This is a tea set I saw at a shop called Home at Six. It has nothing to do with this post. I’m just sharing as I think it’s pretty, would like to own it, but do not live the life where this can be safely displayed. Cue toddler whirling like a dervish whilst flinging a ball.
This week has been my week of embarrassments. Embarrassments of the social media variety. It has become painfully obvious that my small town Midwestern upbringing did not prepare me for the social media revolution. In the land of my childhood and almost make believe, our doors remained unlocked, our arms waving vigorously to neighbours, our conversation frequent as we talked to anyone within earshot. I was known as so-and-so’s grand daughter, and daughter of the guy that owned the local furniture store. It was like walking around with my geneology secured to the lapel of my Little House on the Prairie dress.
And what does this do to the adult this child grows into? You think everyone wants to be your friend. So you go out into the world with your big shiny doe eyes, talking to anyone with a pulse.
This has not always helped me in life and it certainly hasn’t helped me this week.
Social media is a very weird thing to navigate. People want to be liked and followed in Internetland. Heart my food choice. Like my photo of a pink sunset. Give me emojis that tell me how rad my shoes are. Here’s a photo of me with my cat/dog/boyfriend/hedgehog. Love me please please please.
So, you bombard yourself with these interactions. You begin feeling connected with the world in a way. But what happens when you stumble across that person in real life?!
Example 1: The girl with the kids and the Corgi. I have liked her dog photos. I have laughed at her sense of humour by way of putting a smily face under a comment. On my way to taking L to nursery, I saw her and her entourage. A look of recognition from both of us. Then hesitation. Do I ignore this person? Do I smile? Do I look at my feet and pretend I didn’t see them so I won’t have to decide. We exchanged small hesitant smiles. Phew! Well played.
Example 2: The art historian with all the nice pictures of art. I’m a fan of art history and delight in a well curated feed of paintings, sculpture, sketches, mixed media, whatever, not that fussy. Whilst going about my business I nearly walked smack into Art History Guy. At first I thought it was someone I knew in real life. However, just as I was about to acknowledge, the look of fear? Annoyance? Despair? crossed AHG’s face and he practically threw himself in front of a bus to get out of the situation.
Example 3: Coffee Shop Girl. First Rule of Social Media Club: Do not EVER acknowledge an Instagram Follower or Followee. Ever. Whilst looking through my feed, I saw that someone I follow happened to be at the same coffee shop the same time I was there. Oh my God, exciting! Right?! Wrong. Do not send them the following message: ‘Hey! Looks like you were at Coffeeland Coffeebeans the same time I was! Neato!’ Because that, my friends, makes you look creepy. And creepy is best avoided if possible.
So in conclusion, social media is weird. What are the rules again? Oh right. Pretend the other person doesn’t exist.