2 days ago, a friend of mine on Facebook liked and commented on my profile picture, and the photo started to pop up on my friends’ Newsfeed again. The photo, which already had 400+ likes previously, is slowly receiving more likes and is now at 500+ likes. I am starting to freak out with this attention.
If you remember reading my post some time ago about What You See Online Is Not 100% of A Person’s Life, you would know that I am not really fond of social media because it does not tell a full story about a person’s life. I understand that my profile picture is a nice one and friends are liking it because they like it. However, I am not feeling comfortable because A, this photo is obviously one with make up on and is perfectly angled, I don’t look this good in person; and B, 500+ likes makes me seem like a popular person.
To address problem A is easy, I can easily post an ugly photo of mine in the worst, possible angle. To remind you guys with that, lemme show you my favourite GIF from one of my previous blog posts:
But for problem B, call me a skeptic or a pessimist or a paranoia, but I really don’t feel good about this statement. Yes I may have a lot of friends, but that does not make me a “popular” person. The reason that I have so many friends on Facebook was because I have a life that gives me a chance to meet more people in general. Think about it, I moved from a small town in Malaysia to a bigger city in Malaysia, then I moved to Canada for university. Plus, I am quite an active person who enjoys being involved and meeting new people. Over the years, the list of friends that I have accumulates, and that is reflected on my Facebook friends.
If I can plot a graph of how my Facebook friends grew over the years, it will be something like that:
And these are not all. I still have my family members, my classmates, friends of friends or maybe some cool people that I met in some parties. We meet new people all the time, and I am pretty sure that it is the same for everyone else, that our list of friends accumulates as we grow older. The thing is, back then, we didn’t have social media that makes these connections so visible and obvious to us.
We get into different stages of our life, where we meet new people and slowly reduce our contacts with our older friends. Friends from elementary school or high school are slowly forgotten, not because we don’t care, but our priorities change and there is a limitation in time and space to keep in touch with everybody. Facebook may keep us connected with our latest updates online, but it does not keep us connected in person. Half of the people who likes my things on Facebook – I no longer meet them or talk to them in person, and I might not ever do so again.
2 weeks ago, I bumped into a friend and she wanted to introduce me to her friend. This was how her introduction went:
I felt so uncomfortable with that introduction and my immediate response was, “Well, that’s awkward…” I never expect people to look at me as popular nor have I ever wanted to be known that way. I have always thought of myself as a friendly person and that’s all that I ask for.
People no longer know me for the right reason because of the Facebook likes that I receive. Friends do not really ask me out in person because they think that I am busy with so many of my other friends. I really value my real life, personal interactions with friends and this attention is affecting it. I have a lot of friends, but not many of them are actually with me, or actually know what is really happening in my life.
To plot a graph of the friends that I am actively in touch with over the graph we had above, it’ll be something like that:
Yes, with 2500 friends on Facebook but the ones that I am actively in contact with are less than 50, just like anybody else.
Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate all of the likes that I receive. They can be really encouraging and comforting, especially on my blog posts and videos (things that I put my effort to work on). I still find it funny that my selfies and ootd posts are the most liked ones, but I guess that means you all think that I am pretty HAHAHAHAHA Okay but in all seriousness, I sincerely appreciate your likes and I just wanted to clarify the fact that the number of my Facebook friends or the likes that I receive do not say anything about me in person. Please don’t let it affect your impression about me and keep being my awesome friend. Peace out!
P/s: I do occasionally unfriend people on Facebook just because I feel like I’m no longer close to the person anymore, so please don’t tell me to unfriend people or create a new account if I feel uneasy, ain’t nobody got time for that!