What do you do when you run into someone you strictly know because of social media? To me it’s extremely awkward to see someone you rarely ever see outside of the social media realm but that you talk to pretty often, they like all your photos, you feel like you know them so well but when face to face interaction occurs it’s extremely strange. The question is what do you do when this type of thing happens? Because it will. Oh I promise you it will. We all need to agree on the protocol for this so we can help make these real life interactions less awkward, thanks a lot social media.
In a perfect world people would just say “hi”, and be excited to see this person who is one of your closest friends via social media. But, that is not how the world is operating and as an example I would like to share the awkward run-in with one of my Instagram friends over the weekend.
My gal-pal and I walked into a restaurant the other night and sat down at a table outside on the patio. I looked over to notice a girl whom I’m friends with on a couple different social media sites along with her boyfriend who I knew back about ten years ago, but neither of them said anything to me. We were all clearly aware of each others presence. I will admit that I did not run over and say anything either so it’s partly my fault too. I believe it was truly a mutual weirdness and none of us knew what to do.
This “friend” of mine was sitting with a group of friends and began to get really loud, laughing, having a grand ol time before awkwardly running out and leaving, noticing me (I may add) but refused to look over and wave, smile or make any kind of response to my presence.
Another example is the weekend prior to this one I ran into a large number of people I used to hang out for about four years I went on vacations, parties, spent basically my early twenties with these folks but did any of them smile, say hi or stop to talk? No. You saw me. I know this because you looked at me and i saw you talk about me as I walked by. All I’ve got to say is next time don’t be obvious.
When you find yourself in a situation similar to mine just remember it’s okay to say something to the other person (“Hello” usually works when you don’t know what else to say) because either way it will be awkward and if you just ignore the person and keep walking I believe it’s a little rude.
Which brings me to my next topic: Communicating on social media with those you would not communicate with in the real world. That is superficial and I doubt I’m the only one who doesn’t want to be bothered with it.
To me social media is a window to someone’s life or an organization that one can follow and receive special updates of what’s going on with them. There are so many uses for it and I think it’s great. The problem is the personal accounts of people who go on to pretend to be someone they are not.
In all honesty I aim to be an authentic person in the sense that what you see is real, what I say is real and everything that I stand by is something that I believe in is true to me. I do not fabricate my life to please others, nor do I promise things I cannot follow through on. I feel like many people will go online and talk to all these people whom they consider to be friends with, then when they see them out in the real world pretend they do not even exist. If you are someone who is guilty of committing this crime please stop. It’s just weird. You’re making yourself look cheap, and weak, and seriously, just stop.
There is nothing more that I admire about someone who authentic and absolutely true to their core. There is something very unique about a human being who is not ashamed of who they are, who owns up to their mistakes and comfortable standing there in their own skin not worried about anyone judging them.
Social media gives the world an opportunity to expose ourselves in many ways. How you want the world to perceive you is completely up to you and how you handle that reputation outside in reality is up to you as well. Just be you.
There is no way around running in to people sometimes. The world is actually pretty small. Since millions of people use social media to connect with one other, there are going to be times when you see the same people interact with online outside roaming the earth. Don’t avoid them just because it’s uncomfortable.
The irony of social media is just that though. Technology trying to help all of us grow closer to one another but at the same time it is distancing us from one another as well. Most of us are finding it hard to feel comfortable around those we know everything and nothing about thanks to social media and online networking.
Image via We Heart It