Why I do want you to ‘like’ me
I read this quote last week:
“When we are able to love ourselves unconditionally and accept ourselves just the way we are, it does not matter if other people love us or hate us, like us or dislike us”.
Well wouldn’t that just be bloody wonderful?! However, I am not there yet.
Like most people, Mums in particular, there are parts of me physically that I really don’t like but, I am happy in my mind. I love exercise and am so grateful that I have the time to find to do that, I feel like this keeps me on the straight and narrow. I also have loads of hobbies, and life itself excites me. I find inspiration and things to inspire me all the time, whether it be bullet journaling, learning something new or finding a new country pub!
My Mum always taught me that in life some people will like you and some just wouldn’t, you just can’t get on with everyone. But that’s something I’ve always struggled with. At school I struggled with the other girls in my year and we all had really volatile relationships. Nowadays I do really try to get along with most people. I feel like I try and look for the positives in everyone or if someone is just being awful I try and wonder why. Of course there are some people I just don’t ‘get’ but I do try to.
I am quite a naïve person in that I never expect people to let me down and I also find it hard when I hear racist comments or safeguarding issues such as abuse etc, these things really get to me and that bites me in the ass a lot! I chose to ignore bad things in life and when bad things do happen they crash down on me like a tonne of bricks. Honestly, I never believed that in 2017 people would still judge others on the colour of their skin, but they do, it does still happen and I HATE IT, like I REALLY HATE IT! But I have to get over it and just keep on believing that not everyone thinks like that and as long as I remember that they’re the minority I’ll be ok.
Brexit had such an impact on me in that respect. I started to wonder if people had chosen to exit the EU because of racially motivated reasons and then when Trump became President I couldn’t help but feel the same. (Building walls!!??). Then came the nonsense social media comments of ‘now they’ll get rid of all the immigrants’ and my heart just sank.
Anyway, you can see that I have high expectations of human beings. I do think we should all be kind to one another and when that doesn’t happen I just don’t get it.
It is from all this that I think I have suddenly started looking at stats. Six months ago I couldn’t have told you how many followers I had on Instagram because I was merrily just going along posting ‘stuff’ things I liked, funny moments with the kids etc. Today something happened and I am truly having a word with myself. I posted a story with Olivia and a few people immediately ‘un-followed’ my account. I genuinely wouldn’t have noticed before if it wasn’t for an email that I had earlier in the day. It was from a blogging platform offering people the opportunity to go to a family festival that I’ve had my eye on for years but never quite been able to afford. I opened the link and read through all the info. They wanted social posts and stories etc etc, yep, fine. Then I scrolled to the bottom to enter and the words…
There you go, in black and white…
“YOU DO NOT HAVE THE TOTAL OF FOLLOWERS REQUIRED ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS TO APPLY”
Don’t get me wrong I get why they want ‘high value’ bloggers to go and promote them but it does send out a really black and white message. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this either. There are many other platforms upon which you must have enough likes, followers etc to be recognised by them which makes it hard to get noticed in the first place.
I wonder if ‘Social Media Anxiety’ is actually going to be a thing soon. I’m serious. I’m 34 years old and for about 30 seconds I was actually a bit upset that people had actioned a post by un-following my account. I don’t even know these people. Why do I care?
Here’s why, it’s because, someone ‘liking’ a post gives you recognition. Someone agrees with you, someone ‘likes’ what you like. You have approval, and isn’t that one of the most basic of human social needs? It’s why children copy one another and it’s why we put these things onto the internet isn’t it? It’s not why I did. I started putting things on Instagram to have somewhere to save my pictures and track our journey, now I’m thinking about what hashtags to use on those pictures. Instagram changed their algorithm recently too so your posts will show at the top depending on likes, engagement and previous interactions. All these things just add to the pressure.
I worry about my babies growing up in the social media age, it’s unprecedented. As always, I think I’ll just take up the view that rather than prevent them from using it, I will educate them instead.
I have realigned my mind now and had a strong word with myself but please tell me it’s not only me who past 30 is still thinking about being ‘liked’ and wondering why!?