5 Things to Stop on Social Media

(aka “a few ways to get less people to unfollow you”)

There are obviously more than five, but earlier today a bunch of women made me remember that I am awesome and that I matter, so I wanted to pass on some wisdom that I feel matters.

1. Guilt trip “cut and paste, don’t share” posts. Yes, I really am one of your REAL friends, I do love my mother and I support those who have fought and are fighting cancer. No, me cut and pasting a status doesn’t prove any of these things. I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed at people that insinuate that I don’t care because I don’t follow the herd.

2. Answering security questions inside of innocuous surveys. Often questions like “What was your first car? The name of your first pet? Your first school? Where were you born?” come up in “cute, fun, ‘I was bored’ surveys. Not all at once, but if someone wanted your information, chances are you’re posting it without thinking about where it can be used… like to access a bank account, hack your email or other accounts by “forgetting your password.”

3. Using the word “trigger” casually. A trigger is something that severely affects someone’s emotions. They may have a severe panic attack, a painful one that makes them feel as if they’re having a heart attack. They may fly into a dissociative rage where they lash out and remember nothing. They may have flashbacks of assault, or times when they’ve self harmed. A trigger is NOT a concept that offends you, or irritates you. Using it that way is an insult to those of us who have actual severe reactions because of our past or mental health. It’s not cute. It’s not funny.

4. Reposting fake hack warnings. It’s really easy to check if a “new hack” is real or simply a chain letter that’s been going around for years. Snopes is an easy place to check whether or not a hack/threat/change in your privacy policy is real. If you google a couple lines from it, you can find out from other sites as well. Most of these have been going on since people emailed them around through AOL. They’re annoying and there’s no reason in today’s world to generate any more fear.

5. Comparing your life to what you see around you. You’re seeing what people want you to see. This isn’t their whole life. It rarely includes all of their struggles, it often highlights small things to make them seem important, and there’s often unintentional misrepresentation. I’m sure your friend Suzy looks like she has it all with her smiling children and her handsome husband. I can’t think of a friend named Suzy, so we’re going with that.. What you don’t see is that Suzy’s just fed up with trying to get ready for work while getting the kids ready for school and her husband is exhausted from the night shift and can’t help. They haven’t made love in a year and Suzy is considering filing for divorce because drifting apart has become arguing daily and she hates her life. She envies that you can go out with the girls and have a drink with dinner without feeling judged.

Honestly, there are many things to give up and many reasons why, but a couple of these were weighing on my mind today. I am a member of a facebook group and I posted that I felt like I didn’t belong. Those women I mentioned in the beginning reassured me in ten ways that I do belong, and I matter. I just wanted to share the feeling that someone gives a damn about how you feel and the ones around you feel. Since social media is often how we relate to each other, I thought this may be a way to share that feeling. Know your loved, show others they are as well.  Also, please add your own “Things to stop on social media” in the comments!

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Opposites really do attract.

As open as I am about pretty much everything, my fiance is a very private person. Since he’s not as public with his life, there will be very little to do with him unless necessary to explain a situation. Not his job or his family, only things that relate directly with me and only with his approval.

We’ve been together for about seven years now. I met him at Rocky Horror a couple decades ago and I was entirely infatuated back then. I didn’t get to date him or anything back then. He’s 9 years older than me, it might have been awkward age-wise. I did develop this HUGE crush that stayed with me, actively in my mind through the years, even long after losing touch.

When I started using facebook, I got in touch with a few people from back then, and then met some of the mutual acquaintances. One of whom knew almost everyone I did from back then and many I didn’t. He also had a large network of friends. We’ll call him Frag for the moment because I am trying very hard to ask permission before using real names here, and I haven’t asked… Anyhow, Frag asked if I wanted to get back in touch with anyone from the old days. My fiance was one of the first people that came to mind, I suppose we shall call him C as I haven’t asked what pseudonym he’d prefer either. Frag and I searched for him for a bit using real names and nicknames and he found someone who knew his number.

We called while I was staying there as a short getaway from my family (a story for another time). C knew who I was immediately when I told him my name, even remembered both my real and nicknames. I was was as giddy as a school girl. We met the next week and after not seeing each other for about thirteen years, I was just as attracted to him as I was back then. He lived across the state, literally, westernmost area to where I was on the east coast. Since I don’t drive, I was concerned about the distance.

We both kept saying we were working on ourselves and did not want a relationship. We still saw each other every couple weeks. I would get so excited, I would have my sister help me clean my room (depression makes EVERYTHING harder), and I have the BEST sister. After seeing C for about five months, we realized we were already IN a relationship. Our relationship, like any, has its good days and its… difficult days. He does, however, still make me feel giddy as a school girl just being with him.

C is a very patient man – so far you have read about a tiny little cross-section of my life, but he lives it day to day. I am not the easiest person to get along with, I have mood swings and medication changes and physical health issues as well. It’s hard to find someone that can even tolerate so many depressive moods, anxiety, and doctor’s appointments but he doesn’t just tolerate it, he loves me through it all.

I’m divorced… I’m not sure I mentioned that yet, but I think it’s one of the reasons that while I would love to push for the “commitment” of marriage, I feel I’m already committed and don’t want to push for the ceremony and such. Someday, perhaps the engagment will end in marriage, but for now, knowing he loves me is enough. People always ask, when you say you’re engaged, “When’s the wedding?” So if you’re thinking that, the answer is “When we’re both ready for it.” Remember, it took us five months to even admit we were in a relationship. We’re a little more cautious than I used to be… I think he may always have been this cautious.

Anyway, that’s just a tiny look into my love life because while C is a very private man, I’m writing about my life. I want you to know that I’m not ignoring parts of it that include him, I’m not trying to ignore his impact on me, I’m just trying to honor his wishes. I hope that you find someone supportive in your life, romantic partner or not, someone who you know will be there when you need them. He is one of my people… There are others. I will introduce you to them in time.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~