Crying Wolf On Social Media

My dog died. (Sorry, horrid way to start out a blog…but there it is). Actually, it’s not my dog he belongs to a really close friend, but I’ve known him since college, so it feels like he was mine–like a furry cousin or nephew that I used to see a lot. He was old. Lived a good life. Was loved so very much. 

When I got the call about the news, I had three reactions:
1) I can’t believe he’s gone
2) I wish I could cure the deviation being felt
3) I need to post it on social media.
Whaaaaat?  Ok. The first two are normal. The third has become the norm. But why?
Social media, like anything else, has so many positives, but it also has its negatives.  It allows us to connect and reconnect and network with so many people. I can see pictures of new babies from across the island, I can see accomplishments and exciting news of friends scattered across the country, I can see updates from the other side of the world. Instant private views and news. Unfortunately, it also allows over shares, and created co-dependence. It brings up the adage: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?  The problem is, everyone wants to make sure that they’re heard, even stranded and in a forest of our own making.
Cellphones allow the same thing. Don’t get me wrong–I couldn’t live without my smart phone–I’ll try to turn it off for a day, and only last a few hours (Candy Crush, I can’t quit you). I have a love hate relationship with my phone. With the ability and possibility to need and be needed by hundreds nee thousands of people at any given moment of the day. (Phenomenal cosmic power; itty bitty living space. Anyone?)
Let me go back to the dog…when I got the news I was talking with one best friend, and I was about to meet up with a second best friend (I believe in lots of friends and many best friends; at least for myself.) Mid phone conversation, the text came through. I started bawling. I was still talking to phone friend and meetup friend rang my buzzer. I told both friends all of my feelings and sadness. Amidst all of this I wanted, no NEEDED to tell the world via social media what happened.
Why? Why did I need to tell my 1006 “friends” when I had two right in my reach?  Two genuine people. Two people who know the responses which soothe me most. Two that would actually hug me.
I have to tell you, it itched, the need to post my sorrow. How would people know the reason I wasn’t myself?
So, are you reading this crazy thought and shaking your head at me??? I’m shaking my head re-reading it. (A little side truth…I started this blog almost 6 weeks ago and am polishing and revising now.  Seriously?!?  Why did I feel that need?). Well, I felt the need because I wanted to connect. I wanted to reach out, and be reached out to. In this fast world, we still need a human connection. Even if it’s just a “like.”  This fell under the co-dependence AND over sharing headings.
There is such comfort in knowing we are not alone. But at the same time, it’s mildly creepy we allow people to stalk us. It really is an odd phenomenon. We allow people to know details about our lives that are relative strangers, or are strangers. I still can’t get over people walking up to me on the street that I vaguely know, and asking me how some life event was…because they saw me post about it on social media.
Now, let me be clear–I love social media. I think it’s a great forum. It’s amazing to find friends again that were lost and are now found. It’s great to connect with people who were once a part of my life in different cities–my California peeps, my relatives, my semester in London. But, it’s when we become dependent, addicted, if you will to social media that it’s the issue.
My Facebook app was on the second row right hand side of my iPhone for years.  It was easily accessible. In one quick tap, I could look anyone up.  Facebook became my go to when waiting for anyone…I’d hop on when I was bored, lonely, or even just wanting to space out. I found myself rechecking Facebook five minutes after I had just checked it. Nothing new in the news feed. And it was worse when I had a crush on someone or was dating them…I was a mild stalker. (Don’t judge.  I’m sure you have some bad social media habits, too). I’d even do this to my friends when they were too delayed in texting me back–where were they, if they checked in at a movie, I’d know that why wouldn’t text back for a few hours; but if they weren’t checked in anywhere, there was no excuse for not responding. WHOA!!!!! What?  Stalker much?  I’ll admit it.  And then there was a moment I went crazy because of Facebook…A friend went AWOL for days. I checked Facebook, and a picture of him doing something silly, having a smile on his face popped up. I LOST it. He could post on Facebook but not respond to a question I had sent him via text 4 days before???  I cried. I was angry. I wanted to text him mean and angry things. Luckily, my sensible side kicked in. Who knows when that picture was taken? Maybe then. Maybe weeks ago. Maybe he, like me during my dog death time, needed to show the world how he wanted to be seen in the moment he posted. Who knows. The thing is, my overreaction came from the thought that I felt like he thought all of his Facebook friends deserved to see that he was happy more than he thought I deserved a response. He needed the attention of his 1006 friends on Facebook (I don’t know how many he really has…I just like the number 1006 to describe number of Facebook friends. Because who in real life has the time to keep up with 1006 friends?!?) In that moment he needed that attention, more than he needed the attention of one of his best friends. (Remember when I mentioned co-dependence up above…?)
We’ve sat down and dealt with all of that–but the point is that both he, and I during my dog time, felt the need to tell everyone instead of being “old fashioned” and just talking through our feelings with a nearest and dearest.
This incident, and more my overreaction to it, made me take a week off of Social media. It actually stretched to 10 days–I was quite proud. I missed a birthday party, the death of a friend, and something else that was really big at the time, but I can’t seem to remember what it was. The thing is, I found out about them through other people. Eventually. My life went on. The first few days were rough. I ended up moving the app into a folder, moved it to the fourth page of my apps, and the second page of the folder. So it took me three swipes, a tap, and another swipe to enter the realm of Facebook. Actually, it still does. And I use it less. And life goes on.
I now check maybe once a day. And it’s kind of blissful. People know how to find me. I know how to find people if I’m having a rough day.  My friend (the one who “inspired” the hiatus) and I talked out the situation. He doesn’t know the picture on Facebook was the catalyst. But it doesn’t matter. I cried. I wanted to cry about my “wolf” dying. Instead of taking it to the masses, I took it to genuine friends.
Social media is great to reach out. I’m not saying “don’t use it.”  But remember that “social” is defined as: interaction that is enjoyable. Needs, burning desires, stalkings, and the like, aren’t enjoyable. Think about how you post and browse. Is it truly social?  I have had a “posting policy” for the last few years: unless something will positively effect, I don’t post it.  How do your posts rate to that? Are you more negative or positive?  Maybe you need to take the week challenge and see how your life changes (or goes back to normal)!  Get your face out of your phone. Actually talk to people, see what happens.  If you need more convincing, read this article about relationships and social media.  Use social media for good, not evil!
–Clare
If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

In Your Social Face

It’s happened to many of you. You open your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc app and the universe and filters magically put your Ex’s status front and center.

Not just any old status either. Nope, that would be too fair. In fact, if it did that everyday you probably wouldn’t notice their status, tweets or #tbt! Nah, inevitably when their post catches your eye it’s the “kissy face”, “relationship status change” or in my case “She THE ONE”.

Before you feel sorry for me: stop. This post is not about how I felt punched in the gut, cried, ate a box of cookies, or how it sent me into a spiral of drinking and sleeping around to avoid feeling lonely or jilted.  Actually this post is the opposite! Why? Because we all need to stop the jealousy, stop the whining and the freak outs that ensue when the Ex moves on. Jealously works the opposite way you want it to.

See I left my Ex. I left because after 5 years we just weren’t right for each other. He “wanted to want to marry me” (stay tuned for the Live Clarelesley book that goes into all the details of my break up). So, I left. A year and a half later we are both in different relationships. I’m happier than I’ve ever been in a relationship.  Then one day when I opened my Facebook and there it was. A status from my Ex. “She’s THE ONE”. I actually out of habit just scrolled right over it.  When my brain caught up, I scrolled back. Did I really see what I thought I saw?  Yep!  There it was.  I was thrilled.  Seriously very happy for him.  He had never “professed” like that about me.  I knew he meant what he was saying.

The other day another “profession” came through my newsfeed. Side note: somehow FB knows when something is unusual or a big deal since I never get the general, uneventful posts by my Ex. He proposed! Interestingly enough, I sat there feeling very proud of him.  I know that my reaction can be hard to believe. He’s my EX after all and he’s moving forward and is happier than ever. How can I be excited and proud for him? Simple I am excited, happy and proud in my own life.

I try to focus on living my own authentic life. One with love for myself. Not in a narcissist way. Just in the normal “I deserve to be happy and loved” way. I didn’t spend an ounce of time on jealousy of him or anyone for that matter.  I also kept in my mind all the reasons We didn’t work in the first place. How can I be jealous?

Why am I telling you all of this? Because you need to hear it! Your Ee boyfriend, girlfriend or even ex friend will pop up in your newsfeed when you least expect it! It will happen at the most inopportune time. Ready to literally “ruin” your day.

If YOU let it.

Yep, you have all the control in the world to how you react to a situation. I realize it can be an unexpected shock. But is it? Even if it is does it even really matter?

I began writing this post because my friend who left her ex a few months ago opened up her newsfeed and there it was. The kissy face picture. Her Ex with a new girl.  Kissing.  Of course she was shocked. They had  just broken up. It really opened up freshly healed wounds. Break ups recovery time, even if you were the one doing the breaking.  However, that kissy pic really took over her day. Did it deserve that much of her time?  Her thoughts?  Her brain space?

I’m not saying she or you shouldn’t deal with the feelings that these posts bring up. I’m saying ask yourself what is it that bothers you most?

  • Is it that they’re happier with someone else? Then perhaps do a happy check on yourself. What would make you feel happier?
  • Is it because they’re moving on? You broke up for a reason or reasons! Review those. Also, just because someone posts something doesn’t mean it’s honest. They could be posting to get a rise out of you. They could be posting to make people think they’re happy.
  • Is the post bothering you because they have “something” you want? Remember what I wrote earlier: “Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.”

While you’re sitting there stewing, they are off living their lives. In fact, while you’re busying your mind on them the whole world is moving forward.

Get off that “woe is me” train! Grab you happy side up ticket and drink a glass of Self Love.

If you do this, you make a habit of doing this. I promise those statuses won’t even catch your eye. Like I did you’ll scroll right on past. Then if you do happen to take note. You too will smile and be excited for their new life.

Here’s some easy tips:
1) Self Preservation
you can “un friend” anyone, “hide” or even “block”. Do what you need to do to keep you from becoming a “green eyed monster” or sad all together. You can always change that when you’re ready

2) Remember Remember
Why you split in the first place.  Why you’re in a better spot NOW.  There were good reasons that the relationship ended.  We always tend to remember the good stuff, but keep yourself in check by remembering the reasons you walked away from that relationship.

3) TAB (Click to see our blog on this subject!)
Not to complain but to reach out to someone who loves you and can turn that frown upside down. War in do not call the friend who will get angry or jealous and frenetic. Call the stable, “bright side up” friend.

4) SELF LOVE
I will never stop telling you to love yourself!

Xx~LL

 

Opportunities

There is a huge theme in the dating world:  Meeting the elusive “One” that you’re meant to spend your life with.  Here is the truth I believe in: Everyone gets a shot, a chance, an opportunity to be with anyone they meet. DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES AT THIS PAGE! Hear me out:

Recently a letter went around Facebook from “Your Future Mate”. If you haven’t read it, here is the link:    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5195511 The letter states why “The One” hasn’t found you yet and sites examples like: They are with the wrong one now; they are still hanging on to what they “think” they want; they are not ready for you yet.

That last one might be my more favorite one. It’s also part of my point. Everyday we meet people. We are set up on dates, we swipe right on Tinder (or maybe it’s left or a double tap? I’ve never used it) or search Facebook and other web pages for a connection. We go on dates and make up excuses as to why it “didn’t work:” “They were great but not what I am looking for.” “Too busy” or “just out of a relationship” and or “Not ready for a relationship.”

Well guess what? If we are not our best selves at the time, if we are not “ready” to be vulnerable and let someone into our world. The connection is missed, at least for now. Maybe even for good.  Sometimes, these connections revisit you later in life. Like my most recent “revisit.”

When I was a freshman in college, I was in lust with a junior. He was the Resident Advisor of my friend’s floor in our dorm, and I just had to have him. I would find any reason to go to my friend’s floor during “visiting hours.” I about died when he showed up at my dorm one night. He had to like me back, right? One night around 2am, I walked past the offices below the dorms. There he was. My crush.  Working on a paper. He saw me, got up and met me at the door to chat. I stood there willing with my mind, talking with my eyes, hoping against hope that he would invite me into that office. I know I am aware that had he invited me in, we just would have had sex and we most likely would not have dated. However, in my 18-year-old mind, sex at that moment would be amazing. We liked each other, but we were in a place where we could be caught (Christian school…so definitely not something looked highly upon). Also happened to be the office of the Resident Director (his boss) and the person who makes RA’s enforce the no sex policy (obviously, that made it more enticing).

Instead, none of that happened. No invite, no kissing, no passionate on-top-of-a-desk in an office of the very person who could have kicked us out of school sex. Life went on, semesters passed, and he married another girl.

Then, last week thanks to the wonders of the internet, he found me. Added me as a friend and then called me. Yes, it was lovely to catch up, reminisce. But, when he eluded to us hanging out, hooking up etc…I sat there and knew in my gut the answer was no. In my heart the answer was: No, too bad we didn’t do it 10 years ago. My head’s answer was: he missed his chance.  Back then, he totally could have had me. But, the opportunity passed us (well mostly him).

So, what does my trip down memory lane mean for you? Simple, really. In order for you to be with your true counter-part three things need to happen: you need to know who you are, what you want, and why you need it. Who you are.  What you want.  Why you need it.  When you do, when the opportunity presents itself 1) you will recognize it 2) you will be your best, loved and respected self.  And that amazing person who is right for you will be excited to be part of your life.  If you don’t know these three things, the opportunity will occur anyway, but you will not be ready.  You may miss this chance to be with someone who is equal to your BEST self.

Stop wondering where the “good” ones are.  Instead, start LOVING yourself.  Figure out who you are.  Make yourself the best version of you that you can be. Stop second-guessing yourself and FIND yourself instead.  Currently you might feel like you are missing opportunities.  You probably are because you are not being you.  If you are yourself, these won’t seem like missed opportunities because you’ll know how to field them. When you know who you are, and are your best self, you could meet your partner in crime tomorrow.  It could be something as simple as loving yourself today and going for a latte leads to meeting the right person.

What would that be like to attract exactly what you want and deserve?  Guess what, it’s not a unicorn. “The One” exists but you have to be ready to strike when the iron is hot—which means making sure you’re in the best place to receive it.  We here at Live ClareLesley are going to continually repeat this until you are so tired of hearing it that you’re putting it in to practice: live your life and be the best version of yourself instead of actively seeking out another person to complete you.  “The One” will be a complimentary entity of you, not complete you (sorry, Jerry Maguire).  So, are you ready?

LL