Don't Get Caught Up!
The Grind for Love and Progress in the Social Media Age
What: Get Got…
When: Everyday B…
Where: On these stupid little things we have attached to us at all times called cell phones
Why: The gateway that is known as the 'cell-u-lar dee-vice' has us confused about who and what moments are considered to be of value.
How: We've become addicted to sharing every personal moment, approval of aforementioned moments, & social status as determined by the masses who have open access to all the things we so meticulously detail and share.
The memes of the girl walking into flowers all over the floor, or the couple snuggling with matching pajama sets. We look, we double tap, & we fall into the "this could be us but you playing" trap. All too frequently women today are finding themselves feeling inadequate or left behind if they can't pin the figurative title of (the unfortunately viral pet name) 'Bae' to the significant other of their current interest.
The social media age has its perks. Anything from recipes to hilarious videos, to tear-jerking cancer survivor testimonials, to the oh so accurate BuzzFeed, post after post we're swamped with humorous comparisons to the not-so-glamorous realities of our true life & embarrassing comparisons to the ones we don't have but desire (like the aforementioned young lady coming home to a room full of flowers.) The fact of the matter is that it IS absolutely adorable, and such a beautiful gesture by a lover to a lover. The issue comes when it becomes the staple validation to a happy or unhappy 'situation-ship.'
Everyone has the one annoying pair that has to post every flower, "thinking-of-you" note, "bae cooked dinner" & the infamous #MCE & or #WCE. Be clear, as succumbing millennials, our modern day exchange of the letterman's jacket so although redundant, the sentiment hasn't been completely sucked out of the process. As a women, I can attest to being far too dependent on the security of a certain someone's double tap, a particular man crush Monday's attention & an internal tug of war between the righteous mentality that "our social media presence as an item doesn't validate our feelings for each other" and "but wait I just spilled my heart out on that birthday post… did he see it?..because I tagged him… did he comment?…He only liked it?" *floats further into the abyss of contemplation whether we're right for each other or not.
My point is, one inevitable fact of the age of the 20s is the incessant comparison of success on your personal path to that of your peers. And so is the same with our love lives. This is not the narrative of a bitter single woman, nor the disguised song of a jealous heart who envies flowers and bae cooking dinner. It is rather an encouragement to validate your own life and your own path with your own decisions. We cannot build the security of our self-esteem and how we are perceived by others on the foundation of a shifty cyber presence illusion. Let me be clear, social media is not all bad. It is specifically positive when we can celebrate those figuratively "ahead" or "behind" us in our journey to our desired life. If we can't observe these updates without feeling the need to compare their lives to ours no matter how blatant or subconscious the feeling of inadequacy, it may be time to unplug, step back, and re-evaluate with some level of celebration where you are.
Going even further it sets a poor example for the generation of young women and men under us. For youth who have been born into the #relationshipgoals era without any reference to the exchange of 'The Letterman's Jacket', double taps and heart emojis under a picture are becoming more & more of their relationship validation. There is a disconnect of reality in cyberspace presence. It is not the same as human reaction, human support, or 100% communication. I think the more we praise the video gaming Sims like behavior as it pertains to our personal relationships, our younger generations will aspire to it. At the. vulnerable and impressionable ages of their lives, social media needs to read clearly for them as a pass time, not a "Mirror mirror on the wall". We validate us, and they could be learning to validate themselves too.
"This could be us, but you playing."
Am I? Or could it be I'm avoiding jumping into relationships as a result of succumbing to societal pressures that say we're better 'with' than 'without'?Just a thought.