I am less interested in seeing your highlight reel and more interested in seeing you – who you are and what you have to say and contribute.
I think it’s great that your kid graduated from or got into college. The latest picture of your cocktail or the concert you recently saw – that’s nice. The little pic of you running into a famous celebrity at Craigs or one that you saw boarding a flight at LAX – cool! But you know what? Don’t really care. I am way more interested in what you have to say about what you’re really feeling and doing than seeing the highlights. Your highlight reel is super boring…sorry.
I have been feeling this way for some time. And not because my life is different than yours and I am not jetting around from one end of the world to another. I am not jealous in the slightest. It’s as simple as this. I only see you post or engage on social when you have something to “highlight”. I know – you think your intention is to say hey – look at this beautiful beach off the coast of Fiji or hey…my kid just graduated from Stanford…isn’t this great? Yeah – it’s amazing!!! It’s amazing for your family and that you get to create these beautiful memories and you get to fill your heart with pride at the sheer image of your little darling in their cap and gown. But, again, I only see you here – you only come around – when you have something great to celebrate. I’ll more than likely “like it or maybe even “love it” and I will probably offer a little something more with a comment. But, I still don’t know who you are.
Life is hard and often times down right shitty. I am not being negative – just trying to keep it real. The ebbs and flows of life can be challenging and no one I know is positive all the time. But I know this…when I am feeling down or defeated, it’s my girls, my posse, my tribe who lift me back up and put it all in perspective and in those moments, it’s all going to be OK. All that other stuff just doesn’t matter.
Going back to the highlight reel. The way I see it is that social media has become the way we communicate. We rarely pick up the phone and call our friends. Text is the new normal – little blips and snippets of words to get our point across, make a dinner date, schedule an event or tell our kids we love them. Social media is expanding at a rapid rate and the amount of info that is put in front of us on a daily basis is overwhelming. No wonder we have all stopped communicating! And no wonder we all simply “like” and “love” something. We think in doing that – that we are communicating. Well…were not.
Almost 2 years ago something happened that really started me thinking about this whole idea that we were losing our ability to verbally communicate. It was an email exchange that left me really missing how we used to connect. I started reflecting on how I got some of my best jobs, met my best friends at both CAL and UCLA, how much I loved talking on the phone – both professionally and personally. I love hearing someone’s voice, feeling their heart and listening to how their mind works. That’s how relationships are created and built. After that email exchange I started observing more and becoming more conscious of how we are all doing things. And in that, I have vowed to try not to just “like” your stuff on social media, but to engage. And not with something like, “cool”. But really say what I feel. And I have become even more committed to this after a few conversations I have had in this last month. A few of my friends have been AWOL. I am reaching out to them and the silence vibrates.
After months of no contact, I received via a “text”, from ALL of them and what I learned was that they were ALL coming out of a “severe depression”. These texts came around the same time that I stumbled upon this article, The FOMO is Real: How Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness. I am not saying that my people are deep in depression because you went to Hawaii 3 times last month. I don’t think that is why they are depressed. But them and so many others that I know and love, are dealing with this emotion. Heck – I get depressed and sometimes that feeling consumes me. This is a sad state of affairs. And not something that is going to remedy itself overnight.
But it’s worth talking about.
What I can commit to doing, is this…further my mission for real, honest and verbally communicating as much as I can and as much as the one on the other end will allow.
I will not just be “liking” your posts. I will vow to engage, especially if I have a reaction and something to contribute. Thus, I ask from you – to do the same. It’s time we all get back to learning, sharing and communicating in a way that fosters love, support, kindness and a sense of being heard and seen.
So please just don’t like my stuff on social. If you compelled to like it or dislike then, then tell me why.
Got anything to add? I’d love to hear from you – just leave a comment below. I promise I’ll respond!