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What you think of me shouldn’t matter.
So why does it? Why do I feel like I need to be validated by people I don’t even know?
When I’m feeling a little down about myself, I turn to Twitter. I can post a picture of myself that I like, and my “pocket” friends are quick to respond with sunshiny compliments and positive affirmations.
I can share something that I’m struggling with and, within minutes, I have several responses from people offering guidance, opinions, and support. The friends I’ve made on Twitter have been with me during some really dark, lonely days, as well as some really amazing, happy ones. But, I ask myself sometimes, why am I still turning to these people?
Let’s see. During the pandemic, we were isolated from the outside world. The outside world included our colleagues, friends, and family. We all spent a lot of time alone. A lot of time alone. We missed out on human interaction and face-to-face conversations. A lot of us turned to social media for some kind of connection.
We made those connections. We made new friends. We talked about our lives and personal experiences. We shared ourselves with other people. We grew closer. So, why now, when the world has opened back up, am I still seeking validation from my online friends? Frankly, because sometimes I just need it.
Being locked away at home for more than two years was hard and lonely. I’ve come to rely on some of my closest online friends for support. We all need that from time to time. Why shouldn’t we be getting it from social media? While social media is rampant with negativity and awful people, it is also a source of optimism and hope. Used in moderation, it has benefitted my life in the most amazing ways.
While I’m a huge supporter of alone time, I know that we aren’t meant to walk through our lives by ourselves. We all need a sense of community at times. We all need interaction and camaraderie. Whether in-person or online, these connections are important. These friends are important. I like to believe that we all need each other. Let’s be there for each other whenever, and wherever, we can.
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