Social media: the killer of relationships after they’ve been destroyed; a platform to vent; a comic relief; a prison filled with the people you are trying to remove from your life. I find it so difficult to move forward completely. I cannot ignore tweets, status updates, re-blogs, photos and other sources of connection. It is not out of malice – mostly – it is unintentional. It a source of information we privilege people around us to whether they are strangers, friends, people we are no longer friends with, people we never had any emotional connection to and those we did. I cannot escape, I also in some ways don’t necessarily want to.
“We live in an age where we feel guilt whenever we have to cut someone off but the reality is that some relationships need to die, some people do need to be unfollowed and defriended. We aren’t meant to be this tethered to people in our past. The Internet mandates that we don’t burn bridges and keep everyone around like relics but those expectations are unrealistic and unhealthy. Simply put, we don’t need to know what everyone else is up to. We’re allowed to be choosy about who we surround ourselves with online and in real life, even if it might hurt peoples feelings” – Ryan O’Connell, The Thought Catalog
Is there a cure? Is this entire system deluding us into a false sense of connection? If we do completely remove ourselves from this link to the rest of the world, are we just engaging in some sort of rebellion on modern society? Should we perhaps adapt our behaviour within the social construct; or simply ignore social media completely?
I am cautious of those who invite people into their lives on social media in order to brag or create an image of having hundreds of close friends. I also cannot understand why we allow people to be a part of a fight or argument between partners or friends. Our relationships belong to us, it is up to us to protect them, and we understand them better than anyone else. It truly bothers me, it is for this reason I often feel conflicted about keeping myself on social networks.
I cannot see myself completely cutting this cord, although I do feel I have a responsibility to myself to make sure that those who are privy to my information, my thoughts, ideas and views are the people who really deserve to be. I will no longer feel ashamed about making a clean break. It is necessary to understand when you cannot be in someone else’s life, offline or online. Survival instinct should at some point kick in; we should realise when this behaviour becomes detrimental to our well-being and our ability to grow out of certain phases in our lives. It is human nature to think about the people who came into our lives, the ones who changed our perspective, the ones we fell in love with or shared everything with. This however doesn’t mean we should keep them around, knowing every detail about them, sorting through their thoughts.
We do need to accept once something has run its course, it doesn’t mean we no longer care, it just means we are encouraging each other to move forward. We are enabling ourselves to reach towards better things, things that nourish us instead of break us down.