Recently I have been pondering online connections and today I was speaking about it with a friend. We were both completely honest when we stated that we got sucked into the world on online validation. It is so easy to do so.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media and each time I have qualms with it, I become more distant from the whole thing and guess what? My life is no worse off for it. In fact it makes zero difference at all to my quality of life. If anything, I have more time to be productive. Like everything, there are pros and cons to having an online presence. At the moment I am toying with the concept of how present I want to be.
Over the many many years I have spent using the internet, I have made hundreds of connections with people from all over the world. Some of them blossomed into real life friendships, some of them fizzled to nothing, some of them even caused stress and drama in my life. It is difficult to decipher how healthy these “relationships” are and I do not think there Is any way to really tell.
On one hand, if you hold off making connections with people online then you might miss out on meeting your best friend, or the person you spend the rest of your life with. On the other hand, if you connect with too many people, you end up being too indulged in their worlds that you lose a lot of time in your own world. A lot of the time, I have wondered if it was worth it and truthfully 9/10 times it was not.
Moderation I think is the key here. It is not realistic to be friends with everybody, it just is not feasible. If you try, you will burn yourself out. Trust me, I know from experience. I believe another reason is quantity over quality is never a good thing in any context.
I spent a lot of my time being there for a lot of people and it got to a point where I had so many voices coming at me left, right and center that I could no longer hear my own thoughts. It got too much and I was the only one to blame. I offered an ear to one person, then another and so on until my support structure got too heavy and collapsed. I meant well, but it was not realistic and so I have had to take a huge step back and reevaluate my stance on things.
At first I felt guilty because I thought I was letting people down, but eventually I reached the conclusion that if I do not look after myself, I will be no good to anybody. I also noticed that there were a fair few people taking advantage of my kindness and that really pushed me over the edge when it came to wanting to connect with anyone anymore.
I find myself at a bit of an impasse right now and I am sure I am not the only person to have found themselves in this situation. So I would like to know what you think? How involved do you find yourself in online connections and what are your pros, cons and experiences when it comes to it?
I have a sneaky feeling that there are so many insights to the subject and I am truly interested in seeing things from different perspectives.
Until next time, it is okay to put yourself first sometimes!