I’ve recently had several things I could blog about here, but… I can’t. As I started to write each post I realized that I would not be able to hit the “publish” button because what I would write could hurt others. Although my blog is a place for me to journal, express my opinions and get out some “stuff” – it’s not a place to cause strife or to upset others in undue ways.
This got me thinking that being “social” online is often the same that it is in real life. Although I’ve seen many people online that think they can post and comment in any way they want without hurting anyone’s feelings – I know this isn’t so. I digress often from posting things on this blog that I know my close friends and family may read. It’s not a place to air my dirty laundry. It’s a place, instead, to connect with others in a way that benefits everyone.
In real life, I often keep things to my self. Some people call it a “filter” or “keeping my mouth shut.” I know several people who have lost their filters… (one I’m married to, but I love him anyway). All too often in life, I rein (did I use that right Roberta?) in my opinions, feelings and “snark” because it just keeps me out of trouble. But it also leads sometimes to a life of solitude. It’s hard to find someone who thinks and feels the same way when we can’t express how we truly think and feel. The same is true in this medium and other online “social” media sites.
We’re told so often to “be social” to gain more followers and, while we can try to be social to some extent, we can’t really be totally true to who we are and connect with others because, just like in real life, we have to hold some things in. We need to keep some things close to the vest…or risk being hated by people we love and don’t want to hurt in the long run.
I realized that I can’t connect via this medium about some family issues because… well, family reads this. I can’t write about my disillusionment with some areas of my life… again, because the people involved in those areas with me read my blog.
I know I would find soulmates out there who understand, but I can’t talk to you about it. It’s still held up…pent up…inside due to these same restrictions as in our real lives. Although I can reach out across continents to talk about God’s love (which I enjoy and am blessed by), I can’t get to the true heart of my personal matters here with you.
So this is why I think that even being “social” online – like we’re told we HAVE to be in order to have followers – still doesn’t work in helping others see the true US in the long run. Although being superficially social (“Hi, I love your post!” or “That’s a great idea!”) is good (and appreciated) – being social online will never replace a deep conversation with a close, trusted friend; it will never replace a hug from someone who knows; it can never replace that special moment with someone, in person, who just gets it.
So don’t just be “social” online – or even in real life – find some people (some REAL people whom you see in person) who truly understand you and connect with them. (Perhaps even a counselor.) It’s better than any social media outlet out there. Better yet – connect with God. He understands you at the core of YOU. And He already knows every worry, every fear, and every heartache and He won’t judge you. Instead – He extends His love to you.