How much of what we say when out socializing or on social media is over-exaggerated, fake or entirely bullshit?
Don't get me wrong, personally I love my friends and hanging out: one on one in person with a close friend is a blissful experience most of the time where we can chill, eat greasy shit together, openly burp and talk about that pimple I poked at the other day, safe in the knowledge that we know each other well, we know our quirks, our downfalls, our achievements and possibly even when we last went to the toilet. If you extend the one on one time to a little party pow-wow with a relatively new crowd? The situation becomes a lot more complex.
I don't know if my own experience could be classified as 'social anxiety' and I know this is a crippling issue for many people, but I perhaps have some form of this complex predicament and it has really started to force me to reassess and reflect how I interact during a night on the town/lunch with friends/breakfast with the group.
The first issue I have is over-talking. Talking loudly, proudly and almost aggressively in my directness. I talk about ME predominantly...the issue comes back to ME and, hideously, I wonder if I am honestly that egocentric or am I just internally shitting myself? Tim has noticed this too - a fear of losing relevance and jumping across peoples own experience to quickly appoint them my own version of events: 'Oh that thing happened to you? Well it happened to me too but SO MUCH WORSE, I ALMOST DIED, OH MY GOD JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR IT.'
I don't want to be this areshole, I honestly don't. I am a lot more aware of it now I am in a relationship with someone who knows every single detail about me and recognises that this just isn't the real me when we're out together. It's almost as if I don't want to drown in the sea of voices and laughter - my story must keep me buoyant and in doing so...I come across as slightly obnoxious and just a bit too loud.
I liken the experience of forcing out your story, over exaggerating a really good anecdote or simply making shit up - to our peachy Instagram accounts, our scrupulously hand-picked and posted Facebook presence, 'my story is fabulous' Reddit votes or 'generic CV bullshit' LinkedIn Prowess. Have our lives become one of those horrible forceful paragraphs preceding a resume we write ourselves:
'Anna is an ambitious, punctual, smart and friendly candidate, willing to take on any challenge and always ready to learn.'
I am not absolved. I am absolutely a victim to the Instagram bullshit endemic - I have a handpicked presence online and I wonder why there is this strong need to prove my worth to friends and total strangers? I have a wonderful life, why do I need to prove that to people? Why do I hand pick which photos I chose to pop up on Facebook? Why do I force out my story to attain pride dominance within a social circle? Why are we constantly promoting our life CV to people? Can we chose to just be quietly content and safe in the knowledge that we're awesome?
So the next time I'm out and about with one of you, forcing my way into your life with my 'even better' story or loudly making a dick joke above and beyond the story you are currently telling the group about your crippling hereditary Immune Disease, please gently remind me 'hey, your life is cool, you know that and that's all that matters.'