As I was sitting on the toilet the other day, scrolling through social media, I came to a realization about how we treat each other. I was ‘friends’ with a wide variety of people I have met throughout my life. I was friends with family members, classmates from high school, college and graduate school. I was friends with people I knew from cities I used to live in, co-workers I used to work with and co-workers I currently work with. I have friends from my neighborhood, parents from my childrens’ sports teams, teachers at their school, parents of former students, students who have graduated, friends of my own children, and then another classification altogether, people whom I have never actually met. This is what really hit me hard. It’s what made me really think.
There are people whom I share my life with that I have maybe spoken to, online only, a handful of times.
So, I thought about my interactions with all of these people. I’m not talking about Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy, here. I’m talking about the actual interaction on social media. A like, a comment, a care, a heart, a laugh. Are they any different than the friends I see often or have grown up with? Does it depend on whether I actually stood in front of you face to face at one point? Nope. I’m supporting you.
Hey friend of my husband from high school that I have never met and became friends with accidentally because my husband thought he was using his account…you just ran a half-marathon? Amazing. You go, man! You get a like. My cousin shared a really cool picture? Um, LOVE. Person whom I’ve never met who lives 6 states away and is starting her own side business? Hell yeah! That stuff is cool and you’re amazing for fitting it into your schedule. I see you going back to school for a career change while raising kids on your own. High five! We need a high five button!
There are pictures of kids all over the place and as I see them grow up, I think, ‘OMG, I remember when they were this big and they did some funny thing.’ Have I ever seen this kid NOT through a screen? Nope, but I’m gonna like that pic. Friends share their favorite memories and I recall how funny or adorable that was 7 years ago. I love it!
We share each others’ lives through social media. We support each other. It might be a simple like, a share, a comment, or support by liking their business page or by purchasing something from them. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just be there.
Let’s be clear that this isn’t a promotion for social media, though it certainly makes us all easily accessible to each other. It’s a promotion to be human. To be kind. To lift each other up through supporting each other, even if you’ve never been in the same state at the same time. During this day and age, and during our extremely busy schedules, it might just be the most we can do.
So think for me: How do we treat each other? How do we treat each other in person? How do we treat each other on social media? How do we treat each other when when the other isn’t looking?
Think about that. There’s so much going through my head at this point that I’ve gone on a tangent and started thinking about how we help others in our daily lives when not on social media. I started thinking about all the people I know around me and in my daily life. If you’re one of those people always doing things to help others, yet there’s no big hooray, keep doing it! You don’t need a big party. Stay humble, please. If you’re one of those people who are always advocating for others, keep doing it, regardless if people don’t care or they get in your way. Keep. Doing. It.
You need help with this? Absolutely, I’ll help! Your kid just scored a goal or made the winning basket? Amazing! I have no idea where your team is from, but, ‘click’ you just got a like because I support you and share in your excitement. Your kid can’t sign the letter D correctly and sticks his middle finger up making it look like he’s flipping you off? Yes! I’m clicking the like button for that shit.
Do you share a lot of exciting accomplishments because that’s the only way your family can see these things? Yeah? I TOTALLY get it. Everyone has their own reasons for sharing. Everyone has their own reason for helping. You do you. It’s not a competition. Does it really matter? It’s not a competition. What’s that again? It’s not a competition!
I find myself enjoying the accomplishments of others. Are some braggy? Probably, but I probably seem that way too. I don’t care though. I know I have friends (and family) that really do enjoy seeing that. Will I continue to support my friends? Yup. Do I wish I could someday meet some of them (LOL) face to face? Certainly. The point of all of this is that I found myself supporting people I hardly know because it’s about being positive. We need more positivity around us.
This whole post started because I saw and liked a business page of a friend whom I’ve never met, when she asked me to follow her new side business. So look at your feed. What you see were posted with emotion: happiness, humor, contentedness, excitement and the feeling of an extremely proud person. What are you going to do when you react? Look at your surroundings, what you’re doing and what others are doing. What are you going to do when you react?
What are you going to do to spread joy?