Online Connections

Recently I have been pondering online connections and today I was speaking about it with a friend. We were both completely honest when we stated that we got sucked into the world on online validation. It is so easy to do so.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media and each time I have qualms with it, I become more distant  from the whole thing and guess what? My life is no worse off for it. In fact it makes zero difference at all to my quality of life. If anything, I have more time to be productive. Like everything, there are pros and cons to having an online presence. At the moment I am toying with the concept of how present I want to be.

Over the many many years I have spent using the internet, I have made hundreds of connections with people from all over the world. Some of them blossomed into real life friendships, some of them fizzled to nothing, some of them even caused stress and drama in my life. It is difficult to decipher how healthy these “relationships” are and I do not think there Is any way to really tell.

On one hand, if you hold off making connections with people online then you might miss out on meeting your best friend, or the person you spend the rest of your life with. On the other hand, if you connect with too many people, you end up being too indulged in their worlds that you lose a lot of time in your own world. A lot of the time, I have wondered if it was worth it and truthfully 9/10 times it was not.

Moderation I think is the key here. It is not realistic to be friends with everybody, it just is not feasible. If you try, you will burn yourself out. Trust me, I know from experience. I believe another reason is quantity over quality is never a good thing in any context.

I spent a lot of my time being there for a lot of people and it got to a point where I had so many voices coming at me left, right and center that I could no longer hear my own thoughts. It got too much and I was the only one to blame. I offered an ear to one person, then another and so on until my support structure got too heavy and collapsed. I meant well, but it was not realistic and so I have had to take a huge step back and  reevaluate my stance on things.

At first I felt guilty because I thought I was letting people down, but eventually I reached the conclusion that if I do not look after myself, I will be no good to anybody. I also noticed that there were a fair few people taking advantage of my kindness and that really pushed me over the edge when it came to wanting to connect with anyone anymore.

I find myself at a bit of an impasse right now and I am sure I am not the only person to have found themselves in this situation. So I would like to know what you think? How involved do you find yourself in online connections and what are your pros, cons and experiences when it comes to it?

I have a sneaky feeling that there are so many insights to the subject and I am truly interested in seeing things from different perspectives.

Until next time, it is okay to put yourself first sometimes!


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59 thoughts on “Online Connections

  1. westcoastwoman says:

    I would venture to say I am probably the ‘oldest’ person commenting, not to say that gives me any wisdom on the subject, perhaps less, as I lived almost half my life without access to the internet (yes there was a time, long ago and far away)….I am very new to blogging and Sara was my first ‘like’
    outside of my followers who were all friends and family.

    Just as in ‘real’ life the online world has it’s almost magnetic pull
    to share and sometimes overshare and there are always others who will react for better or worse. My watchword lately has been ‘discernment’ both in what I send out into the world and what I allow in.

    In answer to your question I did in fact have a very educational interaction with many people online a few years ago. In short, I did something that both brought me accolades from the supporters and hatred and threats from my detractors. It involved the Trophy Hunting of Grizzly Bears and having ‘angry men with guns that know how to use them’ upset with you is a very good way to teach you whether or not you have the ‘courage of your convictions’ and how much personal interaction online is really healthy.

    I learned very quickly the power of social media and the emotions that can be aroused and that I am not responsible for anyone else, their feelings, their life, or their reactions. I can only change myself.

    There is a very good poem Sara, if you haven’t read it I think it might speak to your question. It is called The Journey by Mary Oliver. “The only life you can save……”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. SarainLaLaLand says:

      Hello, thank you for your input. I honestly try and stray from radical opinions to try and avoid those negative reactions. You’re a brave woman for speaking your mind completely and I am sorry that just because people disagreed with you, they thought it was okay to treat you that way.

      I will be sure to look into the post, thank you for sharing your story.


  2. Sheila Murrey says:

    Excellent points! I am off/on many different social media sites. And as much as I dislike Facebook, having quit it and deleted much from it a few years ago for 2 years, I got sucked back into it when my first granddaughter was a year old (they wouldn’t put any pictures of her online for about the first year).

    I try to limit myself to an hour or two a day online in 5-10 minute segments (using Stephen Covey’s “little rocks” approach to time organization). I am not always successful. Plus, my husband says I’m addicted to my damn iPhone—and we met 16 years ago ONLINE!! Hahahaha


    1. SarainLaLaLand says:

      The irony. I think a lot of online presence is habit. I often unlock my phone for absolutely no reason. I have since deleted all social media from my phone and only visit those sites if I’m on my laptop. My phone battery has been lasting a lot longer, that is one benefit I noticed right away.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Small Island Thinker says:

    Some very interesting points raised and a variety of experiences in the comments too. My own take on this is that occasionally I have to distance myself from Facebook as in my eyes it becomes too much of a competition about who has the better life (or not). My personal Facebook page has become used less and less as I spend more time on my art / blogging pages on there instead.
    Instagram is my guilty pleasure though as I can spend hours looking through various artworks, photos and videos. However, I see this in a positive light as it is something I enjoy doing and inspires me with my own work.
    I think the key word in all this is ‘moderation’. If we realise the signs of overuse then I think that makes us more aware when we need to step away from it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. kenhallettblog says:

    I suppose there are disadvantages to both popularity and unpopularity.
    Popular people may get more stress but also tend to get more options.

    On the other hand, for example: with no comments on a blog for long enough it might feel like no-one cares, and confidence could slowly ebb away, along with falling views.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All About Life says:

    I think that the only thing I can say here is that social media, in whatever form, is not real life and it seems that people forget that. In real life we don’t have thousands of ‘friends’, we don’t spend our time telling people how much we ‘like’ what they do and we certainly don’t feel the need to comment on what they had for breakfast! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cafebedouin says:

    Social media is like living in a city. The sheer numbers make it more likely you’ll encounter the new and novel, to you. But, new and novel is inversely proportional to depth. If you know where you want to be: on the surface, in the depths, or somewhere in the murky middle, you then can get a sense of where you want to be. It sounds like you want more depth. Change your social media engagement accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Maryann says:

    I’m on the same boat. I’ve tried making online connections as well as offline, and it’s a lot of hard work. I spend wayyy too much of my time on my phone when I should be spending more time on the things I’d like to. I think the internet can be great but also toxic to ones health and mental health. I’m spending more and more time off my phone and laptop than when I was in high school, and it has made really big difference in my life. I have my own problems and issues to figure out and I don’t need someone on the other side of the phone/computer to help me solve all of my issues. I’ve had some positive experience but also bad ones, and those bad experiences made me want to get back into my own world again instead of being on the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

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