eventually (after the gossip subsided) the truth would come out. The truth about what their real lives were at that time and how they really felt and what they were truly going through. There may still be some residual guilt for what you had believed.  


Social media has a way of twisting realities. Turn them back into that terrible gossip that spread through a village and hurt people who did not deserve it. Now, that terrible gossip and assumptions have the power to spread through a list of “friends” and then to their “friends” and so on and so on.

Well, I may need to apologize to everyone I may have not kept in contact with on my social media “friends” list. It was truly not about you, it was all about me. (That line sounds familiar for some reason). I also have to apologize to those of you who I thought had ignored and unfriended me because you did not like “me” or possibly my opinions and beliefs. I may have fallen into that social media trap. A trap that has normally rational people “assume.” To “assume” things that may or may not be true, and what a terrible thing that is. As the old saying goes “The world does not revolve around you.” Do not assume it does. People are dealing with REAL problems, difficulties and fears and they do not (nor should they) have to sooth your irrational fears. 


Life can be one big jumbled mess of “real” things that need to be dealt with. We should never feel like we have to share our “real” lives with the world we have built online. In time, maybe truths will come out, but in the meantime, your true friends will understand. Your social media “friends” even though you may trust and admire them, do not want, nor need to hear everything that is going on in your life.  They do not need to agree on everything that you believe.

This is only my opinion. I am sure there are many of you who feel very differently. I now believe that our dependence on social media and its ability to make all people happy is so unrealistic. I must admit it has so many advantages in this world. I also believe it can bring on anxieties and fears that are not needed in the worlds of people who may have problems that are very REAL.


So those who are struggling, please know that you are not alone and there are FRIENDS who really know and want to know the real you. They may be on here, (I have been very lucky to find true friendships here). I also believe we should always look to those people right in front of us. You know the ones you may have not noticed while you searched for “Friends” online.

Later

16 comments:

  1. It's hard to stay out of the traps on social media, and stay true to yourself. Usually, I don't say anything on posts that trouble me.... but sometimes I can't help myself and it boils over. Mostly, I just keep a low profile - it's better that way.

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  2. As you said, "... your true friends will understand" is what it all boils down to in real, and online, life. Cheers now :D)xx

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  3. I don't play FB for some of the reasons you have covered. And because I spend enough time on line anyway (more than enough).
    Thank you for this thoughtful and insightful post.

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  4. Sometimes I get really frustrated with fb, because it often paints such a "perfect" picture of everyone's lives. And although we know it can't be true, it can be rather depressing. Its also a great way to spread fear. I should probably stay away from it, but I can't quite help myself! Hope you're having a good weekend! :)

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  5. Well said. Social media is entirely out of hand.

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  6. I dont take anything to heart on FB thats for sure or on other social media and I dont share much on FB either just my photos I really dont care if someone wants to unfriend me either I dont base my daily life around FB or them like some people do who post every second of their lives which I think is absolutely nuts . I use it to see what our family members are up to and use it as a connection to them as most live farther away . Social media has to be taken with a grain of salt as to what one says and means can be taken in so many different ways . Thanks for sharing Have a good week !

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  7. Hey B! Ha! I have no idea if I have been unfriended...do you get a message or what? Not to worry. Social media has changed the universe and people feel like they have to be part of it. I say, do what you want. I happen to like sharing photos and I do not like all the cutsie quotes that people put on FB day after day. Nasty conversations can tick anyone off. You are a caring, sweet human being and I hope you know it. Don't let people bug you!

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  8. I look for personal conversations. News and views. Instead what I get is people posting things from God knows where and I'm not interested in the things they post. There, that's my rant.

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  9. People come and go. I have been an important part in many of my student's lives. Then they move on. We can't be there for everyone all the time, real or Internet. We just do what we can when we can and hope for the best.

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  10. I agree there is no need for everyone to know everything about everyone else, even the best of friends can have secrets.
    I'm not much into social media, I have my blog and that's it. No facebook, no zillions of virtual friends who only check in because their friends do etc.
    On my blog, I'll say and show what I want others to see. If I'm unburdening, I'll do it carefully, without mentioning too many details, most of which are unnecessary to all but my real family. If I feel the need to say more, I'll often email those who I call my closest friends, those I know will understand.

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  11. Great post B. I am not on FB, just have had my blog since 2008. I've met some really nice people through blogging and I am thankful for love, encouragement and support. I am thankful I am able to give back the same. If I don't agree with what someone says, I just don't say anything. We all are entitled to our opinions. We have our own lives to live. Life isn't perfect, and sometimes very real things that happen in our lives are hard to take, and take time to go and grow through. Sometimes we need to share to get a different perspective, or to know we're not alone.

    I hope you will keep on blogging, as I enjoy reading about your life, thoughts, etc, and seeing your critters and countryside.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  12. We were just talking about this at Sunday School yesterday. One class member said we might all be better off if we turned off Facebook and Twitter. And while I know that these things often reduce life to "snippets," I still enjoy the connections I've made via social media and, especially, blogging. Everything in moderation, maybe? At any rate, I'm glad I've "met" you.

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  13. Blogger is as far as I`ve gotten with `social media` ..... I see these young folks glued to their screens and somehow, they don`t look very `social`to me.

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  14. This is one of the most profound and honest pieces you have written,B, and I know it musn't have been easy. We don't always say what we mean to say, and we don't always reveal our true feelings, because we may be afraid of what reactions we might get from others. My mother taught me many things, one of which was "be honest, even if you can't always be kind." We all need more kindness right now, but we need honesty too. You don't have to say your honest feelings in a hurtful way, but when you're honest, then you know, and others know, it's the "real" you. Hugs!

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  15. Hurt feelings abound when people stop actually talking to each other. It's a shame. I prefer to give social media a very wide berth. I much prefer the written word (ala your blog posts) or a phone call or visit.

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  16. I couldn't help but notice your model wearing that pretty blue hat. Facebook has been crazy since our recent election. Hopefully, we'll all settle into our "normal" again soon.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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