Saturday, 25 July 2015

Above and Over It


In some ways, high school is exactly like in the movies; not in the sense that there's a happily ever after necessarily, but in the sense that there's the whole cool uncool people thing.

People want to be cool by association.  I'm admitting it, there are popular people.  And this is coming from someone who never admitted the truth of topics like these because it  has always made me incredibly insecure.  The thing is, people are always striving to be seen with people they deem as cool.  They'll shamelessly get them on their snapchat stories.  They'll be desperate to post photos with them on their social media.  And it's all great for the people who are wanted, but what about those who are given the camera and asked to take the photo, because they're not really wanted in the shot?

When you're seen as not-as-cool (if I could think of a better way to describe this I would) people treat you differently.  It's like you're not worth their respect, like you're not a real person to have a conversation with.  They'll say things like "it was so nice seeing you" but if it's you standing there alone without the cool-by-association person next to you, they wouldn't come over to start a conversation.  Being associated with you won't get them anywhere.

And the thing about living in a world with social media is that people outside of school can find out more about you than your personality.  With one search on Facebook they'll know whether you're cool-by-association.  They'll have a predetermined opinion about whether you're good enough already.

It's this treatment that makes you feel like you need to be cool by association too.  But does that mean it's right to ditch the people you think aren't good enough?

I seem to care so much.  I can tell you right now that I only got 11 likes in 33 minutes on my last Instagram photo, and I was contemplating whether it was because I posted it at 10am when no one was online.  It's sad that these thoughts actually run through my head.

I always wonder whether people at work judge me based on what they see through my infant of a Facebook profile, and that affects my confidence in real life encounters so much.  The problem is that I actually care about whether they think I'm cool-by-association.  And if I didn't care if I was, then I wouldn't care what they think of me either.

Last night I went to the first big sweet 16 party I've been invited to.  It was at a really nice venue, with a photographer, a great DJ, waiters with dim sim and sliders and sushi, and a blue themed lolly bar.  My first thought when I walked in was shit I don't know anybody here.  I did, and it was a fun night and all, but just imagine if I really wasn't friends with anybody there.  It would've been a nightmare, and all those people would've been the people I deem as cool-by-association.  So I guess maybe being around these people isn't fun at all.  This just goes to show that it's your actual friends, the people you feel comfortable around, thought of as cool or not, who actually matter.

I'm sick of always caring.  I hate that their fake-as hugs can make me so happy.  I hate that I feel the need to act 'normal' around them, restraining everything I am to be associated with them in some way.   I know I always say this, but if I just stopped caring and said what I think in the moment, then everything would be easier.  It's easier said than done, but maybe I should start doing.

My commerce teacher said that some adults just never grew up, and they still have the mind of a ninth grader.  I don't want to be like that.  I want to be above the teenage social status quo.  I've decided here and now that I'm over social media politics, over the idea of being cool by association, and over caring so freaking much.

It's not about who, it's about what.  No one is any better than anyone else.  Sometimes you just don't connect with people, and that's fine - you weren't meant to get along.  And there's some people who are easy to talk to, and they're the ones to stick around.  It's about who you feel comfortable with in the moment, not about the status of the person or whoever can see you with them.

Love,
M

After note: Straight after writing this post I went straight onto Instagram to see how many likes I have now, and then promptly checked whom these likers may be, and how they're associated with the people I was with.  Clearly I've got a long way to go, but I'm working on it.


29 comments:

  1. Yeah I understand what you mean... I actually deleted my Facebook account because the while like thingy was making me crazy.... Ha-ha how sad is that? I guess now I'm uncool by association.... Oh well at least I can sleep at night :)

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    1. Haha having Facebook doesn't signify how "cool" you are at all, although the likes do I guess :( If it really bothers you that much, you can always put your profile picture on private so no one can see how many likes you have. Or you could delete it, which is probably wiser.

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  2. "I'm sick of always caring. I hate that their fake-as hugs can make me so happy. I hate that I feel the need to act 'normal' around them." Oh, don't we all, M. Every word of this post resonated with me, because it was the blunt truth. And people who couldn't relate are most likely the popular ones, not going to lie. I couldn't stand social media politics. I quit Facebook a year ago and I am more alone but way less lonlier. I think you'll understand what I mean, because I sure as heck understand what you mean.

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    1. I'm glad someone relates, Jo. Although I didn't doubt anyone would anyway. Congrats on quitting Facebook. I would but I guess I'm just too much of a busy body and don't want to miss out. Plus, that's where all the happy birthdays seem to come from - I can't believe I actually care about all that. We can all relate to this idea, but the question is; how do we get rid of it.

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  3. M, you have written this perfectly, and I can totally relate. I don't have any social media except Facebook, and I only use that to talk to my friends, because of the exact reasons you explained. I'm trying to stop caring, like you said, but its hard when everyone else is doing the polar opposite. Your amazing writing and this blog is worth so, so, so much more than a popular girl party selfie <3

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    1. Exactly! It's the fact that everyone's doing the polar opposite that makes us want to conform so badly. Facebook is a great invention and all, but we shouldn't get too caught up in the likes and reputations we gain from it. Social media isn't the problem at all. It's our mentality that is.

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    2. It's sad how happy being tagged in a "party girl selfie" can make me. Sometimes being tagged makes you feel wanted, because they clearly want to be associated with you. But I'm not caring anymore, remember?

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  4. One of the biggest lies I tell myself is that I don't care about the cool-uncool thing. I don't care about what other people think of me, I tell myself, yet I check every five minutes whether I got another like on the facebook status I posted an hour ago. And now that I'm at it, I'll also check who liked my status. But wait, I thought I didn't care about the cool-uncool thing? Both the writing and the content of this post are spot on, M. I can relate to everything you've written here. We shouldn't care about what other people think of us. The fact that certain people are 'popular' doesn't mean that they're better than 'less popular' people. 'Less popular' people shouldn't feel the need to be around people who seem to be popular. They should be true to who they are. They are just us good as 'popular' people. They need to recognise their value. Great post!

    Xx

    Morgana

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    1. Some bloggers continuously refresh their stats to see how many views they've gotten, but I guess people like us refresh our notifications to see how many likes we have. It's sad the amount of minutes I've spent pulling down and down and down, watching the load button go round, watching the likes slowly build; sometimes so very very slowly. The entire mentality is so wrong, and so is the feeling you get when you are ashamed to be around them, and you feel the need to not be seen with them. No one is better than anybody else, and your comment is spot on.

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  5. Ugh, the "cool-uncool" thing; don't get me started on that. I pretend like I don't care at school, but when it comes to social media, I do. I don't have many followers compared to most people (I have 100 something) but I always check to see how many people like and more importantly to me, who likes. It drives me nuts. It also may be just me, but the more people tagged in a photo, especially if it's a group photo, the more likes you usually get. I wonder why this is, sometimes...

    xoxo Morning

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    1. Social media can be a killer of joy, but can also be the most entertaining thing in the world, especially for curious stalkers who need to know it all like me. To be honest, I don't think it's the photos with the most tags, but it's the most indie ones, or the ones with cool captions, good photography, or something to do with big booties - haha. I get so self conscious if someone doesn't follow back - it's unreal. And I actually balanced out my followers so that they'd be more than who I'm following, because I'm pathetic like that.

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  6. I really like this post and can definitely relate to it as well. High school can be so tough because of the "social hierarchy" type of thing, which is definitely real even if people do not want to admit it. Even though it is easier said than done, I think as we grow up and experience these things we come to realize that we should simply be around people who make us happy and try not to care as much about what other think of us. :)

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    1. That's the thing though - not everyone realises that. Some people never really grow up, which means this poisoned mentality will stay with us for our whole lives. And I feel like the people who speak blatantly about this "social hierarchy", who name names and draw out physical pyramids, I've always thought them as weird, people who care too much. This whole cool-uncool thing is more blurred than black and white, but it still exists and I guess the people who openly talk about it with names are both wrong and accepting.

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  7. I loved this so well written, everyone is so desperate to be cool these days, this was a great reality check! x

    ratherstrangeblog.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Jess! The desperation is so freaking pathetic.

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  8. M, this is such an amazing post! As a high school student, I also understand the whole cool-uncool thing, and what it is like to be treated unfairly solely because you aren't friends with the right people. Why should there be made such a difference between everyone?

    x Yasmine
    Cloudy

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    1. I don't know, but for some reason there is. In some ways, if you want to be treated specially by everyone, I guess striving for "cool" is reasonable in a way. But honestly, the empowered people will respect you no matter what, and I'm so over this whole stupid system. Why can't society ever act equal?

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  9. I totally understand how you feel. It's so weird when I think about all the time I've wasted on Instragram, trying to figure out who liked this photo and what about them, etc. I try so hard to not care what other people think, but I fail constantly. Thank you for another awesome, relatable post. You get me thinking, M!
    ~Sarah
    P.S I'm sorry I haven't commented on your posts. I just want you to know that I still read and love every one of them!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I love that you love my posts, because I never thought I'd actually have people who read my blog, and then stayed. The way I analyse my Instagram account is so sad. I probably stalk myself more than I stalk anybody else. Don't worry; we're all failing constantly no matter how hard we try or believe we aren't.

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  10. I feel the exact same way! I always obsess over likes on Instagram. I also try so hard to not care what people think *mutters Stressed Out by TOP* but it never works out :( Another amazing, relatable post M!

    ~Noor

    (I'm going to go follow you on Instagram now :))

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    1. Haha thanks Noor, but my personal is fully personal and private ;) Trying to keep blogging away from real life if you know what I mean. I'm glad you can relate, because to be honest, that's normal.

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  11. I don't even remember what it was like, seems like a lifetime ago. My goal is to never care about what anyone thinks, and I have a damn long way to go.

    / Avy
    http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com



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    1. Don't we all. I can't believe I actually wrote this post, because every single thought is so pathetic. Today someone unfollowed me on Instagram and the amount of influence that managed to have is astounding. I'm relying on the fact that as I grow older I'll care less, but I'm beginning to think that'll never happen unless I find a solution to this social anxiety.

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  12. Oh wow, talking of social media like this made me realise that the world was a different place when I was in high school! We didn't have Twitter or snap chat or anything like that! I'm old :(

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. Haha maybe living in that time makes you lucky though. I can't imagine how much happier I'd be without social media. But then, I love it as well. It's a curse as well as a blessing - a source of many life lessons that don't need to be learned.

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  13. Wow your blog post really got me thinking and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm trying not to constantly checking how many likes I have, or who liked my photos, or even how much pageviews I have for my blog. And also we shouldn't judge people on how many followers or likes they have as well.
    Maybe you could check out my blog? www.myhopefulpencil.com thanks! (I followed as well)

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    1. Exactly! But I guess it's the fact that we think people do judge these things that we care. Likes don't matter, content does. And when it comes to blogging, it's all about opinions and comments. Everything is easier with strangers.

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