July 27, 2013

Where is the line?

While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a link that a friend of mine had shared to this blog post.  Titled "OverExposed" by Heidi St John aka The Busy Mom it talks about the how our lives have become so open to anyone on our friends list, and the damages that that overexposure can cause.

She talked about the insecurities that can arise from how much we share our lives in social media.  That passage really stood out to me.

Facebook was making it appear as if I was hanging out with everyone under the sun—except her.  It wasn’t true of course; pictures are just a snapshot of what we do in a day.  A nano second. A moment. But these days, a picture sends a thousand different messages to those who see them via the Internet. And it’s all open for personal interpretation.
I get it. I’ve felt that way too.
An image of a gathering that I wasn’t invited to crossed my screen one night as I was surfing the Internet.
“I could’ve gone my whole life without seeing that picture,” I said to my husband.
“Why do you even care about it?” Jay asked.
I cringed. I’d been “unfriended” by the afore mentioned “friend,” which, as everyone knows, makes it official.  And there she was—my former friend—in a picture with my current friends. Insecurity flooded my thoughts.
I didn’t realize I was insecure like that.

I know that feeling all to well.  I hate feeling like that... because I know I shouldn't.  I know I have no reason to, I know that the intention was not to make me feel left out or ignored or excluded.  Yet one photo or post could show up in my newsfeed and a flood of insecurities and doubt can come flooding in and overwhelm me before I know what is happening.

I think we never lose that desire to be the "popular kid" that we had in our childhood.  We may think we've grown out of our longing to be the popular one, the one that everyone is friends with, the one that everyone wants to get to know and the first one people call up to hang out.  Yet we never do, and the overexposure of our lives on social media has a way of reminding us - sometimes in a very painful way - that all we really want is to be included and loved by everyone.

Personally, I struggle a lot with wondering if people really like me or if they're just friends because I am around.  If I were to disappear, would anyone even notice?  Do I ever cross anyone's mind if I'm not directly related to whatever they are talking or doing?  Deep down I know none of that is true... but I did say I was struggling.  Because I know how much it can hurt, I try to watch what I share and talk about on social media.

But where is the line between sharing your life and making your life overexposed?

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