It’s Friday!! I’ve actually been off school these last two days with some kind of bug; I think I’m just about over it now, but I’ve honestly never slept so much in my life I swear. To make life a little better, I decided to install a Tasimo coffee machine in my bedroom; I had been saving this Christmas present for my move to residential college this September, but couldn’t resist the idea of a latte-in-bed… Need I justify myself any further?
When I’m at home, ill or off school for some other reason, I end up with a lot of time to think. I’ll find myself sat, staring blankly at the wall or the ceiling, just thinking about whatever seems relevant in the moment. It’s relaxing, and brings to the surface thoughts and feelngs which, frankly, I don’t have time for in the hectic termtime weeks.
Do you ever feel like you’re acting or living a certain way because of the people in your life? Let me explain: you know when you’re on Facebook or Instagram, and you have a picture that you really like – maybe it’s you, with one of your friends, and the lighting is just perfect and the background looks so ideal? And so you write this caption – it says nothing, really,but you like it –, and you’re just about to hit ‘Post’, and then you stop.
What would they think? Someone pops into your mind – a friend, or an acquaintance, or someone from school. Maybe they don’t like the friend you’re hanging out with, or they’ll be offended that they weren’t invited, even though there was no malicious intent or hard feelings involved.
And so you clikc ‘Discard’, and don’t post that picture which you love so much.
I do this so often – it’s shameful, almost, how many pictures never got posted, how many statuses never saw the light of day, because I was worried what one or two people might have to say about what I was doing, where I was or who I was with – even what I was wearing.
It’s not that I care about them judging me, as such: you don’t like my jeans, I don’t like your face – deal with it. It’s more that I don’t want to upset someone. For example, if one of my friends has been a bit of a dick to another of my friends – we all do it –, and I decide to hang out with that ex-one-time-dick of a friend, I don’t want my other friend to see that status and think that I’m somehow betraying them, or sending some passive-aggressive vibes in their direction. Of course, I’m not intending to offend or upset anyone – and I find that, because I am trying my best to keep everyone happy, I excessively filter what I share online.
[This isn’t a specific example, simply a good scenario to explain my point]
I realise that this incessant paranoia is really negatively impacting upon my social life: there is absolutely no situation where you should feel worried or apprehensive about what you’re doing, or who you’re hanging out with, because of another person’s oppinions. You are your own person, and just because Person X doesn’t like your friend, it doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to.
Alas, logic is so often overlooked in social situations, and therefore, I regularly feel like I’m overthinking everything I post online, and even which social events I attend, because I don’t know what one person or another will think. I have hundreds of pictures and video clips on my phone which have captured some of the happiest days of my life so far – days which I’ve shared with some of the most wonderful, supportive frineds I could ever wish for –, but if just one person who I know might possibly think of me in a worse light for seeing that person, or being in that place, or wearing those clothes, or nto inviting them along too, then I won’t share it. And it’s silly and pathetic and completely unjustified, but that means nothing because life’s weird and thoughts are confusing and shitty.
Maybe it’s time to consider if some people in my life are proving to be the other half of an unhealthy relationship. If a ‘friend’ or classmate/colleague is making you overthink your social media posts, or your day-to-day activities and social life choices, maybe it’s time to take a step back, and think about how that makes you feel. There is no one – absolutely no one – who should ever be able to dictate how you live your life, or who you choose to spend time with, whether that be directly (by outright telling you not to talk to someone), or indirectly (by judging you for your choices). If you have friends who make you feel self-conscious and paranoid about your social life, that is an unhealthy relationship/friendship, and it’s really worth thinking about taking action. Whether it be talking to them, or, if you feel that it’s appropriate, cutting them out completely, friends who don’t allow you to be – well, you – cannot rule over your life. It’s unhealthy, and it’s unfair.
Do you ever feel like this too? Tell me it’s not just me…