One of the best lessons life has taught me is that those who aren’t happy with themselves cannot be happy for you. How can they share in someone else’s joy when misery is deteriorating their insides? And unfortunately, people today choose not to acknowledge and address their inner pain but to project their insecurities onto someone else. This is the virality of social media. The last man played her so she may like you and your boo’s pics, but she will also screenshot them to her group chat to talk shit. She might even jump in your man’s inbox for the sole purpose of proving things aren’t as rosy as you’re making them seem. Or maybe someone lost weight and is showing off their new figure for the gram? Whereas her pants wouldn’t come past her thighs this morning. That photo won’t be getting a like. Misery wants you miserable on that uncomfortable bench right next to them.
My mama used to say, and still does, “What goes on behind this front door stays behind this front door.” There could be all the arguments and disagreements and fuck-ups possible occurring inside of our home, but when you walked out of that front door, none of that left with you. “Any of them MFs out there paying bills in here?” Then why the hell do they deserve to know what’s going on in my house?”
That should be the mentality you have regarding social media. Stop propping your front door open and inviting people and their opinions into your lives, into your relationships, and into your psyche. The more you post and say and allow, the more people believe they are entitled to know. I’ve had a front row seat to this recently as a few people have replied how it wasn’t posted on Facebook when they learn I’ve recently had surgery. Or they assumed my relationship had tanked because there have been no recent posts about it. It’s laughable, really. Someone wants to know what’s going on in your life…they check social media instead of calling. Come to my page for entertainment, not information. Come to me personally for information so I can hurt your feelings. Besides, he ain’t in my bio. He’s in my guts.
Those who should know, DO. Those who don’t know, it ain’t your business.
Social media is an illusion. People front and lie and scheme and cheat. All for those few likes and comments which will allow them to believe their lives aren’t the shit-shows that they are. We all tune in by scrolling and reading, and your news feed will have you believing the grass is greener in everyone’s lives than your own. And you internalize that. It plays on those insecurities you’ve been denying and burying. This could go one or two ways. This may cause you to have an epiphany. You could realize that you are taking time out of your day to poke holes in someone else’s happiness and motivate yourself to do a little self-evaluation as to why you had such a response. Or you could just go ahead and hate. Choose the former. Always. You focus too much on what you don’t have and you’ll forsake the blessings you do.
We all seem to be in this rush to convince people who aren’t cheering for us anyway that our lives are 100. We update relationship statuses before we know his mom’s name. We check in everywhere we go, post a selfie at every event we attend, livestream anything possibly entertaining. Because if it’s not posted to social media, did it truly happen? Thus, the more important question becomes are you living your life for you or for your internet friends? You should not need to convince someone of your happiness. The existence of your happiness needs to be enough. And if it isn’t, then it’s not true happiness and you need to rectify that. The good things that happen in your life should be self-satisfying. Why does the internet need to know?
People will only cheer for you until your achievements start threatening their perceptions. We don’t want to admit it, but we all have judged and ranked each other for worthiness. So as long as your joy stays within the boundaries and the societal standards that I have placed upon you, then my happiness for you is genuine. You deserve it. But what if you achieve something that I didn’t think you were capable of or I don’t believe you deserve? Well obviously, you must be lying. Because how the hell you got a man to commit to you when I can’t get one to take me out on a Friday night? And your life is not nearly as good as you’re making it seem. I heard your card got declined at Target the other day. And ain’t your man married? That’s why you never tag him. People would rather deflate your joy than take stock as to why they don’t believe you deserve it in the first place. So again I ask, are you living your life for them or yourself? What someone thinks of you is not your business, and you shouldn’t concern yourself with the opinions of someone inconsequential.
Don’t misunderstand me. I use social media, and I occasionally share updates on my life. Mainly, I post jokes or repost an interesting news article. I’ve gradually been sharing less and less personal details of my life. The more you share, the more they hunger, and I ain’t trying to feed nobody. My one resolution in 2018 is to not explain shit. If I share something, I obviously wanted to AT THAT MOMENT. If I delete it immediately or in the future, well, I changed my fucking mind. If I never mention it again, no one is entitled to an update. Don’t confuse your place in my life. Your pay grade is much lower than you think.
You know nothing about someone’s life but what that person decides to tell you. No one will know what’s happening behind your front door unless you invite them in. And even if you have, you can rescind that invitation at anytime and at your sole discretion.
People are going to create a narrative about you from what you post and what you don’t post, from snippets of conversation with you, and from shit they hear about you. The most significant part of their narrative, though, is that its foundation will be built on their insecurities and their unhappiness. And you know what? Let them have their false narratives! Who gives a fuck what they believe? As my mom asked many paragraphs ago, “ARE THEY PAYING ANY BILLS IN YOUR HOUSE?” No. Then they aren’t privileged to know how your household is running. Queens don’t pause their reign to correct the misinformed, and we don’t descend from our throne to entertain. Let those peasants choke on their cake.
Stop living your life for social media. Yes, sharing happy moments and accomplishments are most quickly and easily disseminated when posted online, and there are those who will be sincere in their support and joy for you. However, your updates should not be someone’s reality TV guilty pleasure. Once something is out there, it is forever out there. If they want to know, let them find the nerve to ask you. And if they happen to be that audacious, tell them it’s $12.99/month. Otherwise, lock your front door and shut the hell up.
Today’s Soundtrack: Prince – Thieves In The Temple