Happy (Social) Independence Day
We live in a world of Facebook ‘likes’, Instagram ‘hearts’ and Twitters ‘re-tweets’.
Which had me thinking … how socially independent are we?
On the 21st of March 1990, Namibia got its independence. This Thursday the Nation turns 29 years old.
Thank God that at 29, I learned to embrace my individuality. At 29, I had a sense of self and a freedom devoid of the need for validation or the use of other people’s whims and biases as a foundation for making decisions on how to live my life.
I have been off social media for four months now. Purposefully so. I must say, being off social media has been a breath of fresh air.
I don’t feel bad about only receiving 20 likes on a picture I expected 50+ likes from. I don’t feel disappointed when no one re-tweets a comment I thought was both thought-provoking, quirky and funny. A comment, I might add, that took me an hour of overthinking, even though I wanted it to come off as effortless wit. I can’t and haven’t felt any of that anxiety because I haven’t been posting anything. BTdubs, I have so much free time on my hands.
This is a temporary hiatus of-course. Yet this hiatus made me realise that when it comes to social media, I am socially dependant.
Scott H Young in his article The Value Of Independence said:
“ Socially dependent means you are emotionally dependent on the opinions of the people around you. You care what other people think of you … Someone who is socially dependent can never be authentic. Instead they must constantly ask themselves whether what they are doing is popular or fashionable.”
By this definition, I have clearly reverted back to the need for approval and validation.
This independence day is teaching me the importance of social independence.
Independence doesn’t mean you never need other people. Independence is having a crew, but being the captain of your life.
Independence is a requirement for leading your own life. How can you make decisions if every action you take has to be filtered through other people first?
Without independence, you can’t be the captain of your life. You must be satisfied scrubbing the decks while someone else sets the direction you’re to follow.
They’re people who care more about being liked (pun intended) than being themselves. I hope you’re not one of those people.
Happy Social Independence!!!