I was making plans with a friend recently - she's always snowed under with her high-pressure and ever time consuming job, meaning it's fairly challenging to get hold of her - when she messaged saying, “I hope skiing is amazing. I’m stalking you all the time. Or when I do have time which is on the bus to work.”
Obviously, I thought nothing of it.
As the next few days passed, quite a few of the texts, instagram DMs, whatapps, (etc...) I received told me how “amazing” Japan looked. Agreed - skiing in Japan this month was amazing and then some.
But as I sat back and began to overthink life, as my brain believes that it must, I realised barely any asked if I liked it, what I’d done and if I was having a good time. Me being me (i.e. paranoid and solipsistic), at first, I more or less assumed that my mates hated me and their uninterest was a sign of our friendships fizzling. It made me feel incredibly lonely.
Instead of enjoying the incredible place I was lucky to be in, I spent one of the seven days in Japan worrying about having only a few friends who cared enough to ask how I was beyond what they saw on my Instagram feed.
I took a moment and began to rationalise. Cue some analysis of my own behaviours. I’d literally just opened Facebook to see a photo of a girl from school getting married. I haven’t spoken to her for years, yet I gave her wedding photo a ‘like’ without much thought.
Last year, I found out about one of my good friend’s engagements via Facebook too - I’m one of four bridesmaids at her wedding next month.
I was no better.
I was no better.
Instead of picking up the phone, or even a simple text message, it’s become normal to keep track of our friends, their life milestones and their wellness via social media.
Like most people, I don’t post most of my hardest days or deepest fears. The majority of things that keep me up at night will never appear within these pages or an Instagram caption. Like most bloggers, I also leave out a lot of happy moments and important people who make my life what is. I prefer these just for myself and those I share it with in the present.
My main goal for 2017 is to practice what I’m preaching.
I want to be more involved in my friends’ lives offline because there's only a certain extent to which your relationships can be lived and felt via the internet.
The internet offers huge support networks and connects people all over the world but it isn’t going to hug you when you’re upset, bring you a bowl of soup when you’re sick or kiss you on the forehead before you go to sleep.
Happy New Year and see you in 2017 x