the internet has made things quantity over quality. my friend posts a picture i took of her that she spent 20 minutes editing and asks me how many likes it’s gotten as we’re driving home from her hanging out with me. she’s more worried about how she looks than actually having fun and that’s fun for her. she looks perfect, as usual, and in that moment, i’ve never felt more ugly.
because this is the age of the internet - you get more likes on social media posts than people you even speak to. i don’t know what i look like anymore; all i know is that i’m not photogenic. and that’s important. when i finally get a good selfie, people text me, but never pick up my calls when i’m screaming. this year my grandmom passed away. i can see who views things now and i hate it because i hate how i can say this with certainty - everyone saw the post but nobody asked me if i was okay.
sadness isn’t talked about because sadness is what ruins parties. you can’t post that online because it’s nothing other people would be jealous of. “every time she drinks, she’s always crying,” my cousin sneers over dinner. nobody asks her if she’s okay. she keeps crying.
technology has taken away our empathy. we don’t have to talk to people anymore to know what they’re doing. we can see their every move on the snapmap and pinpoint exactly where our friends are without us on a saturday night. after all, if you go out and don’t make a snapchat story out of it, did you even really do anything?
and that makes it easy to feel like you’re just someone people keep around so they’re not alone. it’s easy to be friends with people these days - we’ve made it so easy to communicate. hell, there’s even tinder social now for people who feel like they have nobody. you dress up, you go out, you laugh about the weather, you spill a drink, you take a snapchat of the new people you’re hanging out with, everything’s funny. because the truth is it’s easy to find people to hang out with, but it’s hard to find people who don’t make you feel lonely.
so hanging out with people isn’t enough anymore because everyone can accomplish it. i want to feel special. i want my relationships to be different. and no matter how much i have, it’s hard to be grateful when people are showcasing their best moments on their instagram feeds. social media makes it easy access to the things you’re missing. it didn’t bother me that nobody ever tells me they love me until people started publicly broadcasting. because what’s hard in this day and age is finding someone who truly gets you. who understands things without you having to spell them out. who thinks of you during their normal routines enough to ask you how you are in the middle of the week.
my mom doesn’t get it. she talks to her friends every week if she’s lucky and i need the reassurance of every day or i’m screaming. but when it’s her birthday, she gets hand-mailed cards with long handwritten notes on them and every one ends with “i love you.” on my birthday, i get facebook posts from people i don’t speak to and nothing heartfelt from the ones who mean the most to me.
but i don’t talk about it until i’m at the breaking point because the reason it’s so easy to have friends is because it’s easy to hide parts of yourself, to have your weekend friends and your work friends and your romantic interests and the people you talk to when you’re sad without them ever intermingling. i just wish i had people who i could tell everything. but the second i cross a boundary, people leave. people always leave. i’ve never found one person who got to know me - all of me - and actually stayed.
because in this day and age, you don’t have to stay. there’s always someone better behind every corner and nobody really needs me.