When social media overtakes friendships.
I recently had an emotional week where I found myself questioning many aspects of my life. Toying with the idea of starting a business and also had a few events happen that have made me question certain friendships.
I’m quite open with my feelings and some would say that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I had a very dear friend sit me down and give me a reality check, which I must say was much needed.
We were chatting about certain things that had upset me and her honesty was exactly what I needed. She said that I do share a lot on my facebook and instagram pages about what I’m up to and things I’m doing with my two little ones. Her suggestion was to stop. She said I’m too open and that may make people feel as though they don’t need to contact me. They already see it posted, so why the need to contact me?
This gorgeous friend also said that I put too much effort into a lot of my friendships and I should hold myself back. I interpreted that as I may be a ‘needy’ friend but she assured me that’s not what she meant.
She said that I’m the thoughtful one who contacts my friends to ‘check in’ basically. Ask them how they are doing, what they have been up to, and of course, it’s me organising a catch up. My dear friend suggested that I stop doing this also. She said that people just wait for my contact and feel they do not need to contact me or ask how I’m doing as they assume that I will contact them, or they will see on my social media what I’m up to which then allows them to not ‘have’ to contact me. She said many of my friendships are one way. Me putting the effort in and them just taking and not making any effort with or for me.
My feelings were hurt but it made perfect sense. She said that this will show me who actually is a true friend by those who take the time to contact me.
It made me realise, that perhaps social media does allow friends to drift apart?
If it’s all out there to see, why should you contact anyone to see how they are?
I’m an old fashioned person. I like to hear in my friends voices that they are ok. I like to physically see them, have the interaction with them and know that they are ok.
Maybe I’m just a weirdo? Is this weird?
I’ve had a few situations arise where I have been excluded and it has hurt my feelings. Maybe I should just get over it, but then again, why can’t I feel hurt by being excluded? I’ve seen things posted on social media that I was not invited too (not that I need to be included in everything) but certain occasions it’s nice to feel included.
I know that people and friendships change. Gosh I’ve experienced this first hand. When we moved out of our ‘area’ and into a new suburb 45 minutes away, I knew that it would show who I would keep as part of my life and who would no longer need my friendship.
That of course hurt.
I’m the friend who travels to the kids birthday parties in peak hour that are hours away, but I don’t get that in return. I’m the friend who drives an hour to help you settle your newborn baby with my newborn baby on board as you are struggling. I’m the friend who is there at who cares what hour, to listen to your word and comfort you when you feel like your works is about to end. And I’m the friend who offers to look after your toddler and give you rest as you are not feeling well or have morning sickness.
But I wouldn’t change it for the world as I know, that I’ve helped my friends when they have needed to rely on me.
I’ve had friends say 45mins is too far to drive to my daughters 1st birthday party, I’ve had friends cancel on me last minute. I’ve had friends organise outings with mutual friends but deliberately exclude me. It’s those friends who don’t return calls, or texts, or blatantly ignore you, that have hurt me. I’ve felt excluded from many situations. I’m the one who drives the distance with 2 little ones in toe, to visit my friends. Those who are important to me. I make the effort. Is effort to much to ask these days?
So are they friends or are they acquaintances?
Or are they just people who were once part of my life?
I’m trying to understand why some people treat others so distant when they are happy to receive but not put out?
Why are some friendships so one sided?
As I get older and after a few reality checks by my honest and true friends, I’m realising that those who I have called dear friends, are not actually that.
And it hurts, but as the old saying goes, it’s not the quantity but the quality.
I have a handful of good and honest friends who do spontaneously contact me. Just to see how I am, and they don’t want or need anything but to see how I am feeling.
For this I am grateful.
So for the next few months, I will be pulling back. I won’t be posting anything about where I am or what I’m up to. I also won’t go out of my way to contact ‘friends’. This will be my test, to see who actually does care enough about me to contact me. Who thinks about me?
It may be an even harsher reality check for me, but it will definitely show me those who I mean anything to and those who I no longer need to feel that I should be contacting or making an effort for.
Maybe social media does take over our lives?
Maybe I do post too much.
Let’s see how this plays out.