I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were discussing how Instagram is always such a positive space to be in, but Facebook tends to be a lot of complaining. We were saying that we want out of Facebook, but can’t imagine leaving Instagram. I started thinking about what drives us when we’re writing posts on social media. I thought about the fact that Facebook tends to be a lot of shares and not our own thoughts. I also thought about the posts that I could remember from Facebook, and the ones that stand out are overwhelmingly in solidarity over something we’re complaining about. It’s unfortunate, when you think about it. This is a space that our children and our grand parents are on, and yet we can only share negative thoughts.
I also began thinking about the posts that have been going around recently, which to be honest with you I have not seen on Facebook, is one about crying and then moving on. Which of course got me to thinking again, and realizing the truth. We are totally allowed to cry, complain, gripe, whatever if something doesn’t go exactly the way we had planned it. If you’re a planner like me, changes in plans means that you need to rework your entire schedule. It is challenging and annoying, so yes of course you are allowed to be upset. The question is, how long are you allowed to be upset and how vocal are you allowed to be about it?
In my house, we sometimes have this issue where I’ll be upset about something that I shouldn’t get upset about, and I know it, but I can’t translate knowing that I need to get over it and actually getting over it. I end up just shutting up about it and waiting until my emotions catch up to my brain. On its own, this isn’t necessarily an issue. The issue arises when somebody wants to know why I’m upset and I cannot rationalize it. I know and I accept that it’s ridiculous, but sharing that with other people is rather difficult. Compare this to not knowing when something you’re upset about isn’t as serious as you think it is, and sharing that with the world via Facebook. Hopefully, your friends are kind enough to recognize the pain in your post and spare you the opinion that maybe you’re overreacting a little. That doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking it though, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re never guilty of it.
What I love about Instagram, and this is probably because it’s all photo-based, is that people might caption something with a story about the struggle that preceded the picture, but you only see the moment when the challenge and pain was conquered. Then everybody joins together in understanding this feeling or that feeling and you hit the little heart and you keep scrolling. This is so much better! Why can’t we all teach lessons and share emotions like this? Yes, I understand there is a time for support and unity that we also need, but by and large that isn’t the motivation behind this post. Why is it that we have such an easy time airing our frustrations on Facebook, but not sharing the resolution once we’ve moved on and found our happiness? It seems to me that we would be stronger if we could find a way to do that.