Life seems to have become a series of unfortunate online status updates, wouldn’t you agree? I’m talking about those status updates that feel like mini journal entries written by fictional characters from a day time soap opera show. Have you ever gone through your news feed and come across a status or two and thought to yourself “What on earth?”
You know those status updates that make you feel uncomfortable or very confused:
“I don’t trust anyone, thanks to life itself.”
“My dog poo’d on everything, and I had to clean it up using my bare hands” #yolo
“I wonder if I will ever find the true meaning of life? Anyone else?”
“I woke up with a sore throat, then I ran into the wall with my eyes closed!”
From bizarre status updates, to those that update their statuses every ten minutes, almost as if they are recording a live news feed of their lives. Because they don’t want you to miss a thing! Now, I am not judging, in fact I like your updates, sometimes they amuse me.
However it got me thinking whilst reading about your cat’s eczema on Facebook:
WHY DO WE SHARE CERTAIN UPDATES ONLINE?
Obviously we share it because we can, and it’s our personal profile and we can do whatever we want with it, right? Reason I ask is because, I started asking myself this question this year, as I wanted to check in with myself and know and understand my motives behind sharing certain things online.
I know if I feel upset I want people to know, insert: “PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT”. If I want to vent and someone isn’t close by in person, and my phone is in my hand, then it seems only fair that I open up one of my social media apps and start formulating what I want to say, and how I want to say it! Because the whole world needs to know!
When I start typing, I pause and read through the status update, and I think to myself:
“What are you wanting to achieve by posting this? Will this status update solve or change the issue? Will it add value to myself or to others?”
When I stop to ask myself those questions, I immediately delete the post, because if my words are not adding value, then why even bother to say it?
Sometimes we think that our updates will challenge or change a person’s perception, and maybe it does sometimes. But if it is done in a way that comes across as harsh, cold, or just plain negative, it won’t really carry weight or have an impact.
For some updating and sharing their statuses online makes them feel more connected with others online, because truth be told they may feel lonely and want to share status updates so that they feel like someone is relating to them, affirming them , connecting with them.
I remember the days before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Myspace, those days where we connected with one another in person, saw each other more in person, we used to write and read more! I miss those days sometimes, but I suppose it’s all about balance with online living and normal living and remembering that we do not need to find affirmation and fulfilment through our online status updates! We too can feel connected to others through friendships, through knowing who we are, through personal relationships, through to having conversations with others in person.
Before you type your next status update, pause to reflect on why you are wanting to post and what you are wanting to achieve through your status update. Are you wanting a reaction from others, do you crave the attention and affirmation, or do you simply want to encourage, have a laugh, or share insight, or add value to others when posting online? It’s good to check in on ourselves, and see where our hearts are at, especially when it comes to the utilizing of social media. It can become consuming, if not distracting, and sometimes it can enable us to live and behave in way that is not healthy.