It’s 8:00 am on a cold winter Sunday morning and you’ve decided to stay in bed a little extra longer than usual.
The kids are older so you really don’t have to get up right away to tend to them.
You don’t have to work until Monday and some of your daily responsibilities can be put off until later.
But all of a sudden, the phone rings and awakens you and your spouse.
Who calls anyone on a Sunday morning before 10? I mean, is that even still a thing?
I think it is and it’s a little word called boundaries.
As a society, I’m not sure we comply to boundaries anymore. The dinner hour used to be between 6 and 7, but yet I still receive so many calls during that time. I remember growing up, nobody called then – you just sort of knew that’s when people were eating dinner. Call me old fashioned but I still follow these societal norms.
But then again, maybe I’m the dinosaur in this deal …
Social boundaries are established rules that are considered typical because most people in society agree that there are reasonable ways to live. (For instance, in most countries it’s considered rude to burp in front of others.)
There’s also a big difference between social boundaries and personal boundaries.
Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them – and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.
But in today’s new tech world, teaching what’s acceptable and what’s not has flown the coop. People say and do whatever they want behind their mobile device with the same confidence as the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain.
Today’s world is now a brewing ground for inappropriate behavior because it appears that we’ve lost all empathy and limits the day we learned how to press “like,” “comment” and “send.”
We suddenly became a society that is free to express anything we desire with the push of a button.
After all, we are all influencers and our opinions hold weight.
This new entitled world has blurred all boundaries and pretty much said “ba and bye” to all societal norms.
After all, it’s well documented that we have become the most self-absorbed, narcissistic society that has ever lived. Today’s world is all about me, me and – most importantly –me.
Did I mention me?
Selfies, oversharing and posting from a room in the dark so that social media followers can “like” a self-created “image” is just plain scary.
Making new friends on the internet who are not your real friends is the result of seeing other people as if they are items in a vending machine used to service your own needs.
If your friend has a friend on social media, that now makes them your friend, right?
In today’s world, yes.
In reality, no.
Today’s world of followers has nothing to do with real friendship. It has to do with numbers and a variety of other reasons related to one’s ego and self-esteem.
Everyone these days wants to be connected with someone they believe has value. It really doesn’t matter whether that connection hurts anyone else.
Loyalty and respect have proven to be one of social media’s truest victims.
Real-life disappointments and betrayals somehow don’t translate online, leaving people wondering who their real friends are.
Every day I have clients tell me how hurt they are when they see selective friendships take place on social media. They can’t help but wonder why it’s suddenly okay for (supposed) friends to “like” pictures of people who have truly hurt them.
One client tells me weekly that her mother continues to like her ex-husband’s photos on Facebook and that when she sees it, it really upsets her. On the other hand, her mother (who I personally know) thinks she’s being supportive to the “father of her grandchildren” and wants to keep a neutral position.
According to a professional with whom I spoke, to the world this actually shows a lack of loyalty to her own flesh and blood. While being supportive on social media is a wonderful thing, being supportive to one person can also mean being disloyal to another, so we need to weigh our “likes” a bit more carefully. “Liking” or commenting on a picture of someone who has been disloyal to someone we love is today’s modern form of betrayal.
Go figure …
What’s even worse is that the more we become social media narcissists, the less boundaries we have and the more blurred our societal norms become.
While it is certain that online forms of communication and social networks actually affect our mental health, the real solution is to foster those “offline” – AKA real life –connections in a healthier way.
Only by placing more value on personal relating can we impact true personal connection.
In other words, think before you press.
Until next time,
Born and raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Karin has a BA in sociology, with a minor in psychology earning honors at Michigan State University. Along with certification in relationship coaching, Karin is an international blogger and past columnist. She is currently accepting clients and advertisers and can be reached @firstname.lastname@example.org.