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Dear Social Media, I like you but I can’t keep up with you..

woman sitting holding smartphone between two men and two women

Do you feel overwhelmed with responding to friends and family that text, WhatsApp, Facebook message, email and occasionally call you any time of day.. I know I certainly to do!

Do you feel like you’re constantly offending people and always apologising for being a terrible friend by not replying straight away (or in my case reading it and then thinking you’ve replied in your head but In fact you’ve not responded at all) or not finishing a ‘chat’?

Do you sometimes think that your friend is avoiding you or you’re the one making all the effort? Are you being ghosted?!

This is merely an observation but I think it’s worth thinking about it and if this is affecting your life and how you can make changes..

Roughly 20 years ago contact with anyone at anytime became available.. there was MSN, mobile phones, friends reunited (remember that before Facebook was invented?!) and pagers. No longer did you have to call your friend or boyfriend sitting in the hallway by the front door or if you were lucky enough your parents might have had a cordless phone! Then there was the issue of the cost of calling people.. sorry Mum!

I remember actually writing letters to a few friends and my cousin on a regular basis (sending each other duplicate spice girls photos or stickers that we were collecting) and that was really nice, I wish I had kept them, i would have love to have known what we wrote about!

I imagine our parents and their parents had a fairly close group of friends who they saw and actually spoke to face to face on regular or daily basis and that’s how it was. They probably didn’t go out as much as we did and they didn’t have the choice of places to go either. Now we can talk to anyone anywhere where in the world at any time, which is amazing!

All this communication is absolutely brilliant but it can be seriously overwhelming and actually make you feel anxious and depressed as we either feel we have too many things to deal with or we aren’t getting enough likes or attention.

Now we seem to collect friends and keep the contact going long after the friendship has served its purpose, which can be really tricky. Friendship (my next post will explore this subject) can be a really grey area, there’s a lot of pressure and expectation from yourself and other people. It’s always been there but feels quite prominent now as it takes a few seconds to contact someone so there is ‘no excuse’.

We continually make friends throughout our lives from primary school, your friends that lived down the same road as you, secondary school, maybe you changed schools at some point in your life, college, university, your first job, your second job, the job you’re in now, friends of friends, friends you met through you kids, friends you met on holiday, friends you met at a wedding or birthday party and everyone else in between…

Some come into our lives and stay, others come and go. We have friends for a good time and wine, friends at work, friends for long conversations, friends with kids.. Time will only tell if the friends we have now are people who we will be friends with in 5, 10 or 50 years time.

I don’t hold it against anyone and I don’t take it personally, life is just so much more complicated and so full of stuff.. I hate to break it to you but we can’t do it all!

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