I'm A Lot Cooler on the Internet
Validation's a dangerous yet understandable addiction; it's in our DNA - the acceptance of the tribe was the difference between life & death. Many of our parents grew up in a less intense version of that, and they've passed it down. Social acceptance can still play an important role in our life, but it can also hold us back. Now that acceptance can be quantified, some governments give its citizens social scores that impact their quality of life. Social media has made caring what other people think easier to measure and more in our face. This feeds the fears that paralyse us from living our full potential.
We don't want to upset the internet, they have the power to leave mean comments, all while hiding behind display pictures and private pages. A single hurtful comment can outweigh 100 positive ones, even if from a faceless stranger. That's because what they say sometimes connects with what we're already feeling.
Mean comments come from a place of pain, and tell more about the commenter than the recipient. I don't approach mean comments on my stuff with my guard up, I see them with empathy, recognize that people have a different life view than me & find gratitude that I'm not in so much pain that I have to lash out at others. The happiest among us learned a key secret: mind your business & watch what energy you put out there.
Maybe I took this picture strategically to give off the impression that I'm ironic & meta, or maybe it was a beautiful moment worth documenting, or maybe it was just a picture I sent to the person who gifted me the mug; you'll never know. Most people will scroll by, some will double tap, and fewer will make it this far into the caption, & all of that's okay. Great things have happened to me when, despite caring what others thought, I made decisions as if I didn't; the more I made those types of decisions, the more freedom I found.
Validation is a helluva drug, and the first step to kicking the addiction is to admit there is one. That self awareness (& deleting these apps off your phone) will set you free
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