You get weird looks if you talk to yourself in the grocery store. Trust me on this one. I’m always muttering to myself, “Okay, Hannah, what did you forget. You’re forgetting something. You should write lists, you know, or stop leaving them at home.” And, yes, people smile in a frightened sort of way and give me a wide berth.
I’m not sure why people treat it like such a big thing, though, since most of what we read online is people talking to themselves. Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagraming, blogging and even taking selfies are mostly forms of self-engagement, aren’t they? I look like this today. Insert selfie here (I need you to notice how much weight I’ve lost). Share this and say “Amen” if you agree with this post (these are my beliefs and I need you to concur with me). I had a hard day today and I want to discuss it (I want you to read about my day and send me some empathy).
I’m not making fun of people. I’m writing a blog right now. I hope you relate to it, but mostly I’m just writing my ideas and thinking how clever I am to come up with them on short notice. I post pictures of myself in new outfits. I do not post chain images because I think Jesus could hardly care whether or not I am sharing a poorly spelled self-congratulation on my spirituality. He probably would rather I work on my piss-poor attitude and dripping sarcasm. I am just pointing out that most of what we do (online) and in conversations with friends is try to locate ourselves, talk about our problems, and receive empathy from others about this or that situation. That’s fine, especially if done sparingly.
But it’s a also a bit dull, isn’t it? And it seems to frustrate people, a lot. I have friends who get all bent out of shape because a person didn’t agree with the world view of this or that post. I have been bent out of shape, myself, a time or two. But not everyone is always going to like what you are made of, the things you like, the way you style your hair. And that’s okay. Isn’t it? Well, in an a world where over-sharing and receiving prizes/ranking/stars/likes for every action we partake in, whether it be ordering food or reading a book, it feels NOT okay when people don’t agree with us. It feels like we are not validated in our lifestyle. And validation is huge in the social network world.
I have not remedies to hand you. I have no desire to tell you not to worry about how many likes your new hairstyle gets. I just want to let you know that I might not “like” all your posts, I might not agree with everything you stand for, and it doesn’t matter. I just hope you love yourselves. I hope, sometimes, you take a walk and a break in sweats with messy hair. I hope that no matter the rating of your book, no matter the likes on your profile pic, no matter the shares on your blog, that you love that you ARE. I have been feeling very happy with myself lately, and I think it’s because I’ve started to care less about being approved of. Maybe that comes with age. I don’t know. I just know that I like the feeling. I like to talk to my groceries and skip through stores when I feel like it. And I don’t mind if you think I’m weird for so doing. I am. I am here and I am.