The use of social media for various purposes has become a part of people’s life from around the world. Young, old, men, women, office workers, housewives, almost everyone has social media account. The trend of using social media continues to change. When I was in Primary School, many people used Friendster. In Middle School, Facebook began to be loved. Not long after Facebook era, Twitter appeared. And now, Instagram seems to be a new trend in the world of social media.
Have you ever thought how could some people not have any social media account in this modern world? Doesn’t it help you to promote your idea, project or product? Doesn’t it help to connect and communicate with people? Doesn’t it help you to make you more popular?
I don’t say that social media aren’t important. But, there are people who refuse to have any social media. George Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Benedict Cumberbatch, Reza Rahadian are the example of some celebrities that do not have social media. But, people know them for their acting and films.
So, why are there people who don’t want to have social media account?
Keeping up the privacy Social media allows you to post or share everything you want. Whether it’s good or bad. Some people lack of caution and can’t control themselves to post something that shouldn’t be posted or shared on social media. Finally, everyone knows. And it can be used by bad people to invade your privacy.
Keeping up the productivities Scrolling the timeline, checking notification, liking or leaving comment on someone’s photo when you’re working on something at the same time, really waste your time and energy. It will distract your focus. So, your works will be non optimal.
Maintaining mental health United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Public Health published their result of research about the difference of the use of social media on physical and mental health effect, conducted on 1.479 people with an age range 14-25 years old from some region in Great Britain. The results from this survey taken from National Geographic showed that Instagram is potentially giving the worst effect on mental health, compared to other social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat even YouTube. Instagram can be the best place to do cyber bullying, body shaming, creating jealousy, insecurity and anxiety. It doesn’t mean that other social media is free from toxic and annoying people, but, instagram is crazy.
They might be people who have great self esteem and confidence Some people use social media for gaining popularity, recognition and applause. But, people with great self esteem and confidence might not need all of them. They have thoughts if they’re being themselves, doing good things to others, then people will know them for who they are. People will know them for what they’re doing without show it off on social media. They’re happy and grateful of what they have and haven’t. They’re happy and grateful of what they do and don’t. Happiness is simple, right?
They might be people who prefer interaction in real life rather than in virtual world Sometimes people act differently in real life and virtual world. In vitual world, they appear as nice guy/girl, but being totally bastard in real life. It might happen cause in social media we don’t meet people face to face. So, it’s really possible if we’re being two-faced person. Well, I’m one of those who believe that if you want to know someone is nice or bastard, you need to know how they behave in real life. If you know nothing, don’t trust people you only know from social media easily.
Not good enough in operating technology (In Bahasa, we called it “gaptek”)
The debate between pros and cons, controversy and criticism about social media would be longer if I explain it too in this article. So, I’ll stop here and let me explain it on another post.
What do you do when negative emotions, like sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, disgusted, etc hits you? What’d you say to people you care about, when they tell you their problems? Do you show them an empathy or toxic positivity?
We might not realize that we can be victim or culprit of toxic positivity at the same time. So, what’s toxic positivity?
Toxic positivity can be defined as excessive and inneffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situation
To give you an easier explanation (I hope), I’ll show you some example below.
Your friend has broke up with her boyfriend. She’s really heartbroken. She’s crying out loud and needs someone to talk to. Then she came to you and told you her problems. As a response, you told her some “encouragement words” ,such as :
” Be positive” “Look on the bright side” “Don’t give up” “Everything’s gonna be alright” “Moving on” (etc)
(In Bahasa, you often say, “sabar ya..”, “semangat ya..”, “jangan nyerah”, “udah ikhlasin aja” etc)
You told your best friend that you’re defamed by your coworker. It really damaged your reputation that you’ve developed for many years. And your boss was starting to lose his trust in you. Then, your best friend compared your problem with hers or others. She compared which one is more pathetic. She compared who suffers more between you and her or others. In the other hand, she just talked about herself, didn’t pay attention of what you’re saying.
If you have experienced those kind of situation, well, that’s toxic positivity. For situation 1, your friend become the victim of toxic postivity. And you become the one who throws toxic positivity. Meanwhile situation 2 is the opposite of situation 1.
There’re some characteristics of toxic positivity.
Denial. Toxic positivity is fake positivity. It makes people deny and pretend to be happy just to cover their negative emotions. They’ll refuse to be honest to their true emotions and feelings.
Unrealistic. Toxic positivity puts us as if we always have to be happy and positive. Life is up and down. Our life is not always at the top. We can’t always laugh. Sometimes we can cry. The encouragemnt words like I told you in situation 1, look good and motivating. But, it’s kinda problematic and unrealistic. Why? Some of you might disagree with me. Some of you might answer, “I just try to motivate his/her, so he/she can forget his/her problems. Where’s the mistake?”. Well, I suggest you to read it till the end cause the answer will be revealed (implicitly) on the next part.
Comparing who suffers more. Like the example on situation 2, toxic positivity thinks others problem is nothing compare to our problems.
So, what should we do to avoid toxic positivity?
Admitting and understanding your negative emotions. Negative emotions are normal. You don’t need to hide your true emotions by smiling or pretending that you’re okay. Cause it’s okay to not be fine (sometimes).
Releasing your true emotions. If you’re sad after breaking up, you can cry. If someone treats you like a shit, you can angry. When you’ll have a presentation on annual meeting, it’s normal if you’re nervous, especially if it’s your first time. Why do we have to hide it? Why do we have to lie, like everything is okay? Hiding your emotions will damage your mental health in long term.
Learning to control your emotions.Controlling emotions is different from hiding emotions. If you want learn how to control your emotions, you should admit and know first, what kind of emotions do you feel, what do you want. And you won’t ever know your emotions well, if the things you do is denial.
Be a good listener. Don’t interupt someone who tells you her/his problem. Listen and pay attention to what they’re talking about. That’s the reason why God gives us 2 ears and 1 mouth.
Don’t compare who suffers more. Our problem might be the same. But, our strength in facing the problem might be different. What you think is easy, can be difficult for others and vice versa.
Giving the right response. I know it’s hard to give the right response and honestly, I often act like Ms.Know-It-All to them (I’m so sorry T_T). So, what’d you say? You can show them that you care about their condition by saying, :
“I’m deeply sorry to hear that” “I know it’s really hard for you” “If I were you, I’d feel the same” (etc.)
Or… you can give physical touch if necessary (and if he/she doesn’t mind about it), like patting his/her shoulder, hugs, etc. Then, you can offer him/her to talk (or even crying) more till he/she feels better and satisfied. If he/she asks you for an advice, please, do it wisely. If he/she doesn’t ask, please, don’t be Mr/Mrs/Ms Know-It-All (Tbh, it’s the hardest part I should change from myself). Cause sometimes someone only needs to be heard, not asking for advice.
Wearinglonghijab (for Muslim women) : *being labeled as more religious rather than women who wear shorter hijab*
Wearingniqab (for Muslim women) : *being labeled as terrorist
Wearingrevealingclothes : *being labeled as a bitch* -___-
(For this part, I take an example of what have happened (usually) in Indonesia. So, it might be different from your country)
Thick : “youlookugly! youshoulddiet!” (I have a close friend. She has big body. But, her friends, including me, hope that she won’t do (extreme) diet cause she’s already beautiful even with her thick body)
Thin : “doyoureallyhaveboobsandbutt?” (If you ask me this kind of question, let me slap your face with clog)
Loves pink, wears skirt/dress, plays barbie doll, watches romance movie, wears high heels, loves shopping etc : “ew..toogirly! notcool” (Tomboy girl feels more superior than girly girl)
Loves black (dark colours), wears jeans, wears sneakers, football lovers, listens to dead metal/punk/rock music etc : “areyoureallyawoman?”
Being gentle, innocent, lady-like, elegant : *being labeled as weak, not independent, cry-baby, inferior, submissive, can’t stand up for herself*
Being bold, fierce, brave, independent : “men will be afraid of you. so, please, act like a lady” (Sir/Ma’am, I don’t behave to attract men’s impression cause I’m not an attention seeker)
Workingmom : “You’resoselfishandmaterialistic“
Stay–at–HomeMom : “Youwasteyourdegreeandachievementjusttostayathome” (Although you have good carreer, you still have responsibilty to take care of your husband and children)
Single : “Whenwillyougetmarried?” (Fyi :If you’re Indonesian woman, at least 25 years old, but you haven’t introduced anyone yet as your boyfriend or future husband to your family, then this question will haunt you like a nightmare)
Married : “whenwillyouhaveachild?”
Married + 1child : “whenwillyourson/daughterhassibling?” (Meanwhile their baby is still a month)
Conclusion : Honestly, we live in society which everything is rated based on men’s point of view. Meanwhile, we also live in society which women ‘kill’ each other. We can’t please everyone. So, no need to think that much about what they’re saying. You can disagree of others opinion, but, don’t throw a hate comment. You can have your own standard, but, don’t push others to follow your standard. You can have your own preference, but, don’t push others to follow your preference. Because it might not fit in/doesn’t work on someone who has different culture, habit, social status, religion and so on.
*) notes :
Hijab : a veil worn by Muslim women in the presence of any male outside of their immadiate family, which usually covers the head and chest
Niqab : a garment of clothing that covers the face, except eyes, worn by some Muslim women as a part of particular interpretation of hijab.