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.