We live in a world of over-sharers, but if you’re anything like me, you’re not one of them. The more people share on social media, the less I feel inclined to. Something about the over-the-top nature of sharing what they ate, that their kid is sick (again), or that they’re sixteen weeks and THREE days pregnant is a turn off to me. But you know, to each their own.
The simple solution would be to unfollow. But we both know it’s not always that easy. They’re a relative, a friend you wouldn’t have expected this behavior out of (she’s so different in-person), a childhood connection only recently reconciled (who knew Kiki was crazy now?).
So what do you do when they’re driving you nuts but you can’t seem to escape?
First, is acceptance that this is the day of age we live in. It’s ridiculous, but we must recognize that we are outnumbered. That people’s need to show off, show face, show every excruciating detail of their life is only heightening. Becoming angry every time you see it, would result in a very negative way of thinking, and that type of negativity is exactly what we’re trying to run away from.
The age of the blogger has forever turned ugly to cute, the invisible to seen, the lonely to friended – and that’s not all that bad. Everyone needs a friend. For some people, this type of recognition, whether insincere or not, is what they need to survive. A number of likes equals worth, followers equals happiness. Where it becomes a problem, is when their delightment with themselves becomes your burden. Your danger zone to open up a social platform that you used to enjoy. Your heartache when you see that adorable baby from the person who seems to already have it all! And now a baby TOO.
And we all know it’s not just the one. It’s ALL the other announcements that follow. You know you’ve seen them. It starts with WE’RE PREGNANT, then comes the weekly bump pics. If you’re lucky you’ve missed the size comparisons (my baby’s the size of a XYZ) – more on that later. Then there’s the room prep, isn’t my baby’s room the cutest ever? And all the little outfits, baby shoes! Then the I’m-so-pregnant-my-feet-are-swollen images that no one wants to see (EVER). And finally, a mom who is ready to pop, miserable and anxious for birth.
Then, after eight or nine obnoxious months, the little guy or girl is born, and the images are amplified (the upside to this, is that at least now you get to look at a cute little babe). At this point you know, if you haven’t left the party already, it’s time for you to go.
You’re happy for most.
You’re in disdain to some.
You’re jealous of all.
And that’s OKAY.
You’re not a bad person for shuttering when you see another chalkboard announcement. And yes, we know that deep down (on some level anyway), you really are happy for Alyssa from college. Or second cousin, Beth. And yes, of course they should be over-the-moon with excitement and share as much as they see fit. It’s just right now, in this moment, it’s the last thing you want to see when you click into your app. The app that was created to be an escape, not a burden.
So here’s some ways to deal, when you’re not sure how to feel.
“Heart It” Anyway
If you’re a sensitive soul and find yourself putting more guilt on your shoulders than relief when you scroll past that post that you know you should have liked (because you like that person, but hate that they’re pregnant) – do yourself a favor, scroll back up, and double click.
Your feelings don’t have to change, you won’t be instantly happier, but at least you showed support (even in a teeny tiny way) of her news. She may not notice, and at the end of the day, it likely didn’t matter, but to you it was a big step.
A big, selfless step.
Proving that you are much stronger than you’ve given yourself credit for. That you are going to get through this, and that someday, she’ll be liking your post on your big day.
Laugh It Off
If you’re like, nah – can’t deal. Won’t do it. I get it. Sometimes finding love when our hearts have been trampled on is simply not going to happen. And in that case, maybe you just laugh. Find the fun in whatever ridiculous comparison you’re seeing on the screen. I know you’ve all seen them – and don’t tell me you haven’t rolled your eyes, screenshotted it to a friend, snickered to yourself at the outrageous things people will do to come off as unique, for a little extra attention, or whatever they’re seeking out of these posts.
If you’re like, what is she talking about right now? Allow me to explain. There is a girl I follow who compares her baby bump to obscure objects from the 80s. For instance, at week 19, her bump was as big as a GAMEBOY. And later, as big as a paper airplane. A PAPER. AIRPLANE.
Let’s have a moment of silence for this as we let it sink in.
She’s kind and I wish her all the best, I just cannot stand these posts. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that at first, these weekly updates had me irate with ignorance. THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. Then I decided it was kind of hilarious to see what wild comparison would come next. So, I got a best friend involved, started sending her the pictures, and looked forward to the next post.
Taking the seriousness out of an already painful situation can be a beneficial coping mechanism for us all. And sometimes, we just need a laugh.
When the above just isn’t working, then I suggest you protect your heart, bite the bullet, and unfollow. But if you do, promise me that you’ll do so without guilt. Without worry. And without regret. Because they don’t understand what you’re going through. That seeing a stupid bump comparison can turn your decent day into a windfall of tears. Because if you’ve never felt it, then you would never know.
It’s not their fault for not understanding, but it’s not yours either.
So feel nothing when you let them go. Rip off the band-aid and don’t look back. This is all temporary. And for now, your number one priority is you.
And I can almost promise you, that they probably won’t notice. 😉