Spoiler Alert: It’s not generational.
I get so tired of hearing shit like, “well, I didn’t know her husband was hitting her-” or “he didn’t act suicidal” whenever bad things happen to the ones we love. I’m even more exhausted of the retort- “well, how did you KNOW THEY WERE REALLY HAPPY? Why didn’t you physically implant a tracking device into your friends’ asshole until you were certain?!”
Ok. Maybe people don’t really say that last part. But it’s increasingly apparent to me that the only time these dialogues take the stage is when something doesn’t go as planned. This is what true entitlement is. It’s not a millennial thing.
It’s a social thing. Entitlement is a learned behavior that is caused by watching billions of people over share tiny pieces of their lives through social mediums. This isn’t a conspiracy. I’m not going to site Michael Moore here. This is how we, as a culture, forgot how to see with our eyes. This is how the majority of a population became so distracted by filters that they evolved to see things more pleasantly than reality ever intended. The bottom line is that we are not entitled to the most intimate details of someone’s life. You do not get to use someone’s instagram account to justify when good/bad things happen to them.
I recently stepped away from social media. Not entirely, I’m not a living in my basement with the lights off- don’t worry. I didn’t delete all of my accounts. I didn’t stop checking in on my friends. But regardless, I still felt the break was necessary. I suffer from a disorder that you might be familiar with- it doesn’t have a name, to my knowledge. However, it’s characterized by feelings of frustration that are often triggered by people who overshare stupid details of their lives that I don’t give a fuck about. Let me know if you think of a word for that kind of thing.
(I say this ironically, of course, because I’m nearing the 1 year anniversary of my blog- ya know, where I share intimate ideas and details of my life with people I don’t even know. But even here, you will not find me sharing details so intimate that they would be better reported to a therapist. I digress.)
The reason for my stepping away from social media is quite simple. I do not feel compelled to share my life right now. It’s partially because I’m pregnant and I am enjoying the last few months of privacy before I have none. But it is also because I find life difficult to focus on when I’m preoccupied with the happenings of others.
I don’t believe in much, but I believe in myself. It’s hard to believe in myself when I’m focused on everyone else. A friend recently opened up to me about their difficulty being “present” in their life. I can see this exact issue in myself, whether it’s because I’m messing around on facebook, distracted with housework, planning a family trip- I’m never exactly where I say I am. I’m trying this new thing where I don’t let funny memes distract me from the importance of the moment I’m living in. I’m going to continue my absence online in hopes that I can become more present in life. I hope this means that I will be writing more, but I also hope this means I’m away from my desk more.