When one uses social media, they can either send a ‘friend’ a message or they can share something on their wall. And as to what approach they take can all depend on what they want to talk about.
For example, if one has something personal to talk about, they may decide to send a private message. If, on the other hand, they have something impersonal to talk about, they might end up sharing it on their wall.
When one has something personal to share, it could relate to what has been taking place in a relationship or the state of their health, for instance. On the other hand, if it relates to something impersonal, it could relate to how they have been spending their time.
However, while it would be easy to say that this is something that is black and white, this is not always going to be the case. As what is classed as personal to one person might not be seen as in the same way to another and the same goes for what is classed as impersonal.
A Different Outlook
Therefore, when it comes to the kinds of things that one only shares in a private message; they could find that there are plenty of people who share the same thing on their wall. Through seeing this, one could wonder why they would share these kinds of things with everyone.
This could then be a sign that one is a private person, and at the same time, it could also mean that these people don’t hold back. There can then be no difference between what these people share with a few people and what they share with everyone.
When one does share practically everything on their wall, it could be seen as something that is normal. One reason for this is that they are likely to have plenty of ‘friends’ who do the same thing.
Along with this, there is also the chance that they have grown up with social media, and this means that it can be seen as an extension of themselves as opposed to just something they use. At the same time, even if one hasn’t grown up with it, it doesn’t mean that they will hold back when it comes to what they share.
If one has a strong need for approval, this can also have an impact on what they share. This is something that can also have an impact on how often they share things with others.
If one is in a position where they are unable to feel good about themselves unless they receive approval from others, they could also end up experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they are unable to use social media. That is, of course, unless they have another way to receive approval.
Tried and Tested
One could simply share something in the hope that their ‘friends’ will ‘like’ and comment, or they could have a number of proven ways to gain approval. One may find that uploading pictures of themselves and sharing funny videos works.
This could then mean that one doesn’t speak their mind, or it could be something that takes place from time to time. As when they have shared their views on something, they may have found that they didn’t receive the same kinds of responses.
Not This Far
Having said that, one might not have shared their views online, and this could be because they don’t feel comfortable doing it. And even if one is in a position where they don’t share a lot of things, they could also find that they hold back.
One then has a platform to express their views, but they are only allowing themselves to express certain things. As they are behind a screen, it can be hard to understand why this would be the case.
The Sensible Approach
One way of looking at this would be to say that one is simply thinking about how their views might affect others, and as a result of this, they choose to keep them to themselves. If they didn’t take this approach, it could lead to unnecessary arguments, and they might even offend others.
Now, clearly there is no point in causing unnecessary arguments or offending people for the sake of it. Yet, if that means that one ends up stopping themselves from expressing what they have to say, it will also have a negative effect.
But if one is focused on doing everything that they can to please others, it is not going to be possible for them to realise this. Also, one might fear that someone will ‘unfriend’ them if they were to say the wrong thing.
What can also encourage one to keep their views to themselves is when they see what happens to people who to express their views. These people could end being labelled in some way, and they could even be abused.
Along with this, one may also worry about what the authorities would do if they were to express their views. And as people have been arrested for what they have said on social media, it would be perfectly normal for one to have this outlook.
The Real World
One might not only respond in this way online though, as the experience they have online could end up effecting how they behave offline. What this shows is how social media has an impact on the real world.
So even though social media is often seen as a place where people can connect with others, it doesn’t mean that it is somewhere where people feel as though they can be themselves. In many ways, it can just be somewhere where people end up playing a role.
In order for human beings to grow, they need to be open to new information; if they are unable to let new ideas and perspectives in, it will have a negative effect on their development. And the same could be said for when it comes to listening to alternative points of view.
If one is unable to listen to what other people have to say, it is going to stop them from growing. Now, this is not to say that one has to accept everything they hear, and neither does it mean that another person has the right to harm them.
But if one hears something and they feel uncomfortable, it doesn’t mean that another person has harmed them. What it comes down to is that they are experiencing an emotional reaction, and it will be important for them to look into why this is.
If they were unable to do this and they were to blame another person for what is taking place within them, they wouldn’t be taking responsibility. It would then be normal for them to try to oppress others as a way to avoid their own pain.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.