I know I’m not the only one feeling it. The climate of the social interweb right now is a stressful place. What once was a place to connect with friends that live across the country is now a hot bed of political articles and rants. I wish I could say that I don’t judge my real friends or virtual friends for seeing the things they “Like” and re-post and tweet and hashtag, but it’s very hard not to. I can’t be silent on things I feel passionate about, but is Facebook really the place to engage in these heartfelt conversations in order to change someone’s mind? Probably not. Sure you can “unfriend” or “unfollow” when things pass your boundary limits, but how do you know when you’ve reached that point? Well I’ll tell you how…by googling traits of unhealthy relationships and applying them to social media! Which is what I’ve done for you and will share with you now!
1. Criticism or Ridicule
If you are starting to feel that all the things you read on your wall are comments criticizing others opinions or beliefs which then makes you want to criticize back, maybe it’s time for a break. Find a place where people encourage one another more than criticize.
2. Loss of Respect
It doesn’t take long to read comments on any post to find out how easily people forget that on the other end of that keyboard is a real person. It’s way too easy to type something disrespectful than to say it to their face. When all you are reading is hateful rhetoric, it’s time to press pause and find something more positive in your life!
3. Jealousy and Insecurity
When you find yourself staring at people’s flawless figures, homes, decorations, or fashion and wishing you were that perfect, it’s time to snap out of it and realize those are people’s highlights…not their blooper reels. If you keep playing the comparison game you’ll always feel short changed. Delete the app and be grateful for your blessings instead!
4. Narcissistic or Controlling Behavior
One could argue that all of social media is a bit of a narcissitic competition vying for the most “likes” on posts. If you find yourself constantly needing to validate your worth based on selfies, or find your mood and behavior is altered because of a post, that’s a clear sign it’s time for a break from the virtual world.
5. Verbal Abuse
In any actual relationship one can easily say it’s not okay to tolerate verbal abuse, but with virtual friendships people think it’s okay to type out disparaging remarks right and left. It’s not okay! If someone is sending you threats, racist remarks, sexist comments, not only can you report or delete them, you can walk away for a bit or for a long time. Life’s too short to deal with hateful people.
This goes hand in hand with jealousy and insecurity, the virtual world can seem like a place for competition, but it doesn’t have to be! You are enough at whatever point you are in in life. Your kid’s car might not have won the boy scout derby, your homemade dessert might be a disaster and not Pinterest worthy, your laundry pile might be overshadowing your interior design at the moment….I like to see the candid shots on the internet actually! But if you feel it’s a competition then step away for awhile and come back when you are more secure in your awesome or un-awesome qualities!
7. Little Physical Affection
Well this is obvious right? Facebook can’t hug you, can’t high five you, can’t rub your feet. Don’t let that screen replace real authentic relationships in your life. Your kids, your friends, your spouse need you. While of course it’s okay to check in on Facebook, don’t let it overshadow the real people in your life.
8. Passive Aggressiveness
It’s one of my pet peeves in life and it runs rampant on the internet! Don’t fall for those fake posts that are just trying to reel you in to control you or manipulate you. Those people are seeking attention and are being childish about it. Take a time out if you find it taking over your life.
There are apps that will actually let you know how much time you spend not only on your phone but on Facebook. I’m guilty of being on my phone instead of engaging with my kids at times, and while I know sometimes it has to be done (because Facebook groups are how schools, churches, play dates seem to all communicate best these days) don’t let it overtake the actual connections you have with people.
10. Lack of Communication
This might seem silly since Facebook is a social media site to communicate with others…but is most of it really communicating? If anything I would say it’s a substitute and an excuse to NOT communicate. “Oh I see her on Facebook so I know what’s going on in her life.” No you don’t! You see a picture she’s painting, you’re seeing the highlights. If you find yourself only communicating with others through the web, put the laptop down and call someone up for a real face to face brunch date!