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The Cost of Adults Living Life On-Line

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You know them. Every moment is documented through Facebook posts and Instagram pictures. Every thought is shared via Twitter. They’ve “checked-in” at each dining spot.

I recently began to think about how people live their life on-line after a  friend called. She was distraught. A large group of her immediate neighbors had gathered for a special celebration. She saw pictures and posts of all the fun on Facebook. Problem was, she wasn’t invited.  These were her friends. Her neighbors. Her fellow bus-stop moms. It seemed as if everyone in her group of neighborhood friends was in the many pictures. All but her.  She felt confused. She felt hurt.  She questioned friendships. She pondered why she wasn’t included.

Has this happened to you?  It’s happened to me. I could relate to my friend’s thoughts. Questioning friendships. Questioning why not me. Ouch.

It made me wonder if the individuals who posted the pictures thought, for even a second, about whom might see them. About how that might make another person feel. Particularly one who might be close to the situation. After all, etiquette is about being other-centered.

I’m not overly sensitive. I’m not all for this era of over-the-top political correctness.  Not everyone is/should be/can be included in everything. That’s life. People have different groups and sets of friends. Stuff happens. Friendships and relationships aren’t always pretty and glamorous. No they are not. Invitations are extended. Pictures are posted. Feelings are hurt.

Normally my advice to my friend would be similar to what I’d tell my own teenagers.  Spend time with those who value your company and appreciate the gift of your friendship. Make your own fun.  When you get bent out of shape, it’s YOUR issue – not some else’s. Only YOU control your reactions and responses. And so on…

But today, I’m using this blog to kindly ask all of you to just stop. Take a minute before you post. Ask yourself how those seeing your post or picture might view it? Will it hurt? If you think for a minute, “yes,” then you might want to take another minute to reflect before hitting the “post” button.

Perhaps we’ve all been guilty of living our life on-line to the detriment of others who might view it. We can NEVER know how each person will feel. I get that.

To be other-centered and considerate is key towards greater civility and respect for others. Please just stop and think.  There may be a cost to your post.

 

Mind Your Manners,

Kelly

 

 

 

4 Comments
  1. Kelly, you make some good points and it reminds of another recent blog of yours regarding “competitive interestingness.” People want to portray themselves as interesting, fun and loving life. Some will also share when things aren’t going as well. I honestly don’t know how people have the time to post all their comings and goings when I have trouble just keeping my schedule straight,s showing up on time and making time for family and friends. Still, there are times when I compare my life and question, am I exciting enough, do I participate enough, should I be doing more? What I see on FB should not be my motivator. I have to look inward for that. Thank you for reminding me that being “other centric” is where we should focus, not on whether we are interesting enough for others to like us for who we really are.

    • Kelly

      Thanks for sharing Angela! You make excellent points that also ponder additional aspects of living our life on-line: being interesting enough and being exciting enough (as you ask – “for whom?”). When we compare ourselves to others, it is never a win-win. I enjoy Facebook and other social media platforms, but have more recently tried to be conservative about what I post on my personal page – trying to step back and live my life in the moment, sharing it with those who I am with at that moment, not for those who might “like” it. It’s a catch 22 because I really do love seeing what friends are up to and feeling happiness for their happiness and offering support when needed. Thank you for being a regular reader of the blog and commenting!

  2. Kelly, you are so right! I did unfollow a friend at one time because I felt like I was constantly seeing reminders of my second-fiddle status (or so I interpreted the many “One more wonderful event I attended without YOU!” Postings) *sigh* truly sometimes a little ignorance is bliss.

    • Kelly

      Danielle, Agreed – pre-social media days, what we use to NOT know certainly didn’t hurt us! Thank you for reading and sharing your example!

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