social media

WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR ME TO UNFOLLOW PEOPLE ON INSTAGRAM?

Written whilst sitting on a bench in Barnes & Noble. The café is closed for renovations and I refuse to go to Starbucks because I’ve already given enough money to them and I made myself a cup of coffee for the express purpose of saving money, and I am not monstrous enough (yet) to bring my own drink into a Starbucks.
So now I’m sitting on a bench by the window, facing a row of magazines (some of which I’ve written for, twist!) while behind me on the windowsill is a copy of “Women & Guns: The World’s First Firearms Publication for Women”! Not sure which part of this intro is darkest!

Yesterday, I made the plunge of unfollowing several people on Instagram. In exchange for me knowing exactly what you’re about to say, I’ll tell you what I’m about to say.

You’re about to say, “Brave.” And I’m about to say, “I know.”

For something that is ostensibly elective (and hassle-free) there is a lot of weirdness, for me at least, about unfollowing people on social media. It feels, for lack of a better word, mean. But it totally shouldn’t.

This is the result of many smaller moments of skipping rapidly through their Stories and ignoring their posts (I never like anyone’s photos, except celebrities and pictures of hot guys so that Instagram Explore can be notified of my predilections). I also don’t do this to everyone, but a select group of people for whom I simply No Longer Care About. This group includes People Who Annoy Me, People Who I Followed in College But Was Never Actually Friends With (The Obligatory Follow), and People Who Post About Their Boyfriends Too Frequently. Sub-categories include (but are not limited to) People With Good Jobs Who Love to Complain and People Who Love SoulCycle. Almost all of these people I will never, probably, see again or come across in any meaningful capacity. However, it was still intensely difficult to click “unfollow.” Why?

(Pause for ponder.)

Social media promotes a false sense of intimacy – as much as it promotes a falsified and perfected version of reality – so it does feel, in certain ways, that I’m blowing off a friend.

I know about people’s job ventures, their trips to Coachella; I know about what they ate for lunch today, when their mom’s birthday is. These are things that I don’t know about some of my best friends, and yet I know them about people who I haven’t talked to in, sometimes, years. And that’s the trap of social media: even if we’re not close, we’re made to feel close. Social media makes your life into consumable content, and I’m choosing to opt out of that content. I’m saying your content doesn’t interest me, which basically means your life doesn’t interest me. And while that’s not true, it’s the trap social media creates.

Social media accounts for one outlet that increases my anxiety. I find myself comparing myself, often negatively, to other people based on their social media. If they’re having fun, I wonder why I’m not having more fun. If they’re successful, I wonder why I’m not more successful. If they have a boyfriend, I wonder why I don’t have more boyfriends. And if social media presents the best version of something, then that means that I’m allowing a ghost to ruin my day. And unfollowing means admitting that I feel insecure, that I get jealous and that I, yes me, can get a little petty.

To avoid admitting I’m vulnerable to insecurity, I will often rationalize the follows in numerous ways: there’s the “What If I Run Into Them and They Bring It Up” argument; there’s the “What If I Someday Become Friends With Them Again” argument; and there’s the “What If They Think I’m Rude” argument. These are just the first three that popped up in my head – I’m sure there are more. But they all stem from the same irrational fear I have that’s also preventing me from returning a very overdue copy of The White Album to the library: What If, Someday, I Need It?

But here are three easy and simple responses to those arguments.

If you run into them and they mention you’ve unfollowed them on Instagram, then they probably have one of those “follower count” apps and that is Pathetic! I should know, because I’ve had one!

If you become friends with them again, then you’re probably good enough friends to copping to the unfollow. This is probably unlikely.

And finally, if they think you’re rude, then they are kinda lame. Social media is ruthless, and it probably proves your point that they’re not worth following. This doesn’t have to imply any sort of ill will or negativity, but it just means that I have other things to do (like online shopping, or peeling mandarin oranges).

I can’t spend my life watching the lives of people I Do Not Care about. If I counted every second I spent flipping through their stories, or calculated every minute unit of energy my eyes spent on their content, it would probably amount to a small, but significant, portion of my day and focus. If I added into that all the tiny dollops of negative emotions of jealousy and insecurity that were incurred by social media, that would also being collated into something pretty significant.

I did really bad in AP Macroeconomics but I do know that if the energy I’m putting into something is not reaping good enough returns, then it’s probably a bad investment.

At the end of the day, life is too short, I’m too pretty, and my forehead real estate is too precious to waste potential wrinkles over people who I don’t really care about.

So I suppose the moral of this article is don’t you dare unfollow me. I need this more than you do.

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Humor, Rambles

“WALKING ON EGGSHELLS” IS A DUMB SAYING—ME BEING MATURE

Over the last week, I have made several questionable decisions. Here are a few of those decisions:

  • I finally had to Google “spoopy” today, like a forty-year-old. After two weeks of seeing it on Tumblr and reading it on my friend’s—Shelby—Twitter, I was like, “Okay, I need to know.”
  • I cut my bangs with scissors in the bathroom sink.
  • I bought a large jar of chocolate icing and proceeded to eat it. Just the icing.
  • I dropped some butternut squash on the kitchen floor while I was cutting it, and for multiple milliseconds, I was like, “Oh that’s fine,” but then someone walked in while it was on the floor, so I had to pick it up and throw it out.

I also waited until two days before it was due to start reading a 500-page novel for my English class, but that’s not so much a questionable decision as it is a manifestation of my crippling laziness.

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Okay, I’ll level with you guys. My last post—“You’re Bad At Picking People”—was—wait, lemme just do all the shameless self-promotion while I’m at it (Twitter: @thedanosaurus, Instagram: @thedanosaurus, Tumblr: thelastdanosaurus.tumblr.com) Follow me—kinda emotional and it got a lot more traffic than the regular, non-emotionally psychotic posts do, and it was weird because I wrote that post in twenty minutes and published without really thinking about. I used “You” as the primary subject, but—spoiler alert—it was about me.

And whenever I post emotionally charged articles—i.e. every other week—I always feel like I need to do a cheerful post to even it out and make me not seem like a sobbing, quivering mess. I’m not a quivering mess.

Like I feel like I have to walk on eggshells a little, but I’m a goddamn bull in a china shop, so that doesn’t really work. Also, no one can walk on eggshells without breaking them. Is that what the saying is supposed to mean? That everyone attempts to tread lightly but they end up fucking everything up? And also, why are there eggshells all over this floor? Whose chickens are cracking their eggs all over the floor? Or is this a “peeling the hard-boiled egg” situation? This idiom is idiotic. And what’s it all meta-for anyway? AYOO.

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I apologize. But didn’t I neatly distract you from the emotional hurricane I was in last week? How slick! How sly!

Side bar: I had to google “walking on eggshells” to figure out what that thing is called when it’s like a saying, but also a meaning? I thought it was colloquialism but it’s not. It’s an idiom.

What if I literally spent this entire blog just putzing around and not writing about my life or anything? Haha wouldn’t that be so spoopy. That’s not how you use that word. But that’s how I use that word. I tried to capitalize “I” to give it inflection but it doesn’t really have the same effect. I suppose I could’ve italicized it. I think that’s a good idea. Meh. Not that effective.

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I’m trying to do that thing where when I disagree with people on things, I don’t immediately try to sock them in the face. I’m trying to be able to “agree to disagree,” which is not as much fun as hitting people in the nose, but earns me less strikes on my personal record. Like, the other day, someone—let’s call them Wrong—said that Taylor Swift did not have a good singing voice.

I gripped my knuckles, and dug my fingernails into my palms. “She. Is. Talented,” I hissed through clenched teeth, enamel flaking off with the force of my jaws clamped together.

Like, I don’t understand how people can’t think Taylor Swift has a good singing voice. I’m not asking you to love her. I’m not asking you to hold her hand while she gives birth. I’m not even asking you to pick her up from the airport. I’m just asking you to admit that—objectively, you fuck—the woman who is a megamillionaire due to her singing has a good singing voice. Is that so hard—you abominable nosepicker—? Isn’t it plausible—even for your tiny, idiot brain to comprehend, you poopyface—that the woman who has built an empire might not have “tricked people” with voodoo but might ACTUALLY POSSESS TALENT? IS THAT SO IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE?

Side bar: *takes deep breaths*

But yeah, anyway, I’m really trying to be more mature. I only threatened to punch someone in the face once today. Well, I guess twice, since I just wrote about wanting to punch someone in the face a few lines above this. Your Honor, I’m not a threat.

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I’m thinking of doing something ~fun~ and ~crazy~ and ~ambitious~ for the Christmas season on my blog this year, to celebrate the end of The Wunderkindof’s—follow me on Twitter—first year online. But I’m not going to write it out because if it doesn’t pan out—i.e. if I get lazy and/or eat more icing—I don’t want evidence of my shame living on the Internet forever. Speaking of shame living on the Internet forever, I was thinking about AIM today and wishing I could read archives of old AIM conversations I had in the “good ole days” before I came out of the closet and discovered a decent acne cream.

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Spoiler alert: it’s not this.

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I’m being Bob Belcher for Halloween. I figured since I’m not going to a gay club for Halloween—a.k.a. Gay Christmas—I wouldn’t need to dress sexy. So for my costume, I’m wearing gray sweatpants and ugly man clogs. I love it. But since I’m going “out” on a “pub crawl” on “Friday,” I need to come up with another costume, and I want to be something both sexy and grotesque. Maybe a sexy standardized test? Slutty office supplies?

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Okay, so bye? Maybe I’ll do a bonus post detailing my Hallowieners experience and if I score some boy-on-boy hand-holding? Unlikely, but not impossible.

(What’s that?)

Sorry hold on.

(Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Okay. Yeah. Okay.)

I’m getting confirmation from our source on the ground that it is, indeed, impossible that I will get boy-on-boy hand-holding this Halloween season. Back to you, Rick.

I'm nothing if not a law scholar.

I’m nothing if not a law scholar.

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Bye! HAPPY HALLOWEEN! SPOOKY SPOOKY!

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