The Met Gala is May’s biggest event in the month, and this year’s event wasn’t disappointing. This year’s attendees included Kim Kardashian, Karli Kloss, and Gigi Hadid. These three women have one thing in common – they’re somehow have associations with Taylor Swift. My previous post heavily referenced Taylor Swift and her breakup with her boyfriend of 6 years, British actor Joe Alwyn. I guess you could agree that this will be a yet another Taylor Swift referenced blog post.
Since her breakup, Swift has been keeping busy with her Eras tour. She’s also been leaning on her friends for support, including Jack Antonoff, Gigi Hadid, Haim sisters, as well as Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, who are Met Gala regulars, but skipped this year’s event because they just had their 4th baby. It’s nice to know, though, that they still had time to be there for their friend who’s going through a major life change in her life.
Since her time spent with her friends, they’ve all, as well as Swift’s brother, Austin, and her childhood best friend, Abigail Anderson, unfollowed Alwyn on Instagram. This has caused an internet debate. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, and is most likely perceived to be silly, but it actually IS in fact a big deal. It’s become such a big deal that psychologists have chimed in on the matter of the psychology behind social media use.
Psychologists say that our social media usage is a part of our existence. It’s easier now to see someone we have a past with in person than it is to continue following them on social media. It’s because we see following someone on social media as a more intimate way of knowing someone’s life than seeing them in real life. For instance, if you see someone you used to be close with in person, you can avoid talking to them and knowing of any updates on their lives. But if you follow them on social media, you’ll know details about them such as what they’re eating for lunch. You see them moving on with their lives after whatever happened between the two of you, and your brain somehow gets triggered because of it.
You’re definitely not alone here. Taylor Swift’s circle of those closest to her probably unfollowed Joe Alwyn for two different reasons. 1) You just don’t follow your close friend’s exes because it’s not only girl code, but a friends code in general, or 2) Taylor and Joe didn’t end their relationship on a good note, and he wronged her, so unfollowing Joe was her friends’ message of support. In Taylor’s case, it’s not people who were close to someone unfollowing them, but rather unfollowing someone who was associated to someone close them. It’s different, but still sends the message across.
At this point in my life, I don’t do the unfollowing. I don’t take much of anything personally, and I don’t care about seeing other people’s posts regardless of whether I’m friends with them now or was friends with them in the past. I also don’t care who sees my content. In fact, I actually love it when people from my past look at my content because that means they f*cking miss me. Maybe it’s because I don’t use my social media for personal use anymore. I also see the follow-unfollow someone I was close with train immature and me being too old for it even though it used to be something I did and took seriously until a few years ago, but I’ve seen those I used to be close with even now. I can name at least 3 people I used to be close with who’d unfollowed me; and they’re older than me, so I guess you’re never too old to do the unfollowing. I’d say that these 3 people I used to be close with took social media too seriously, but then again, who am I to judge other people’s actions? They probably had their own individual reasons for unfollowing me and removing me as a follower, but none of their reasons are any of my business, and I’m NOT going to waste a second of my time making assumptions on why my former friends do what they do. I can only speak for myself. The reason why they’re my former friends in the first place is because I don’t care what they do in their lives anymore.
When I did do the unfollowing, it was the exact reasons that psychologists stated and more. For me, I didn’t want to see them living their lives like nothing had happened, but I also didn’t want them to know much of anything regarding my life. Privacy is a privilege, and it’s not something that should ever be taken for granted. It’s probably an ironic statement considering I’m a public figure, but it’s true. The energy you bring to yourself and into your life makes a whole lot of difference. It’s especially true when you’re someone who’s struggling with a mental and/or a chronic illness. When someone goes through such illnesses as depression and epilepsy, their brains take over their lives completely. They become unrecognizable people who do things that are completely out of character. I feel like that’s exactly what happened to me. I had some of the worst years of my life following me surviving that fateful car accident in 2015, and those were the years when epilepsy took over my body and mind. I did things I wouldn’t normally do, I said things I wouldn’t normally say, I surrounded myself with people I wouldn’t even dare to surround myself with under normal circumstances, and so on.
With that being said, I became an unrecognizable person. I became someone I didn’t like at all. I’d take every single thing way too seriously. I allowed people around me to treat me like absolute sh*t. And not only that, but I’d forgive them and give them a second chance, a third chance, and even a third chance. I had some people do some nasty and shady things to me. I even almost had the police get involved with a certain person. Social media really wasn’t making things easy for me. I had someone publicly post about that I needed professional help. I had someone who’d harrass me on Facebook, and then when I blocked him, he’d move on to harassing me through his girlfriend’s account, and when I blocked her, he’d move on to LinkedIn. But that’s not all – I had someone I dated post nudes on my feed to make me jealous. I even had someone hack my Facebook account and post as if it were me that I was a lesbian. It wasn’t that being called a lesbian was offensive. It wasn’t at all. But it could be so harming for someone who’s closeted to see my post and be perceived that being a gay is a bad thing. Being gay isn’t anything to be ashamed of – ever.
Using social media became a whole mess. I was pissed off, and it seemed as though there was more harm than good in using social media. When epilepsy took over my life, my negative take on social media escalated. It wasn’t that anything had happened. Nothing needed to happen for me to have a meltdown or even two. Everything seemed to be a very big deal when it really wasn’t. I’d unfriend, re-friend, block, un-block; the whole nine yards. It was a phase in my life that is very blurry to me now, but I hope to never forget because it’s a sentiment to how far I’ve come in my recovery. I vividly remember my friends laughing at me because of how rationally I reacted to any social media activity. What they didn’t realize, though, was that it had a lot to do with my life’s circumstances. Having 50 seizures a day everyday can really take a toll on anyone. I can’t say I fully blame them for laughing at me. I used to laugh at the mere thought of seizures before I ever experienced them. Through my experience with the chronic illness, I learned that seizures don’t just affect when you have them. They affect your entire daily life. The more you have them, the more they affect you. My whole life was affected by seizures, including how I used social media. I’ve come a long way since overcoming those worst years of my life, and I choose to use social media to advocate for myself, as well as for others like me, in ways I couldn’t back then.
No matter the case, we should remind ourselves on a daily basis that we should never judge other people based on their actions, specifically their social media activity. Just as I’ve been saying this entire blog post, there’s a whole psychology behind our social media use. We all use our social media differently. Our usage depends on where we are in our lives. Regardless of the way anyone in your life uses their social media or their social media activity, let’s remember to be kind. Your support and non-judgmental spirit will make all the difference in the world. I know it would’ve made all the difference in the world if I had the support I have now back then. I can’t take back the past and how I used social media in the past. But I can take my past mistakes and make some good out of it. I choose to do just that, both with my social media and the blog. I hope that you’ll be on this journey with me as well.