No one can deny the progress and advantages technology has provided us within the last 10 years. Whether it’s in the medical field, in the educational system or in the obvious day-to-day life, technology has altered much of what was previously unnecessary behaviors into an automatic stream of habits we don’t need to think twice about. For many, waking up in the morning and checking our cell phones or emails is automatic. I personally pull out my phone whenever I am wondering about a specific question. “Where have I seen this actress before?”. “What’s this song again?”, “How do I get to this place?”, etc.
One of the awesome thing about technology is that you can pretty much reach anybody. I love being able to call my grandparents overseas without worrying about minutes and fees, and being able to keep in touch with my friends and cousins. It makes everything so much easier!
But of course, everything has a bad side. Keeping connections with old friends and relatives is great, but what about the people that we don’t want to keep in touch with at all? Or what about the people who we shouldn’t be keeping in touch with, really for our own well-being, but can’t really get rid of without apparently transgressing some kind of new social norms?
In the past, once you’ve met somebody, I’m assuming all you did was exchange numbers. If you liked the person, as a friend or otherwise, you got in contact with them and kept the friendship going. If not, you just ignored their calls and the odds of them getting back in touch with you or knowing anything about your life was likely via word of mouth and gossip. Obviously, things have changed since then. We grew up with facebook, or MySpace, or whatever. We added all these people from school or work on our social media realms, whether we were friends or not, and they just stayed there. We’re forced to keep up with what our acquaintances or friends are up to, whether you like it or not. And it’s very hard to not compare yourself with other people’s lives. Sometimes, we almost feel like we’re falling behind. But realistically, we all have our own timeline. I totally agree that it’s pretty awesome to have your shit together. However, we forget that you can appear to have your shit together and not really have anything accomplished. We forget that we create this online alter-ego, only showing people the best parts of our lives. And consequently, we forget that our counterparts do the same.
Now, if you are simply comparing yourself to another person to seek inspiration or motivation, fine. That’s not a big deal, as long as you’re doing it for yourself and nobody else, okay. I’m with you on that. But if you begin to turn this energy into a negative one, where you are either harming yourself (physically, emotionally, or otherwise) by putting yourself down, or harming others by putting them down, then there’s an issue.
Cyberbullying is unfortunately not something that only happens in high school. It’s not only celebrities or YouTube stars that get negative comments. It’s “regular” individuals going about their daily lives, accomplishing goals and inspiring others whether they know it or not. This is where being connected all the time gets ugly. When we make these social connections online, we are not forced to stay friends with people in real life. We aren’t even forced to stay friends with them online. So why does it feel like we have to stay friends with someone who is posting negative comments on someone else’s profile? How am I supposed to be supportive of this person’s ambitions and business if they’re an asshole? However, we are not obliged to stay “friends” with people who upset us and make us feel bad about ourselves. You’d likely not want to hang out or catch up with that person in real life, so why bother to stay up to date with their lives online? I think it’s our sense of curiosity that keeps us intrigued. But it shouldn’t.
TL;DR: If someone is being mean to you online, just delete and block them. You don’t need that shit in your life. And you’re not being petty, you’re just taking care of yourself. If you’re the asshole posting up mean shit on people’s posts, c’mon. Grow up man. Go channel that energy into something more productive!
Wishing you all inner peace and happiness this new year!