Social Media Shame

Written on February 18th, 2017

Lately I’ve been posting a lot of pictures of my family’s new dog on social media. Like, a lot of pictures, as in literally my last fifteen Instagram posts… oops. I realize that “oversharing” like this can be annoying – and I respect every individual’s right to feel annoyed! But the truth is that I don’t feel bad and I’m not going to apologize.

Social media exists to give people a platform to share the things they’re passionate about. Some of the things I happen to be passionate about are my pets; they bring me a lot of joy. And yes, passion can sometimes be annoying… but in a toss up between being annoying or failing to fully embrace the things that make me happy, I’ll choose the former every time.

I’ve wanted a husky since I was a little girl, and the last few weeks have been huge for me. In the midst of an extremely busy and stressful semester, our new family member has given me so much to look forward to. I truly feel this indescribable elation when I’m around her – and I’m not ashamed to share that with the world. I will never apologize for using my own personal social media outlets to let my friends and family know about the happiness in my life.

I honestly think social media is great, and I love the fact that it gives so many people – regardless of who they are – the opportunity to share things. Connecting with others is human nature, and I know that I personally find immense fulfillment in relating to those around me. If sites like Facebook and Twitter can facilitate these meaningful interactions, then I’m all for them.

I mean, of course social media has it’s problems – there’s often drama and fights and way too much political banter (at least in my opinion). But everyone uses it for different purposes, and there’s something pretty cool about that too.

I’ve made a deliberate effort in the past few months to redirect my thinking whenever I see something that annoys me; instead of complaining that so-and-so is whining about being single again, I try to be happy that so-and-so has a place where they feel comfortable sharing and getting support. I know that if someone started to get annoyed with my social media habits (and I’m sure there have been plenty over the years) I would want them to extend the same kindness to me. I’d want them to think, you know, I’m kind of sick of seeing another pet post, but I’m really happy that Haley likes her new dog, instead of just complaining to their friends about how much I suck. (I mean, I totally do suck sometimes, but we all just want some understanding, right?)

2017 has already been a year of reflection and realizations for me, and one of my lightbulb moments has been that I refuse to feel bad about what I post on social media. I’m conscious about being polite and relatively positive, and my posts are authentic to who I am. At the end of the day, I’m an animal lover, and I wouldn’t want to present myself as anything else.

I’ve struggled with insecurity for almost as long as I can remember (in truth, I think most of us have had our battles with this particular demon) but I’ve become so much more confident in the past few years. I still overthink much more than I should, but I’m growing into someone who feels proud – not embarrassed – about who she is. This is in large part because of my relationships with some amazing roommates and friends, but also because I’ve simply started to retrain my thought processes.

At the end of the day, I’m going to keep posting pictures of my dog. And my cat. And probably random web development and writing links that no one really cares too much about. If these things bother you, you’re more than welcome to unfollow me – no hard feelings at all. My social media is a place for me to express what makes me who I am; I respect that not everyone gets as excited about those things as I do, but I also refuse to stifle my passions just to avoid being a little annoying.

So keep being you. Keep saying what you want to say. Keep sharing, keep being transparent, keep being honest about who you are and what you love. I promise to hit that “like” button even if I’m not crazy about what you are – I promise to simply like the fact that you have a place to express yourself.