Man, social media ruins everything, am I right? Or so I expect ““ I guess I don’t know exactly since the root-lets of social media, the livejournals and opendiaries of the internet world came into being when I was in middle/high school. Social media has always been there, but it seems like lately, it’s become a huge hassle. I expect it’d be a lot less stressful if everyone just acknowledged that no one really cares.
That’s right. No one really cares. No one cares what Google+ circle you put them in. No one cares if they see Facebook pictures of a bash they weren’t invited to. No one cares if your photos are private, if you post a million Bible verses or if you think their tumblr is, like, totally cool. I don’t care if you don’t say “totally cool” any more.
We think people care, and I’m including myself in that “we,” too. It’s all those damn decisions ““ I mean, if Google is asking me if you’re a friend I’d wear Derby hats with or a friend I’d share my onion rings with, then clearly that is an important distinction that people really care about. And then, each choice seems so final. It’s antithetical to the nature of real relationships that change and weaken and strength and morph through time. Even if you are much more reasonable than I am and stick with simple circles, like “Family, “Close Friends,” and “Acquaintances,” people can and do drift in and out of all of those circles over time.
The amount of time we put into making these decisions is incommensurate with their actual importance. It creates this weird dynamic where it’s easy to forget how inconsequential these things really are. Sure, if someone’s looking to get mad, they can find a social media slight to ignite that anger. And if someone’s looking to feel loved, they can find a social media nod to make them feel special. But what we bring to the interpretations of those circles, invitations, and depths of Facebook friendship come mostly from ourselves. So it’s good to remember ““ no one really cares.