A long time ago, two of my breakups happened on MySpace. One way or another, I came across clear evidence that the people I was dating were already seeing someone else without me knowing first.
It creates such a horrible, gnawing feeling that really punches you in the sternum and turns your heart to jelly.
Since then, it’s all been about the same. One way or another, some social media sites have made it hard for me to have a relationship that isn’t somehow tainted by what you can find out online.
With my last boyfriend, it was finding his dating profile while using his computer to do my homework. He was out of town when it happened and I had to sit with this news for several days before we could talk about it. And as it is likely to happen with people you are close to, you’ll find passwords written on forgotten slips of paper, and worse is when you live with your boyfriend and it’s his email password.
Naturally, I went looking for trouble and found it. If ever I needed to know that someone was cheating on me, it was after reading romantic emails written for other women. I moved out as soon as I could.
At times I consider just blinding myself to any outlet that would cause me to think negatively of someone I care about. Even if it means not finding out until much later that something isn’t right, it doesn’t completely matter because one way or another, the truth emerges. Someone either loves you and honors you or they will just not be faithful and that will manifest itself somehow and you have to acknowledge your gut response when it tells you something is wrong for you.
The one site that has really gotten under my skin is Twitter. It usually takes a lot to spook me, such as watching Ghost Adventures by myself in my room with the lights off and hearing those EVPs while my boyfriend Zak Bagans freaks out. What I’m saying is that if I want to be scared, I’ll go to horror movies or shows on the supernatural because I can choose to believe or not and either way, it was all for entertainment. But sometimes, real life gets really scary and brings some things into your life that you just can’t control.
My biggest mistake was letting Twitter affect my feelings for someone I really cared about. I started to feel like the site itself merited more attention from this person than I did and I heavily questioned my looks, my personality and overall appeal. I thought, If I’m an attractive and fun young woman, shouldn’t I be getting more attention? Why is this site getting more of it than I am? What’s wrong with me? Maybe I am a terrible woman!
Everything that I shouldn’t have felt about myself flooded me anyway.
I totally forgot to remind myself that the world isn’t limited to just my view. As much as I wanted this person in my life, I was too concerned with that insecurity and it made me forget to enjoy so many other things like cultivating friendships, being a pleasant and fun person and having a vibrant spirit.
I had been asleep for a few hours, feeling worn down from cough medicine and woke up to check all the different notifications on my phone. The last one was Twitter and after reading a tweet that made me feel sort of desolate, I unfollowed this person. It seemed like the right thing to do, for my own sake, and I rolled back into fetal position to force myself back into sleep.
I was at work when I read and email that asked why I unfollowed and I couldn’t find the guts to say, “I want you to give that attention to me! I want you! I think you’re amazing! Let’s frickin’ do this!” Instead, I held back tears and pretended I had an allergy so my coworkers wouldn’t notice I was being a spazz. I talked myself into admitting how much I liked him, how much it hurt me to not have his attention and what a crappy friend I would be if I pretended he didn’t matter to me that much.
I got jealous of Twitter? Seriously?
So if it has come to that, then the problem isn’t the site itself. Social media isn’t to blame. As always, it’s the users. We have the responsibility when it comes to how we read tweets, whether we take offense to updates and controlling our reactions as much as possible.
It’s ridiculous that I would turn my back on a great person, but I did because I was afraid of my own insecurities. We could have remained friends and could have continued talking, joking and whatever else comes with not being lame. Instead, I’m home this weekend dealing with the repercussions of misconstrued tweets and rearranging my thoughts toward something better.
The information that is available to us amazes me. We can know who someone is with and where and we can choose how we feel when we learn that information. We can also choose to not log on, not seek out this information, curl up in bed with a book or instead, leave home to have dinner with someone we care about and really nourish the connections we can only ever really create face to face. And I’ve learned my lesson about letting a website make me doubt my worth as a woman and I won’t make this mistake again.
Featured Image via Deviant Art