Have you ever noticed that everyone on Facebook….or Instagram…. is having a better time than you are?
They have millions of friends. Often your friends.
They’re social. They’re swimming in Bali. Eating in restaurants on designer plates with drizzled entrails of exotic eggplant.
They balloon over Napa. Wear white Gatsby oxfords. Attend Mensa conferences. Have children that only do adorable things.
It’s like getting that annual insufferable Christmas letter every day of the year.
No wonder we are left insecure. Paranoid. Anxious.
We have SMD. Social Media Disorder.
My friend admitted to me that when she gets a group e-mail for a party or special event, she checks how far her name is from the front of the invitee list to see how far down the pecking order she actually is.
Another friend got caught inviting a new friend to dinner without the original best friend that introduced them. Wrong button pushed. Major internet snafu.
Have you ever lived in a small town? Small towns are a hotbed of insecurity.
In a small town everyone knows what everyone else is doing. You don’t need internet. But everyone has it. And social media, with less square footage to cover, really mucks things up.
You know who everyone likes and dislikes. Which is an issue if you’re doing seating at your husband’s birthday party. You never know where to put Joan.
Socially I always try not to say where I’m going or what I’m doing. Or with whom. You learn to do that. But, inevitably, the morning after an event I’ll get a call from a friend saying, “How was last night?” How did they know? Why was it important to let me know they knew? Did someone post something? In this new SMD world, do we have to be all-knowing too?
Is social media making us all voyeurs of everyone’s lives? Including our own? Are we creating reality TV shows of ourselves? Providing our own programming? Be it fiction or non-fiction? Our choice?
And when we return to our own life, without the omnipresent blue glow from the computer screen, in our tube socks and dog-eared flannel robe, do we once again feel the tug of that insecure underbelly that’s always weighing us down? The one that no Atkins diet can put asunder?
SMD. Social Media Disorder.