In the past year I have started to accept the fact that many of my less-close friends and acquaintances tend not to ask me much about my life, or especially, Project Self.
I can catch up with an old acquaintance and ask them about their job, partner, guinea pig, Auntie, and what they had for breakfast, and receive few to zero questions in return.
I’m wondering if this is normal for others?
Do you find yourself wondering, when is it my turn to be asked questions?
I usually don’t even want to talk, I only want to be asked. And then I’ll usually redirect the questions back to them anyway. It sounds childish and selfish, but inside we all have a little child having running around kicking doors and drawing on the wall with permanent marker when people don’t treat us like the most important person in the world.
I suspect (hope), it’s nothing much to do with me or Project Self but more to do with the fact that:
A. many of the friends I don’t catch up with regularly aren’t really sure what I do anymore and either don’t know what to ask or don’t want to ask in case it becomes clear that they have no idea (not that I would care), or
B. because they’re just thinking about their own stories in their head, as we all are.
C. (which is what Neville has come up with to make me feel shite) is that people I used to know hate what I’m doing and/or think I’ve gone or self-developmenty or selfie-taking-ie and they’re judging the bajaysus out of my very public life. (FYI from my 2 years worth of research… the selfies are the only way my page gets decent engagement. So I dropped the photos of flax seed crackers and chai lattes in favour of turning BGC into my Project Self snapper!)
If anyone is in this camp, I hope you’ve unfollowed me by now and aren’t reading this. If you are, this will probably piss you off more and you’ll think I’m an arrogant MF for writing a whingey post about people not asking me about myself. Well, that’s what Neville reckons anyway.
Option D. is that people just don’t care that much, which is fine too. I’ll admit to being quite a shite keeper-in-toucher-er, so it’s natural that loads of friendships fade being that my friends are all over the world. We’re all so busy it’s hard to keep up with anyone who isn’t in our immediate sphere.
All four are highly possible and likely.
Some friends who I do catch up with have also agreed that they don’t ask how I am in general because they read some of my blogs and feel that they already know about my life.
FYI, if you’re a friend of mine (or anyone on social media for that matter) and we still speak,
about 20% of my life goes on my public blogs.
I only ever write about things that I know will be relatable, helpful (and appropriate) for my followers. And that omits a huge chunk of my life.
As a side note in general for all friends to anyone anywhere – asking each other about our lives is nothing to do with information gathering, and everything to do with making each other feel heard and cared about. So even if you feel you know about someone’s life from seeing what they’re up to on social media, ask anyway, it’s likely there’s a whole heap under the surface and even if there’s not, you’ll make them feel heard and cared for. Which in the end is what we crave most from our relationships.
It’s definitely no secret, social media is destroying the way we interact with people.
As I rarely use FB for anything other than business, barely use Instagram (my lovely VA Crystal ninjas that for me), don’t have FB on my phone, and don’t look at the FB news feed anywhere, I’m often in conversations where people allude to something they assume everyone has seen about their life on FB. If you’ve recently been to Fiji and we haven’t chatted about it, I have no idea.
It’s a weird balance because you don’t want to be repeating what someone already knows from social media… but where is the line where we stop relaying our stories nor asking others about theirs because of social media?
Since pretty much everything that happens in my mind happens to a load of you too, I figured I’m not the only one that feels like this at the hands of social media.
So I figured I’d write about it in case it helps anyone else feel normal in this weird sense of isolation that comes from having a presence online that interferes with your real life.
This is challenge to you – reach out to someone in your life every day this week and just ask them how they are.
Even if you already know that they’ve just had a smoothie bowl at Lola Berry’s cafe with little yellow stars on their, mermaid hair, and the Lark filter, #nofilter.
(I did some instagram trawling to put together that last sentence :D)
Facebook only shows you what’s on the face of things.
Find out what’s going on with the whole person.