In July I had the opportunity to go to Europe for (mostly) free.  I had some reservations about going mostly because of the girl I would be travelling with.  I have known her for over 10 years but she is the kind of person I have made an effort to spend small amounts of time with because she exerts a lot of my energy when I am around her.  But I went thinking “it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

We planned our trip for weeks, and agreed that we wanted the same kind of experience.  Open, relaxed, random.  We agreed we both wanted to eat fresh seafood, spend our time writing and move at a slow pace.

When we arrived it only took 24 hours to realize we were not on the same page.  In fact everything she had said to me she would not do, she did.

Everything she said she didn’t want, she crushed hard.

The 7 days away (shortened from 12) were nothing short of a complete nightmare and it took a lot of time once I got home to really get over the shock and hurt.  Once I was settled and had returned to a better state of mind I was able to realize what had really been going on.

The girl I had been travelling with is a professional blogger.  She spends ALL of her time on the internet.  If she isn’t posting, she is thinking about posting.  If she isn’t thinking about posting she is writing posts.  If she isn’t writing, she is trolling, reading, scrolling, researching and keeping her finger on the online pulse.  That is damaging.  When you rely 100% on the internet it is damaging to ones reality.

When you choose to Google EVERYTHING when you can just ask a local, speak to a human, think for yourself – It is damaging.

When you spend all of your time looking at curated accounts, it is damaging.

When you represent yourself as one thing online but are the complete opposite in reality – it is damaging.

When you put all of your time, energy, life into online, you forget how to exist as a human IN REAL LIFE.

Your communication skills become damaged because you become accustomed  to “likes” and hiding behind a computer screen.  When you are faced with a real human, who has real feelings, who is expressing themselves, its almost like an online addict can’t register the realness and therefor can’t respond on the same level.

It’s like the internet is breaking humans brains and turning them into robots.  FOR REAL.

Instagram as a platform to build a brand and make a profit = Good.
Instagram and social media used as a lens for reality = you’re doing it wrong.

If you can’t remain human while managing social media accounts because you become so lost in the curated world of marketing and promotion that you forget who are you – a real person – you should not be on the internet.

If you honestly believe likes are a valid form of gratification and followers are a true sense of community, you should not be on the internet.

If you can no longer connect with humans and have trouble with the people who matter the most in your world because you are more concerned with strangers and the online world – you should not be on the internet.

I’m all for social media but I’m also for knowing the difference between online and IRL.

I’m for knowing the difference between followers and friends. 

Knowing the difference between likes and authentic support and encouragement. 

Knowing the difference between commenting on someones profile and saying how you feel out loud. 

Knowing that existing is still very real and that your behaviour effects people and your choices have consequences and that your choices make an impact. 

Knowing the importance of making better choices. 

Being better.  Being consistent. 

Consistently good to yourself and to others – irl and online. 

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