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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Social networking sites like facebook and twitter are the new thing, and part of the fun is "tweeting" what is on one's mind at any moment. There is no filter (aside from swearing for most people, or blatant insults/offenses) and people can just put what they think or feel out there.

I can't do this.. let me back up. I am on facebook next to constantly, yet there is something crazy going on that I have noticed in my self... I tailor my "tweet" or whatever, to my audience!! I over think how I should word it as to not offend anyone, and eventually the thought is so general and vague that it loses it's meaning. I dare not say anything that another "friend" might find fault, and when I do post something even slightly controversial, I enter a panic mode and eventually I delete my post- it is the only thing that makes me feel better.

Why is this a problem? I cannot express myself without worrying what others will think. So then I wonder, does anyone know the real me? Do I know where I stand on things with an audience completely removed?

This carries over into my daily life.. I am an adult child of an alcoholic, and "they say" that this is one of the characteristics of ACOA's- constant filter. As a child who thought I had to take care of my alcoholic parent, I learned that no matter what I do or what I say, I cannot change my mother's behaviors. I am powerless. So, I learned to tailor my life to her in order to reduce conflict as much as possible. Somehow, this powerlessness creeped into me such that I cannot express myself without thinking of other people and worrying whta they might think..

The biggest example of this tragic way of being is, deciding where to go to graduate school. I had to choose between two very good options in two very different directions. I could not make the decision. THe last person I listened to was myself. Obviously the choice came down to me, but it still haunts me. I regret it (and I am confident that I would have regretted my decision had I gone the other way)... why did I regret it? Because I felt like I let someone down. I would have let someone down no matter what I decided.. and that was the biggest factor for me. I didn't consider personal choices like say, where would I be happiest at. I made my choice mostly on how others felt and on whom I could please. And now the "what if's" are haunting me.

This is no way to be. And on the internet, like facebook and twitter.. we are even further removed from the world in which we are socializing in.. When I "tweet" no one can see my face or my body language. Once I "tweet", it goes out into cyber space, I have no control over who sees it, and I have no control over how people react to it. I seem to have even less control than I would have in a normal face-to-face interaction!

When I do "tweet" and someone comments and/or disagrees, I feel physically ill. That sort of anxiety that puts your stomach in knots.. I quite honestly feel like I need to take a **** when that happens. Why do I give the internet so much power?

I want to be able to express anger, disappointment, happiness, being proud, being victorious, being rejected, with out wondering what others think about it. After all, I own how I feel and I own what I say.. why do I let others threaten it? How can I reach a point where I can tweet what I think and feel, and not worry about what other people think.


 

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is a little "special"
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4,131 Posts
Sometimes you just have to remember that it doesn't matter what people think of you... It's what you think of yourself that really counts.
No matter what you say online or anywhere else, there are always going to be people that disagree with you, but as long as you are happy with your self and where you are going, those people don't really matter. ;)


If you want to share your opinions and stuff on here, no one will be judgemental. Unless you are planning to breed something... Then you better take cover, LOL! :p
 

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Betta Bomb
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5,202 Posts
I agree with Jess. Personal happiness is number 1. No matter what people think. If personal happiness is filtering yourself to make others appreciate "you" then be it. But since it's very obviously upsetting you, maybe it is time for a change?
I graduated high school and worked full time, moving from apartment to apartment to escape myself and my problems at a very confused age. I ended up making some decisions which I regret now. At the time I was molding myself to impress others. I listened to my own mother and avoided going to post secondary school bc she was plagued for 25 years with loan debt. My freedom came when I finally let go of the anxiety and tension I was used to and gave it all up to apply for university after 3 1/2 years of working full time at a dead end job, like my mother, with not enough for tuition in the cheapest province in Canada! I met my wonderful boyfriend and now live with him and is getting through school. I stopped caring who I might disappoint while moving and frigging around.
My point is, there are a lot of things which "might have been" and there is just simply no knowing what that ever is. It's like chasing a shadow.
Try to get a referral to a good massage therapist (covered by student benefits, at least here :p ) and go get them to squeeze the tensions outta ya! Try to stop to worrying about what others think of you. Do what makes YOU happy. If someone is wearing an ugly tie, tell them. Even if you do it in a passive manner like, say, sneezing on it. Or coughing into your hand "ugly tie"... Be blunt but have fun! :)
 

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Registered
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5,083 Posts
personally i think more people need to think about what they say in their status and tweets.

I get sick of people not caring what others see and say well its my personal tweet/status and if you don't like it don't read it. Your saying things goes directly to my feed and i will see it.

There is no fault in saying what you think or feel but instead of saying exactly what you think you may want to sensor it. instead of saying my boss is such a beeep or whatever, it is better to say blast! what a hard day at work!

you can talk to your personal friends about it if you want but you don't have to broadcast it can get you into trouble if you do.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess what I'm looking for is a happy medium between being able to express my thoughts and feelings but also not to offend anyone.. I'm way far on the not offending edge of the spectrum.. I have been sensoring what I say, but like I said, it becomes so sensored that it has no true meaning anymore. There are times when I want others to know I'm upset so that maybe I can get support or advice, but then I worry that I would also come off as an attention seeker..

Status updates and tweets are attention grabbers, we wouldn't post them if we didn't want people to read them..

I just wish I didn't have physical anxiety everytime I express myself.

My counselor helped me a little with cognitive behavioral therapy-

A -> B -> C; Event (A) leads to Thoughts (B) which leads to Emotions (C)

For me, When an event (A) occurs such as someone giving me attitude unprovoked, My thoughts (B) are always negative. For example, I think that the person is giving me random attitude because they don't like me and want to hurt me. Thus, my emotions (C) are strong anxiety and sadness.

The catch is, I have no idea what the motivation of that person was to give me attitude, for all I know, he/she may be having the worst day and just took it out on me. They might not necessarily dislike me. Or, I could be correct, but I have no way of knowing the motivation unless I asked (which, I would never, ever do).

If I can stop myself before automatically going to the negative thoughts, and have more neutral thoughts (Whatever is going on with them has nothing to do with me), I will have less severe negative emotions, or different emotions entirely (I wonder if there is anything I can do to help this person feel better)..

It's a good lesson in psychology that I think everyone can take something from. Notice the thoughts you have immediately after an event (namely a negative event). If your thoughts are automatically negative, so too then will your emotions be negative. If you can change the way you think, you can change the way you feel.
 

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Super Moderator
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322 Posts
I agree with Jess and Purple-Hops. Worrying about what other people think all the time is not healthy. You're not going to be in full agreement with the people that you know best, and there's no way to know what or how strangers think. You can say what you mean and still be respectful to other people. You don't have to give up either expressing your real feelings or being polite. The important thing is just knowing that you do have the right to be who you are, and what others may think about that is not your problem or responsibility. If someone's going to reject you as a friend, they probably would have anyway.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
eh you're so right. Thanks. It's good to hear from people out there that it's okay to be myself. I've taken baby steps.. LIke if I post a status and later get anxious about it thinking someone might dislike it or dislike me for it, I tell myself to STOP, they are just WORDS, they are MY WORDS, and I am allowed to express myself.

It's tough..

as Dr. Seuss said, "Be what you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
 
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