I love meeting new people. Even though I am a very shy person, I enjoy being able to interact with new individuals, both in person and now, on social media. New people provide opportunities to hear and learn new thoughts, new ideas, new perspectives and so much more. With so many different kinds of people in the world, call me crazy, but I like the idea of knowing just who all else is out there. Lord knows I would get tired if everyone was just like me. I get on my own nerves at times.
Speaking of social media, the invention of this has allowed us to connect like never before. Many great relationships have formed because of this. Quite a few bad ones too, but in sticking with the positive, a lot of good has come from it. On the safe side, there is less commitment with social media as there would be in meeting someone in person. With social media, you can sort of get an idea of someone without putting much into it. If they impress you, you can continue to correspond with them. If not, you can distance yourself quite easily. In person, this isn’t as easy to accomplish, as we all know. For one, you have to look people in the eye and face to face. And despite how “tough” many want us to believe they are, a lot less is said to people in person than it would be on social media. If a person got on our nerves in person, more often than not, we would force ourselves to tolerate it a little more than we would on social media, many times, because we don’t have much choice as they could be family members, co-workers, and so on.
Since I’ve become more serious about my aspirations of becoming a professional screenwriter, I have not been on social media as often as I once was. I post somewhat regularly, but I don’t just sit around and read posts as I used to. But one thing I have noticed is that 2017 seems to be the “Year of the Unfriending/Unfollowing.” I’ve seen some level of this every year, but a LOT at the end of 2016. Everyone and their grandmother was looking to unfriend and unfollow people. “New Year, New Me” and shedding those cyber pounds.
Don’t get me wrong. It is always good to rid yourself of toxic individuals or those you are otherwise uncomfortable with in some way, and explanations are not owed to anyone. Whatever you feel you need to do is what you do. This is your life. Understood.
However, here is why personally, I don’t “boast” about unfriending and unfollowing people on social media.
Again, I love meeting new people. I know many like to say that we should not take social media seriously and I don’t (not nearly as I would real life), but many of us do a lot of networking on social media and those relationships DO matter. But even if that wasn’t the case, here is the deal with me.
When I choose to add people as friends or to follow anyone, I don’t do so lightly. Some will add pretty much anyone and everyone, but not me. I have every intention of interacting with those I add and I actually want to get to know them, even if it doesn’t always happen as I would like. I often make sure to respond to others if they speak to me, or from time to time, I’ll at least thank someone for adding or following me, at least so they know that I care enough. In short, my reason is because I actually want to start a relationship with these people, even if it is nothing more than chatting through social media.
However, when the time comes where I have to make the decision to unfriend/unfollow, this is NOT something that makes me happy. I’m not going to run to corner, drop into the fetal position and cry about it, but here is a person I once thought enough to add as a “friend” (albeit on social media), and now, we have reached a point where it is more appropriate that the relationship can no longer continue for whatever reason. In many cases, that can be disappointing.
That doesn’t mean I’m apologetic about my reasons for doing so. The downside to social media is that we don’t often get the “real” from people (despite all those who claim to be this way at all times) until later on. People can disguise themselves pretty well. It often takes something that happens in the world to see a person’s true colors. That’s when we have to decide whether these are people worth continuing a relationship with (even if it exists purely on social media) or not.
But when I add or follow someone, the intent is for something positive. To chat with them from time to time. To learn from them. To possibly teach them a thing or two if that is possible. To inspire or to be inspired. Whatever the case, once it’s determined that this is no longer feasible, I don’t have any reason to “brag” about it.
Again…it is a great feeling to let go of toxic people. Never apologize for that. But it is still disappointing that that’s how people who I once thought enough to allow into my life have turned out.
I also do not let go of people easily, either. That doesn’t mean I cling needlessly to bad relationships, but what it means is that I don’t unfriend or unfollow people over silly things, like a difference of opinion or stuff like that, or even a squabble here and there. It takes a lot for me to want to unfriend or unfollow someone, because I understand that people out there are NOT like me and I can’t only interact with everyone who is.
But once I do, depending on where the relationship had reached, again, it is a disappointing feeling. Plus, I was the one who chose to add or follow them in the first place. So boasting about it doesn’t make a ton of sense.
It’s sort of like those who break up with someone and they spend all their time bashing the person, because it somehow justifies the breakup or they believe it makes them look better to people outside the relationship who really have NO clue about it. Especially those who remark about how “bad” the sex life was. Whenever I see this, my response and thoughts are the same: “It obviously wasn’t a problem as you were together, so why is it such a problem now? And YOU chose that person as well, so let’s take some responsibility for that also. Don’t act as if you had absolutely nothing to do with it.”
I made the decision to let those people into my life. So when the time comes where I have to feel like I need to let them go, that falls on me. Even if I don’t find out until later that the person really was no good and just toxic to me, I still don’t want to brag about it, because it’s not a great feeling that what could have turned out to be a great relationship ended up not being that way.
I hoped for the best and the total opposite happened. As far as I’m concerned, especially when it involves people, other human beings, those of which I could develop and enjoy great relationships with, it is NOT something that gives me a good feeling or one I feel it is appropriate, at least for me, to brag about.
Acknowledging letting go of a toxic person isn’t exactly bragging, by the way. Again, I do understand the feeling of relief that comes with that. That’s a different story.
I’m not a big softy or anything like that. But if I extend my hand for friendship, call me crazy, but I am hoping for friendship. I’m not at all ashamed to say that it is a letdown if things don’t work out that way.
Especially when it may have started to look like a great friendship is where things could go.