Social Media: Let’s Get Real

I’m turning the reigns over to my daughter for this post. She’s gifted. I’m mom. But she’s really gifted by God to see things at such a young age that many adults don’t. I’m proud that she wants to share that gift. ❤️

She’s written this to her younger generation, but honestly I’ve seen some many adults doing this. I’m so thankful I have this great blogging community. You all will get this. Because you are real. Really real.

Join me in reading her blessed words?

*****

It happens all the time. Jane posts that she is so tired of her work and she deserves so much better than this junk-of-a-job. Jane then has fifty people like her post and twenty others comment to tell her that they understand and that she deserves so much better and so do they. At the same time, Bill posts that he is having health issues that are weighing him down, but that he will not give up hope and that he is thankful for all of his friends’ support. Bill gets two likes and no comments. Jane and Bill have the same friends and they post at the same time.

Why does Jane get more support than Bill? You might naturally assume that Bill will receive more feedback because his post is much more positive and others-focused while Jane’s is much more cynical and self-focused. This however is not the case a lot of the time. Through observation and much consideration, I feel that there are three main reasons as to why this happens.

While the characters are fictional, the scenarios are quite real and common. I’m not saying that Jane’s friends should not be kind to her and encourage her. I’m not even saying that Jane and her friends don’t deserve better jobs. I am merely pointing out a part of our “me” sides that has taken hold of our everyday conversations. It’s the way that it’s been said.

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You see, in our natural state as humans, we can be sort of bothered by others who can find peace and joy in difficult situations. It’s not our natural reaction. I’m not sure that it’s anyone’s natural reaction. Whenever we go through difficulties of any kind, our instinct is to complain about it. We know that our bad attitudes are really getting us nowhere, but we are strangely comforted by our less than positive responses. It takes a lot of effort to move past that initial reaction, and when we don’t, we become easily annoyed by those who do chose to do so.

When we see others being positive about the obstacles in their lives, we become uncomfortable because we know that we should be positive as well. We should want to do something about it and move forward, but we get stuck in our complaining ruts. Those ruts are hard to get out of if you’ve already dug a pretty deep hole.

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Then there is also the desire to connect to others. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can keep you in that rut as well if you aren’t careful. Sometimes we are drawn to relate to others because we want to know that we are not alone, but sometimes we are really just looking for a way to justify our actions or feelings that we actually know are wrong. The latter is a dangerous place to sit.

The last reason that I think people stay away from seemingly positive people is because they are used to seeing self-deprecating insincerity from the world – aka patronizing. The “Don’t feel bad, even I have problems once in a while (but most of the time I’m perfect *cough cough*)” attitude is unfortunately not just an exaggeration seen in movies about mean girls and guys. Some people really chose to be like that, and it’s seemed to have rubbed everyone else the wrong way to our social detriment. I think people have become so soured from these people and their societal blunders that they have forgotten what’s real and what isn’t. I think now it’s become a common assumption that this is the motivation of everyone, even those who don’t mean it to be.

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I know it’s hard to convey and understand tone when we are writing and reading, but let’s try to not insert our own ideas of how the other person is into what they are saying. Let’s try to really read the words on the page, and then assess whether or not it is coming across in a good way and how we should react to it. Sometimes I think we are so caught up in the fact that we “know” exactly how a person is or how they would say something (based on our previous experiences) that we pre-judge them. Yes it’s good to be discerning and to recognize the fruit that others are producing with their actions, but we shouldn’t assume that we know everything about them.

Just because that’s how they’ve always been doesn’t mean that’s how they are always going to be… or that our first assessment of them was even a correct one! But, even if we were correct in our first assessment of them, we need to remember that we are all human. We all have hidden reasons for why we are the way we are. Maybe they seem indifferent because they have a hard time trusting people, or maybe they seem pushy because they have been ignored their whole lives and they just want to be heard. We can’t know it all, so we shouldn’t try to act like we do. We have to be careful about our preconceived notions and how they affect our relationships. They can make or break them.

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So let’s try to be real and to really listen to what others are saying without inserting our own thoughts into it. Let’s not assume that everyone is the same. Let’s be careful not to identify with others just for the sake of justifying where we are now when we know we need to change. And let’s be encouraging without becoming enablers. Loving someone doesn’t mean that you need to do everything for them… it means that you help them to see and do the right things for themselves. Please do keep encouraging people, but remember to encourage them in a productive way.

They need you to help them see the light in their dark places, not for you to sit in the dark with them forever.

Let’s all work together to make this world better than it seems. Let’s change the way we communicate and build relationships. Let’s be real.

Emerson

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42 thoughts on “Social Media: Let’s Get Real

  1. insanitybytes22 says:

    Ah, that was just delightful. Well done! I too have puzzled over those issues.
    I suppose that old saying about how misery loves company is quite true.

    Loved this part, “They need you to help them see the light in their dark places, not for you to sit in the dark with them forever.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. bunnyb1802 says:

    Great post, Emerson. There is a fine line, a delicate balance between asking for help and just bellyaching for the sake of it. There’s also a fine line between trying to encourage someone in that position and sitting in judgement over them.
    Not many people get it right. We really need to ask God’s perspective.

    It’s good to point these things out, we all have the ability to go down either road. It’s the potential downside of social media.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. urjaasingh says:

    This is simply an amazing article!! I truly believe that for once we should just stop judging and analyzing everyone! For once we should just listen genuinely without intervening it with our judgments!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Clark Bunch says:

    Here’s what I learned a few years ago car shopping: you have to read online reviews with a grain of salt. People are more likely to write a review about a particular car if they found something they don’t like about it. If someone used a product, whatever type of product it is, and it worked just fine then they probably will not take the time or make the effort to go online and tells other about it. A few will. But if it disappointed them in some way they want to warn every person with Internet NOT to buy whatever the thing was that failed them.

    When a person says “I hate Mondays” they will get a dozen likes and a few comments. When a person writes “I’m trusting Jesus to get me through the day” people tend to think “well that’s nice” and keep scrolling. Mondays, cafeteria food, the local post office, all of these things are favorite whipping boys we can all join in complaining about. The example of Jane hating her job given above is no different. Find a guy that’s been unemployed for six months, I bet he would love to try his hand at that job. Jane might feel differently as well if her boss sees that post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Emerson Mertens says:

      Good point Clark. I have read hundreds of reviews exactly like what you mentioned above. A lot of times people don’t say anything, even if they really like it or appreciate whatever it is, unless it is something that has to do with what they dislike or disagree with. Sometimes it can be really easy to get a little too caught up in what bothers us in life and forget that it’s important for us to express our appreciation and gratitude for all the good things we do have. I think it’s something we all have to be cautious of and try to keep ourselves from getting in that rut. Thanks for reading and commenting! Blessings! :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Emerson Mertens says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting Dave! Your daughter is not alone; I feel exactly the same way. It can be discouraging sometimes, but I just keep praying for God to connect me with true friends who want to be who He made them to be. I know that there are other people out there that feel the same, and I encourage them and your daughter not to lose hope. I am confident that if we just continue to be who we are and trust God, He will bring us the right people to be good true friends, and we can be good true friends to them as well. And no matter what, we can know that we always have a friend in Jesus! :) Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Planting Potatoes says:

    such good words…..and observation too! I hope your daughter won’t sell social media so short as not to consider being a blogger….social media could use such insight! :)

    Liked by 2 people

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