Living in Two Worlds

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The other day I was talking to someone at a party and, in the middle of conversation, she turned to me said, “hey! thanks for liking my picture”.  I was confused and had to ask what she was talking about.  She reminded me that I liked a picture she posted on Instagram a couple days beforehand, which I had forgotten about.

I was a little surprised that she just thanked me for liking her picture, but afterwards, I was glad she did.

I think she might have been wondering why I liked it.  The picture had her and a few other people in it, one of which has been my friend for a long time.  We ended up talking about him for a while after we realized we had a mutual friend who happens to be one of the funniest guys I know.

Why is it that we completely separate our social media lives from our real ones sometimes?  Why should I be taken aback when someone thanks me for expressing interest in their life?  Maybe it’s because we all tend to keep our lives and our lives on social media separate.

Of all the people who “like” my photos on Instagram or favorite my tweets on Twitter, there have only been a handful who mention something to me about it later, in person.  It’s a shame, because it can lead to some interesting conversations.

If you think I’m wrong, wait until the next time you get back from a break.  After spring break I can’t tell you how many people asked me what I did, and then, after I told them they said, “Ohhh yeah, I saw your Instagram”, realizing they knew all along.  That’s not to say everyone knew what I was doing, but the people who did wouldn’t acknowledge it outright.  They wait until it comes up in conversation.

There are others who come back from break and no exactly what you did.  A conversation with that person might start more like this:

“How was Big Sky?  I saw your pictures, it looked amazing!”

I’ve found that my closer friends are more up-front in these situations.  And that’s not surprising by any means.  The people I’m not as close with are more likely to act as if they didn’t see my picture, or like it, and they’ll probably act oblivious to it when they see me.

It’s almost as if their hesitant to bring it up first because it might seem like their stalking you or something.  That shouldn’t be the case.  I follow you, you follow me, there’s no reason to ignore that social media relationship.  You’re not invading my privacy if you know where I’ve been.  I chose to put that picture up and all of my followers can see it.

Don’t hesitate to bring up social media in person, it makes it feel more normal. By ignoring our interactions on social media when we interact in person it makes them feel like two different worlds, when, in reality, social media is simply a minuscule online portion of our real lives.

-FS

*Images obtained from Google images