(I documented our NYC trip and some pictures from the shoot here)
the cutest key chain that came with David’s duck boots
When I was in law school I got an email. It read “don’t forget about our free services – use of the campus workout facility, counseling, …” Huh, counseling, I thought. I’ve never done counseling. It’s free. I wonder what I would even say. Would it be awkward? It’s free. What would I talk about? It’s free. I’m the kind of person that when faced with whether to know or not to know, I usually choose to know, to say yes, to walk through the door, to try things. And it was free. So I decided to start going to counseling just to try it. And it was amazing.
I had no idea what I would talk about. But what I found myself talking about, talking A LOT about, was social media. “Why did that girl put that up? Doesn’t she know that we all know her life isn’t perfect? Nobody’s life is perfect. Why does she say it’s perfect? That’s dumb.” Or, “when this person put this on her blog it made me feel really bad – she is doing XXX with her life and that’s not what I’m doing with mine and it makes me second guess what I’m doing with mine.” I went for two semesters, every Monday morning, for an hour, and it was incredible. I mean how fun is it to tell a completely unbiased counselor everything you want to really say – but you can’t really say in real life because “it’s not nice to talk bad about people” But in this case talking bad about people wasn’t just gossip or my opinions, social media was integrated to my actual feelings. My real world, real life feelings. Social media made me feel bad. Because yes, comparison is the thief of joy. And social media was stealing some of mine.
Yesterday while talking to a girl facebook came up. “I don’t do facebook” she said. I asked her why and she said it took too much of her time and she just found herself judging people more than she should. She actually said she judges enough in real life and didn’t need to do it online, which I thought was hysterical.
When I started college facebook had juuuuuust come out. And oh the horror when I got out of class, walked to my dorm room, and Lindsay Bean told me you can now put hundreds of pictures up versus just your one profile pic. There goes picking the best picture of yourself. And don’t even get me started on the tagging. It wasn’t always set to where you had to approve the tag. And probably for the first time in my life, I couldn’t ask myself “well how did my parents handle that when they were my age?” There was no example for us to follow. We were the first. It’s so interesting to me how people take different approaches. Three people I know just don’t have facebook. And they take pride in it. They take pride in the fact they’ve never signed up. Like not signing up makes them cooler. I guess it is “against the grain”..
Other people post every 10 minutes, blog every day, tweet 7 times a day… What I learned from counseling and what I’ve really finally truly accepted, is that social media is different for every person – it’s different in the reasons they put things out there, and it’s different in the way it’s perceived. Person by person, someone posts something for their own reasons, and the reader perceives it in their own unique way based on what their own interests or insecurites are. So there are really two filters that information is going through, plus the filter that’s actually on the picture.
I started this blog in law school, really because I was spending too much time looking at too many other blogs. I felt like I was more invested in other people’s lives instead of my own. Starting a blog does force you to think about what you’re going to post – i.e. what are you going to eat, wear, where are you going to go. It forces you to be invested, and I like that. Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Which is why I think it’s so important to accept ownership of what I’m choosing to look at and be the person driving the car versus being the passenger and have social media driving. What’s that quote – rule your mind or it will rule you? And this probably seems arrogant, but when the girl told me she doesn’t do facebook. I thought “1) good for her, that’s what’s right for her but then 2) I’m so glad I can now use social media outlets in a healthy way and don’t have to deprive myself all-together of them.” Because it is fun to see pictures of my friends and family and my favorite style bloggers. So many people regularly complain that “everyone is always looking at their phones” – but my thought is “what are they looking at.” I don’t think looking at phones is bad, I just think we should be conscious of what we are looking at.
This is absolutely the most personal post I’ve ever shared, mainly because I don’t treat this blog like a journal. And that’s what’s right for me. I guess I just wanted to share this because when Gigi and I were on the plane on our way back from Italy and I saw that picture of myself in Lucky magazine, my first thought was of that girl in class who decided to try counseling for free. And that sometimes trying things, saying yes, and walking through the door can lead to neat experiences.