Minnesota Musing: Social Media Relationships and Actual Human Interaction
Social Media Interaction and Pseudo Relationships
A friend of mine was talking about her daughter's boyfriend crisis. She wished that the men in her daughter's life would fulfill some fantasy, and come forth with their white horse and sweep her daughter away to some wonderful, imaginary place where the two of them would complete their life forces together.
This is where we; you and I, dear reader, chuckle together. You and I both know, from personal experience, that when you try to fit someone into a mold, that they are not going to fit.
It compares to going shopping at a store. You want a red shirt. You want it in size large. It has to have four buttons at the top, and a mandarin collar. You would prefer that it does not have an elasticized waist and you are looking for something with elbow length sleeves.
Do you see the immediate problem? You are not going to the store to find what they have that you can buy. No, you are going to the store with very specific rules about the shirt you wish to buy.
The correlation between the shirt and the boyfriend, is that everyone is unique. You either have to find a shirt and learn to like it, or go from store to store in search of that shirt you are looking for.
Again, to reinstate what I'm talking about. You are looking for a particular shirt, according to a set picture in your mind.
You talk to your friends. You ask them where you could obtain such a shirt. Back in the day, people used to sew their own clothes. I suppose that compares to the old practice of people starting a club, simply for the fact that the people who would come to it, would be of the same mind set as the person looking for someone to fit the bill.
Shopping Every Day - The Human Dilemna
So, here you go, shopping every day for that shirt. It's not at the first store you try. So, you go home and feel disappointed. Your friends try to help by listening to your sad shirt stories.
They offer sympathy. They try to dig in their own closets for a shirt that might please you. That doesn't always work, because their shirts are time worn, probably not the size you need, and they have been previously washed and dried and are probably molded in the wrong shape for you.
They worry about you, with your obsession for this shirt. After a while, it's tiring to hear the same stories about your shopping misadventures. Perhaps you found a red shirt, but it didn't have the right sleeves. Perhaps you found a shirt with the right requirements, but it was the wrong color. Or, the wrong size. Or, some other feature that wasn't quite right.
Text Messaging With Social Media
Let's face it. When you start a relationship based on a texting type of interaction, you are basically objectifying your computer or your phone.
Your phone or computer is what you are interacting with. Your electronics is your pal. Your pseudo boyfriend. You type sentences in. It responds with sentences. As you type more intimate sentences, it responds with intimate sentences.
True, there is a person on the other side, typing these sentences, but, again, you and the other person, are interacting alone. Their phone or computer is what they are interacting with.
Do you see the issue?
Human Interaction After Social Media Interaction
The actual act of venturing out and having a meeting with the person to whom you have been corresponding, changes the value of your relationship with your phone or computer.
You will start at the beginning when you meet the person for real. All phone or computer conversations will be null and void at this time. Up to this point, you have been using only your imagination. As you meet the person in real life, you add a few more details to the mix.
The first, is your nose. You will smell the person. The next is your ears. You will hear the person. You will the see the person. Up until this point, you have been interacting with a fantasy image.
Here's where the shirt/person comparison starts to happen. You are back to the need a red shirt, with four buttons, and elbow length sleeves. Now, that you can see this person, they might be a blue shirt. Long sleeves. Ten buttons.
At this point, you must let go of your red shirt, and learn to accept the changes that are in front of your eyes, ears and nose.
Expectations Versus Reality
Sometimes, reality is better than expectations.
Sometimes, it is not.
This is where compromise comes into full force. Compromise is when you have a set expectation, but, you decide that you can forgive the person for not meeting your expectations.
Most of your friends will argue and tell you that there should never be compromise. Well. You can choose to listen to your friends. Or you can choose to listen to yourself. Your friends may not agree and may still try to talk you away from your new reality.
Mom's Expectations and Her Daughters Expectations and Social Media Interruptions
Now, as I see it, the daughter's problem is two-fold, maybe even three-fold.
She has her own expectations. She wants a nice guy. She wants to go out and do fun stuff. She wants to have free time and space.
Her mother, wants her to have more than she had. This puts the daughter into an anxious, trying to please mom, mode. This puts an usual strain on getting a boyfriend that not only meets her own expectations, but meets her mother's expectations.
The daughter gives up what she wants to fit the boyfriend into her mom's mode. This does not work. The boyfriend usually breaks up or wants to just be friends. Many times, the boyfriends are in a relationship with their phone or computer, and will interact with it while with the daughter.
See any issues with this?
Good Luck and Best Wishes
No matter how much effort you put forth, it will come back to your expectations. You can either choose the red shirt and ignore all the other colors, or you can go with what your heart dictates.
Your heart, not someone else.
The only person you can create is yourself.