Your Social Media First or Your You Too?


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Your Social Media or Your You Too?

I heard someone recently say ‘You only need social media to have friends! That should be your first port of call! You can like yourself later, once you know if people like you first or not?”

Plus last week l read an article which suggested that generations of people born between the early 80’s to the late 90’s were experiencing much higher levels of loneliness than other generations of people. Many of this age group [Mid 30’s – 40’s], feel that they have no friends and struggle to sustain long lasting friendships. 

Of course the likes of social media and other digital habits and behaviours are seen as the aggressors towards this problem – online gaming, blogging, socialising and so on. But are they really the biggest baddies here?

I make no lies about not ever suffering from or even experiencing loneliness – l can sympathise to those who must feel it of sorts, it must be terrible to feel alone, but l have no direct knowledge of it, so l don’t how they truly feel?

My father maintained he was a lonely man, he surrounded himself with people each and every day and so he had ‘friends’ always in attendence to his social needs. He never looked lonely – not in my eyes anyway – but he said he was. He was always busy with people – but also he disliked his own company intensely. He could not stand to be in his own presence for too long?  He never used any social media platforms, and when he died last year, one of the things he said was that he would die a lonely man. Dad, said he NEVER had enough friends!

I am familiar with feeling ‘alone’, but there is a chasm of difference between being lonely and feeling alone.

Suze doesn’t have many ‘real life’ friends, she can count them on her hand, and they will never even reach the thumb when counting. She doesn’t have any online friends. I have no in real life friendships, well l do, but they are mostly ‘casual acquaintances’, l have more ‘online friends’ and l am comfortable with that.

But also, l have noticed something, that both Suze and my father don’t/didn’t like their own company. Many a time l prefer my own company than being in the company of other people. I wonder if that makes for a huge difference and does that affect loneliness?

Suze and my father both have/had friends that stretched over many years some even from childhood in my father’s concern. Suze’s longest friendship is something akin to 30+ years??

We have long heard that social media platforms are not real friends, although l would say that if the persons wish for the friendships to go further, there is nothing preventing that from happening. We have also heard time and time again, that despite being online, no one really feels connected anymore and that this leads to loneliness? That we don’t have real communities anymore, no more ‘tribes’ of people.

This whole topic confuses me at best anyway, but what the article was saying is that ‘perhaps ‘friendship’ and the concept of friendship, should be taught? Like at school? I don’t remember being taught how to be friends with people at school anyway, and that was LONG before even the concept of social media. At school l had friends, l don’t specifically recall having to be taught to like someone, let alone how to become friends with someone.

Is this something that should be done? Should friendship be taught in schools as like a social subject? Would that make any difference to people feeling lonely, isolated or out of touch? Would it further encourage people to interact and engage? Should perhaps it not be taught that first and foremost, we should like who we are as people? That we should be our own friends? That we should be able to tolerate our own world, our own space and our own mind space? Be happy with who we are, then would it matter if we had people in our lives or not?

So what do you think?

Your Social Media First or Your You Too?

What’s more important to you first . . . . 

Being your own friend, or being the friend to others in social media forgetting your wellbeing needs?

Is being your own friend, important?

Do you even like you?

Let me know below, cheers Rory

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26 thoughts on “Your Social Media First or Your You Too?

  1. I like my own company and I’d rather be alone than with anybody else. I like online connections in that I can still be physically alone, but at the same time, I don’t consider online connections to be friends on quite the same level as “in real life” friends.

    1. Hey Ashley, yes l also agree with you.

      I have ‘online friendships’, but they are not like ‘real life friendships’, however me being me, prefers the online friendships more than the real life friendships.

      I like my own company as well, l don’t have a physical or mental problem with me because l like who l am.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Friend making is a skill. Some have more of it than others. The best place to start making friends is when you’re in school. Young children have no or low prejudices. As for loneliness, a person who doesn’t like their own company can be more lonely than others. Social media is just an extension of our personality. If we make it personal, the friendships are real. Otherwise they are fake and temporary.

    1. You see, that’s what l figure that instinctively when you and l were kids, because just reading your post you are just a year older than me … that when we were at school, we didn’t need to be tought friendship, we knew if we liked something or someone through our guts … then talking, interacting, engaging with, click, click new friends, casual friends, friends and best friends’, but l didn’t need to sit down in a class and learn that.

      I was always kind of aloof and still l manage to acquire friends.

      Do you think that this should be taught at school these days? Is making friends no longer a natural thing to do with real people?

        1. I know. 🙂

          This damn post took me a very long time to write up, because l published it, read it and then this is crazy, this isn’t making sense … because of that question you are asking now? How do you teach people to make friends?? There is no guarantee that those teachings will work because each of us is individual.,

          We grew up with no social media, just society people, kids, teenagers, adults – how do you teach that? How do you teach gut reaction to people?

          1. It’s next to impossible. But throw them together before they reach the age of smartphones and they will make good friends. I think the trick maybe is to keep them away from social media till they are adults. In fact it is or was the law, you cannot have an account on Facebook before you’re 18!

  3. To have a friend, be a friend. That was what i was taught, still didn’t end up with lots of friends but I count Online friends since Sometimes they are more Honest and Communicative than real met talked to friends. If that makes any sense! Take care

  4. You can’t teach a class on how to be friends. I’ve been thinking that a basic ethics class might help with acceptance and bullying. But a “making friends” class? Nope.

    People who aren’t comfortable with their own company will always feel some loneliness I think. Without self-acceptance, self-love there’s a void that people try to fill with other people.

    Like you, I prefer my own company. I love the WP community and the friends I have made. I believe that were I closer distance-wise to some, I’d want to see if on-line could go off-line occasionally. A coffee once in a while. I don’t have any real life friends by choice. It’s not a priority for my time.

    I think the key really lies in self love. If a person in happy in their own skin, everything flows from that. If they’re unhappy, they’re setting up roadblocks for themselves at every turn.

    1. Hey Grandma, yep, yep, yep and yeps all the way from the top of this scroll to the bottom – yep 🙂

      I think the answer lies in self love, self appreciation, and internal acknowledgement of who you are 🙂

  5. I have more friends now than when I was a kid. I found children to be cruel and vicious, and I was very wary of them. They bullied me for various reasons and I had only a few in high school I could trust. I an still friends with one to this day and she reads my blog.

    I did not have many friends during my marriage because my ex was nasty to people and it was difficult to get together with couples, or even family! But I did manage to befriend a neighbor and we are still good friends today.

    The rest of my “real life” friendships are due to a mutual interest in board games. If I quit playing games, or moved, those friendships would die. I am aware of this and it keeps me from feeling close to most of these people.

    I have lots of online contacts that ebb and flow. Except for a couple that go back 20 years, I’m not heavily invested in these relationships because I know they could fade away and disappear at any time. So many have before.

    1. Yes l found kids when young were sadists – which is why l started talking to myself more and more as a kid, l made sense to me 🙂

      Hope you are keeping well and that Gatsby is keeping you on your toes 🙂

  6. The only “social media” I participate in is WordPress. So, I suppose, by default, I put myself first. Of course, the WordPress community has become an important part of my life, but it’s just a part of my life, not my whole life.

    1. Hey Fandango, totally agree with you, WP has become a part of my life and is not my whole life, but it is an important part of my community life.

  7. Sorry if you get this twice – fat finger syndrome. I’ve always disliked myself. But you start to realise that you had better starting taking care of me. Then you spend increasing time alone and you start to better understand me. Now I’m quite relaxed with me plus ME makes a damm fine mug of coffee.

  8. I have met so many interesting people through social media. I am so glad I began blogging, but I think social media friends should enhance your group of friends, not take the place of people we interact with in real life. Great thought-provoking post!

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