Monday, April 6, 2020

Social Media Blues

Being quarantined to a confined space really makes a person think.  It's been a while since I've had some time to myself to gather my thoughts.  I used to focus on the minute details of work and what is necessary to feel socially acceptable in front of my employees, my friends, peers, and colleagues.  As of late, I've been spending my days in pajamas, sweats, and trying to figure out what my next big career move will be.  Time and social isolation really changes people.  You start to miss the simple things in life, like hugging your friends.  As a society, we are supposed to practice social distancing from one another, which means we need to stand at least 3-6 feet away from the person next to us.  When you can't hug or have any means of physical contact with people you care about, it starts to eat away at you a bit.  For instance - I was not able to hug my own mother when I saw her the other day and it was emotionally wearing on me.  This is the price I pay for working in the medical field.  My parents wouldn't even let me touch my dog because they were afraid that he would catch Coronavirus as well.

I also noticed how frequently some people use their phones to check their social media platforms.  It's like an addiction to see who gets the most reactions on their news feed, or how many likes they get on their photos.  I used to be one of those people who needed to be liked across social media.  I used to want the attention of others to be "heard," but the other side of that coin meant that everyone had an opinion about you... and likely, you'd have haters.  Don't get me wrong - I love posting pictures about my foodie life and creating modeling content, but I realized along the way that those posts only showed a person I wanted to portray.  Instagram never showed my messy hair, my "I just woke up" face, or my runny eggs and toast for breakfast.  It showed the glamorous sides of my life.  After all of this mayhem that turned the world upside down and after knowing that so many people have died, is being on social media really worth it at this point?

Social media also creates an addiction to the phone.  You want to be liked by others.  You want people to notice you.  You want those same people to interact with you because they might think you're cool.  You post about the coolest places you've been to and how awesome your past vacations were.  In reality, you're still the same individual who needs to work and you have those daily stresses.  I feel like socially disconnecting myself for a bit to understand who I really am as a person.  I want to be liked because a person likes me, and not what I post.  I want to have real friends who will be there for me when I'm at my lowest and not when I'm just having a good time.  I want to be able to create memories with people who find the time to come out and have dinner or coffee dates with me, and not when we're just going to the next party.  Wouldn't life be a little more meaningful that way?

It's great to know that you can find your friends on Facebook and know they are okay.  However, Facebook is also spammed with fake news, as well as bad news.  I don't know how to react or feel when I hear someone else has passed away from COVID.  That news came straight from social media, and not my friends.  I've had instances where there has been a death in my family and other friends who found out posted about it before we had a chance to decide if it needed to be posted about or not.  Those things are very personal and private and shouldn't really shared on social media, unless the actual party involved decided to share it first.  I think people start posting about subjects and things because they mostly crave the attention.

I've been slowly shying off of Facebook and Instagram over the past few weeks because I just feel like it's mentally draining.  I don't get to interact with my friends too often, but that's what messenger and my cell phone is for.  If I keep looking at my phone every five minutes just to see who posted what or who liked my status, I think I'm going to drive myself insane.  I miss social interactions and I miss my friends and family.  I have begun to realize how much I've taken for granted as a young woman living in NYC and how much money I've spent over eating, going out, and being the adventurous spirit I am.  This quarantine makes me realize how important some people are in my life and how much I care about them.  I am sometimes afraid that if COVID gets to them, I may lose them and that's heartbreaking.  I can't always be there for them and that bothers me.

Do yourself a favor and hug someone you care about today, if you can.  You won't know when is the next time you will see them, so make sure it is a tight one filled with all the love you can give.  I only give one hug per day, so if you were lucky enough to receive my hug, that means you mean the world to me.

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