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home : columns : dear harriette May 11, 2021

4/21/2021 8:03:00 AM
Burnt-out reader tired of social media

DEAR HARRIETTE: Lately, I've been getting incredibly tired of social media. I see the same posts over and over again and the same people over and over again. I would like to remove myself from my social platform, but I'm also afraid that I'll be missing out. I've been feeling unhappy with the posts of social unrest and people's political views, and it's wearing me out. My question is, how do I maintain my relationships with people on social media while protecting my mental state at the same time? -- Social Distancing

DEAR SOCIAL DISTANCING: Balance is key in life, especially when we're talking about social media consumption. You are having classic symptoms of what many are experiencing -- social media fatigue. Guess what? It's perfectly OK, even healthy, to step away from your social media entirely for a while. You can choose for how long. Recognizing that you are in control of your life is a powerful discovery, and it includes the awareness that if you miss out on some posts or even some activities as people slowly begin to start seeing each other again, so be it. It's not the end of the world. Really!

To figure out the way forward on engaging people on social media, evaluate your network and who really matters to you. Choose to interact with them. Decide whether you want to talk to them beyond social media channels. Is anyone truly your friend? Figure out who matters and why, and from there, determine how closely you want to interact and with what frequency. Less can be more.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend forgot my birthday. We are in a long-distance relationship, so I understand that it could be a little bit more difficult to keep track of holidays, birthdays, etc.; however, I reminded him several times. I am very big on birthdays. When it was my boyfriend's birthday in July, I went all out for him. When my birthday came around, I got a text from everyone but him. He didn't call me, he didn't text me and he didn't make a Facebook post about me. I love him dearly, and I know for a fact that he forgot. I don't know if I can deal with someone this inconsiderate anymore. He should've had my birthday written down in his calendar. I feel that I deserve more effort. He also forgot Valentine's Day, but I let that slide. Do I continue dating this man who is otherwise very sweet and faithful? I'm embarrassed by the fact that his effort doesn't match mine. I can't keep making excuses for him anymore. -- Pay Attention

DEAR PAY ATTENTION: I think birthdays are a big deal. It's understandable that your boyfriend forgetting yours hurt your feelings. Talk to him about it. Ask him why he didn't make your big day a priority. It's only a dealbreaker if it points to him not being attentive to you more broadly. If he is otherwise on point, you will have to teach him that he needs to pay attention to your birthday -- and anything else that he misses -- if he wants you to be happy.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.





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