Social media sucks. It really, really does. People are mean, judgy, and don’t think about what they say, not realizing that sometimes their comments can be pretty terrible. It’s a never-ending game of winner vs. loser and who’s wrong and who’s right. If there’s anything I have learned from comments it’s that sometimes you just have to not pay attention to them. Simple as that.
Let me tell you, I have had my fair share of comments directed at me. My whole working career I have been surrounded by social media and users trying to tell me that I’m wrong or just simply trying to give their opinion that I never asked for. I have been a writer and editor for a newspaper, a marketing director, a TV news anchor, and now, I’m an Editor for Rare. Where am I going with this? Well, for the past 8 years or so, my life has revolved around people and their opinions. I can never say or write anything without someone telling me I’m wrong, my opinion sucks, or that I’m dumb for thinking the way I do. Like I said, it’s terrible.
I used to live for comments. Checking them was the first thing I would do as soon as I woke up. My morning routine was to turn off the alarm, open up my Facebook feed, and check out the highlights of people’s lives. As soon as I got into work, I would hit Facebook again and see what people thought about our stories and how the stories resonated with them. It wasn’t until my coworker Rob told me that he basically didn’t care what people thought because he was confident enough in his work. Let me tell you, that hit me real deep. I realized that social media is a never-ending wormhole, and at the end of the day, people just want to show off any way they can. It’s sad to think about it, honestly.
Now, I’m not writing this as a critic looking from the outside inward, of course, but I’m writing this to show you that yeah, I worry about social media presence more than I should. It’s natural. I’m a human. I have emotions. I have spent far too much time thinking of the perfect title or caption, or forcing moments that I think will make people laugh or smile. I have become conscious of how prevalent this whole mindset is. Honestly, it’s selfish. Selfish to live a moment for yourself when you can be living other moments with others. So, I’m learning to stop caring and to stop forcing moments.
I’m letting moments happen naturally and learning how to be confident in my work. That’s how we should be using social media. Not tearing each other apart, but rather understanding and appreciating each other and what we have to offer. It’s not about how we can make our accounts appealing, rather how we can make our lives as authentic as possible, and share actual real experiences with everyone online.
So stop. Stop with the shitty comments and tearing each other apart, because at the end of the day you’re not hurting anyone but yourself. Sorry, not sorry. We don’t need your approval to boost our self-esteem. No matter how much you say or do, you cannot please a person by tearing them down with your thoughts. It’s not worth damaging your well being for the sake of putting down a random stranger.
To the sensitive person out there that is reading this, hoping to change their perspective on how to stop caring about comments, I got you. I get it, people are entitled to think what they want, just like you are entitled to think whatever YOU want. But, what people think of you doesn’t change who you are or what you are worth unless you actually allow them to.
This is YOUR life, you choose how to live it. At the end of the day, you are the person who needs the approval of your own choices because nobody will be as invested in your life as you are. Only you know what is best for you, and someone’s opinion is often based on what they would do. Life is just too short to always please everyone, so why would you spend it worrying about what other people think. Don’t become obsessed with other people’s opinion of you, because then you’ll forget your own. Once you give up caring what other people’s thoughts and opinions are, you’ll find out who you truly are and it will be a breath of fresh air. Trust me.
Write and say whatever the hell you want, let them judge you for it, and stop worrying about it. You can’t please them all every day. Trolls will be trolls. As long as you’re confident in your work, who gives a damn about comments? I don’t need 65-year-old Patrick, who is hiding behind a computer, telling me that I am a terrible writer, because I know I’m not. So screw you, Patrick. Go take a walk around the block.