On a normal day at work, I got a call from an employee in the engineering department needing some assistance in his machine. I work in the IT department so I get calls like these everyday, I’m either in the help desk or computer maintenance section. This employee needed to connect the audio from his computer to a TV so I helped him through this process and it worked. I get by my day normally like any day but this employee returned to my office and started asking me if we provide graphic cards and such, for some reason this stirred up a one hour conversation in my office of things not even related about work and our workplace in general. The conversation varied from life, work, interests and even college life, and I couldn’t stop him because I’m afraid he would say I’m rude. I don’t understand how it ended up with him adding me on Instagram then direct messaging me things for example funny videos and such. This is when I realized, I’m too nice. I’m not exactly a narrow minded type of Arab who consider talking to the opposite sex is wrong, not at all. I don’t mind it if it’s within the work environment because this is what we are ‘coworkers’ and it shouldn’t go to a point where it gets too friendly. I think of it this way what if my husband had this situation in his workplace, am I fine knowing a lady got too friendly with my husband same way this guy did ?
This is not the first time I get in this kind of situation, people tend to get comfortable with me and I have no idea why, that they open up about their personal life easily. It feels like a burden at times that I know all these secrets of personal lives not anyone should know whether I’m actually close to this person or not. I remember in college, some lady waiting for her class to start in the student lounge and I happened to be in the same table as her, I was just sitting there reading a book minding my own business. A small talk somehow ended up by her opening up to me about her love life asking me (a total stranger) on a love advice, she’s in love with her secret boyfriend but a relative of hers purposed to her. Keep in mind that relationships are a bit forbidden in some Arab countries and it’s risky to tell anyone about a relationship you have with a guy because if your family knew about this you might get severely punished. I think about it now, how did she feel so comfortable with me to share these secrets with me.
Being too nice is more of a bad thing than a good thing in this current era because to the opposite sex I would seem too friendly and approachable. How do I politely mention that I’m not exactly single without sounding like I’m jumping to conclusions that he’s interested for example, because I honestly hate feeling that I’m leading on a person when I’m not even trying to. Part of me thinks that saying ‘no’ to a person can be perceived as being rude and I instantly say this person might consider me being a bitch now. I also had this problem where I agree to whatever a person says just because I wanted to be nice and not make the person feel embarrassed to tell me his/her interests. There’s a level of “being too nice” where you would be considered a person without a character and be that naive person who everyone can abuse. I’m trying to build up my voice to say my own opinion whether I disagree or agree in whatever the other person would be talking about, and not be afraid being considered rude for it because it shouldn’t make me feel that way.
Lately I’ve been noticing new terms being used online, some I would understand and some I have to google it while convincing myself that I’m not that old. Not only words but also few YouTube channels that is based on trolling or roasting as some would say. Being in a different generation, I find this new territory quite harsh.
We were raised in an environment without being connected to the internet and it gave us an advantage of developing normal social attributes and being nice. One of the things that irritates me with the current era is that we are becoming really mean and cruel to each other. While we hide behind screens when we type things we normally won’t say in public, it’s easy to insult others and bully each other. Now that everyone even kids are exposed to these terms and actions, they think it’s okay to tell someone “Kill yourself” which I think it’s incredibly cruel.
For some reason we think that hiding behind a screen gives us an armor that we won’t get hurt, the more known a person is, the more acceptable for us to insult and be judgmental in regarding looks or personality. Does such acts satisfy us in a way we think it’s acceptable now ? Have we shed the nice attitude when we are online because to us they don’t deserve it ? And in the end we’ll title this freedom of speech and just want to say our opinion even if it was useless or mean.
I’ve always wondered, why are we so fixated in sharing parts of our lives on social media ? Do we like the attention ? Do we want to show people how interesting our life is ? Back when I was on Facebook few years ago, I had what you call “Friends” on that platform and it’s basically people I’ve never personally met or even interacted with, having them on the profile just a number.
One of these people I had was a girl whom I’ve never met or talked to but I know everything about her. I can honestly say that I knew her life even more than my own friends because she shared too much on her feed from pictures, messages screenshots, relationships, where she goes and how she takes care of her kids. I knew she had a son from her highschool boyfriend then he proposed to her, few months later they broke up because he left their son in the car while he went to ‘get high’ with his friends. Of course she posted the messages from him and his family trying to mend the whole situation and creating a bigger drama in the comments. Few months later she started dating a new guy and she moved in with him, posting pictures how her son interacting and seeing this new guy as a father. She got pregnant again and had a beautiful girl. I left Facebook 4 years ago and I don’t know how she get on with her life after that.
So me a total stranger knew that much about someone on the other side of the planet just because she shared too much on Facebook alone. I think keeping your life private from prying eyes became a hard task because of the raise of many social media apps and websites we use. Like what Lise from Lushtivity said on the previous post comment section: “I hate how wired our lives are now” it makes me wonder how did we reach a point where we became obsessed with showing everything to total strangers because we use the internet on daily basis and basically trust it that much to expose ourselves.
Recently I’ve been noticing few tweets and memes comparing this generation and the 90s generation, as an epic battle in things the new generation won’t understand. I was born in 89, I guess that makes me a 90s kid so I want to jump on that bandwagon. I honestly call this generation the iPad generation because lately I just see kids gluing their eyes on iPad screens and I know I’ll say I won’t let my child do that but in the end it’ll happen eventually. It also irritates me when these kids complain about things they should be thankful of, for example:
- Slow internet. Have you tried dial up connection ? I actually remember the tone the machine did when it connected to the internet using dial up and obviously get scolded by my parents later because they want to use the phone.
- Feeling bored. I hate when I hear someone says this sentence specially kids, I’m not generalizing but few would repeat this as they just lay on the couch holding their phones switching from app to app.
- Phone too old. Kids these days get phones so freakin’ early and just like showing off their gadgets to other kids, obviously they start comparing. Later you would hear them complain and cry that their phone too old and want the latest “new and cool” phone.
- Complain how life is hard. When I see tweets of these kids who’s barely 12 or even in their intagram bios where they mention something about life and being all deep, I want to flip a table on their faces. I’m twenty something and I haven’t lived life that long to say what they say.
Apart from their complaining, some of them grow up being disrespectful and ungrateful. In the past, parenting was a bit strict compared to now, parents were fine in disciplining their children by spanking them as punishment and I mean light not extreme abuse. Now that we are parents, have we gone soft saying we want to give our kids a better life than what we had ?
I didn’t need an intervention or a close person to say this to my face, I am an anti-social person and quite socially awkward. In gatherings, I would be the person who tries to avoid everyone by walking around acting like I got something to do instead of sitting with people and just mingle. I don’t know how many outings I declined just because I didn’t want to deal with people, I honestly rather sit alone and do any sort of activity on my own. I admit I was even worse than that but recently I changed because being a mother and sitting home alone isn’t the best combination.
As much as it’s a bad social behavior as some would say or even being a negative impact on someone, I think it has few advantages as well. So here’s my list of advantages I discovered in my twenty something years breathing in this planet.
- The more known you are, the more rumors of bad things will spread about you. This statement doesn’t need any explanation for it because I’m sure everyone knows this. Even if you are a good social butterfly who’s nice and kind to others, people will talk about you, and in extreme cases will try to ruin reputation.
- Less dealing the people, less drama. The more you get involved in other people’s lives, the more you’ll get dragged into drama whether it’s in the personal level or work environment. Probably will get awkward after it passes that’s why I don’t ask much about people’s personal lives.
- You’ll seem mysterious and interesting to others. People see you as the loner who barely talks so you’ll have a mysterious aura around you that makes them want to know you more.
- You keep your private life away from those nosy people. I hate when people assume things about me just because I don’t talk about it, I don’t post full pictures of my son on social media and even on this blog because I feel I want to keep these parts private and in the end it’s my personal life not anyone should involve themselves into it.
These are the points I can currently think of regarding being anti-social. I know some people would disagree with my opinions but that’s how we differ but I accept any opinion whether you agree or disagree.
Do you see yourself as a social butterfly or locked up anti-social ?