Last week at my good friend’s wedding, I introduced myself to a friend of a friend and she turned to me and said
“Oh, well obviously I know who YOU are, Miss Social Media Queen”.
I was quite taken aback by her judgement-laced words, and I laughed a bit too heartily
while trying to work out how to defend myself against this sly passive-aggressive assault.
Instead, I opted for my usual panicked-people-pleaser approach and I asked her a bunch of questions to try to get her chatting so she’d realise I’m much more down to earth than she’d decided. At which point she blanked me and turned to Bloody Good Chap and asked him, “So, what do you do when you’re not starring in this one’s Facebook page?”
At first I just shrugged and wandered off to find some less judgemental people to talk to.
But then about an hour later, I realised there was still a niggling feeling going on somewhere in my chest.
I hated that she’d pigeon-holed me.
Neville wanted me to march over to her and tell her I don’t use Facebook or Instagram, that I don’t have any social media on my phone, and that I write all my posts in Google Drive, upload all my iPhone photos to Dropbox, and my awesome social media manager picks the photos, and posts handles all the rest, so really I barely use social media at all except for my BGL groups and business stuff.
I wanted to explain to her that I don’t post photos of my face on social media because I enjoy it,
quite the opposite in fact, I would far prefer to post stock-photos, but I post photos of my face because I realised early on in my Project Self mission that the only way I get decent engagement on my blog posts in Facebook is if I use photos of me. Any other photos fall flat in the water.
It was at this point I realised the bride was about to walk up the aisle and
I’d been completely submerged in an imaginary conversation while gripping my wine glass for 5 too many minutes.
Luckily the beautiful bride snapped me well out of my unpleasant reverie, and I didn’t think of it much again until the next morning, hungover and feeling sorry for myself for all manner of reasons including the fact that I really, really needed some chips.
I think what bothered me so much about the incident (aside from not enjoying being lumped in with the vast majority of somewhat inauthentic social media folk) was that I hated that her judgement of me was no worse than the judgement my mind continuously makes of people I meet without waiting to get to know them before I stereotype the bejaysus out of them.
I hate judging people and I hate that I can’t stop my mind doing it.
Now that I’m no longer hungover I feel more objective about the situation.
I know that that the human mind is naturally a judgmental bastard.
Judgement is one of the main things our minds are designed to do.
So if anyone ever thinks they’re a “non-judgmental” person, I judge them for just not being particularly self aware. And then I laugh at myself for judging someone for being judgey yet not realising it.
The reality is, we are incredibly judgmental creatures.
But, we have this wonderful part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex, which enables us to override and inhibit some of the more primitive functions of our brain, so that we might react a bit more logically and fairly, and take our judgement of others a lot less seriously.
Handily, mindfulness practice has been shown to thicken the brain tissue in areas of the prefrontal cortex, and certainly in my personal experience, the more I practice mindfulness, the more level headed and less judgmental I become.
So even though I wanted to continue judging the bejaysus out of that wedding chick for judging me,
I’ve decided to archive my judgement with all the other bullshit judgments my mind has made in the past.
I don’t have a damn clue about who she is and why she might subtly dislike someone who posts their face on social media too often, any more than she has a clue about me.