The Friendship Paradox in Digital Age

Sometimes, not all the people living the life their way right now are actually like what it seems. Take one for example, friendship. If we look at somebody else’s life, especially an introvert who mostly spend his day by being quiet and not have much interaction with other people, compare it with an envy-able extrovert, who has so many connection, and able to build their relationship with so many people, out there in an instant. There is such a huge different.

But like i said before, dont be naive. Maybe it wont be the same as you think it is. I found out that there exist something called The Friendship Paradox (It’s not the paradox as the one explained by Scott L. Feld, btw).

There are people who feel they have fewer friends, even if they have more. Or actually perceived that way. Or maybe there are people who feel so grateful with every friends they have right now, because they keep it small, and keep the bonds even after all their lives. There are also people who are bounded by interest, so they may be even called friends, ‘with benefits’. That’s how my friendship paradox is. I dont know with you but i feel like that. Even though not all our problems are the same. If you ever feel this kind of paradox, that means you are struggling, and i want to congratulate you, you are not alone.

Not all the people able to struggle like that. Keeping up with different environments, and keep being there. Adapt, and then grow. There’s nothing wrong with struggling.

In this kind of age, anything that you are doing on social media easily builds you. When you made people believe that you are sociable, you are. Or you are not, if you do the opposite. I am struggling. I am trying to make friends by being active as much as i could in my college environment, and i met with people who i am convenient with. I think they have the same visions as mine, so it’s nice being with them. I dont think i have that much friends, but i am quiet active in social media. Trying to expose my friends and our activity together. And some of my friends feel that i am really sociable. And honestly i was a bit shocked when they say something like that to me. just because a built perception on social media.

Therefore, in my opinion, society nowadays lacks of Genuine Friendship. Maybe we have our monkey  mind louder than our actions, keeping us quiet beyond the wall. We have trust issue in other people, and having troubles dealing with people who tend to talk more than they listen. I was also like that at first. I was insincere, but i was trying to be the most friendly human being on earth. Lol (but it’s true even if you dont believe it). I thought that friendship is just another form of business, because you need connection, and there they are.

Meeting new people and making new friends are exciting at first. It’s like they have so many things to be unveiled. Even the after effect somehow exhausting.

When we meet new people, it’ll be good if we are friendly at first. In my case, I tried my best to have a conversation, a friendly one, by being such a nice person and listen to their stories. So then people will be comfortable around me, and if i am talking with them. But i didn’t share mine, and i was trying not to.

After meeting a new friend, i tend to make a peer group, like some kind of role in uniting people with the same interest and visions. And so, i have quite much peer group for introverts, who struggle.

That kind of action develop me into someone who is ‘seemingly confident’ person, and ‘seemingly have so many friends’ person, for an introvert, who struggles. People who know me well understand if i am an introvert. But then they start to compare my social life and theirs, and saying that they have fewer friends, and trying to keep their circle simple. How ironic, i thought.

The after effect of knowing people more, having social occassions with different people (i don’t know why i am so eager in maintaining empty relationships with anyone that i know), is really, exhausting. It really is.

One day i realized that i never tried to open up myself to anyone even once. I dont have something you called bestfriend, but i do have so many friends. I tend to save my story for my own self, and trying to figure out things also by myself. I don’t like to rely on anybody. And i dont feel that they need to know me, because i also dont actually want to get close to them. I have peer groups, but i dont feel like i was part of them. I dont particularly close to anyone there, and they also barely know me. It is, ironic. (and sad, actually).

I dont have anybody to talk to. I was troubled by myself, and envious with my friend who seemingly have less circle but their friendship is just genuine. I thought it was gonna work well, like maybe i’ll find some kind of connection between me and them.

That is, the friendship paradox.

After all the insincerity and my realization, i tried to put more effort to be sincere. Changing myself and my perception toward others. I tried to be grateful for anyone around me, and be thankful for their existence in my life. I learned that in friendship, there was something beyond loyalty, it is sincerity. In everything, especially in relationship. I become more genuine, and i respect all of my relationship. I tried to slowly open up myself, and sharing my stories. I must admit i am happy to have someone who is actually listen to my story.

Genuine friendship is different. You dont need to be insincere. If you dont like them then you dont need to stay and trying. Especially if being part of something hurts you even more. Accept yourself just the way it is. Dont force things. If you dont really like to socialize and such so don’t.

In the case of friendship paradox, when more feel less but the good news is, if you choose to have less to feel more it’s definitely better. People tend to keep their circle small. Most of the people, i mean, the introverts. But some people may have lots of circles.

If you feel like you are an outcast, it’s also not a problem if you choose to be away. Be with anyone you are comfortable with. Find someone who will truly listen to you. Not all people have sincerity. and stop perceiving things. It’s no use. Try to look for people who has the same interest and visions as yoursself, so that you won’t feel that lonely.

You could try another way. You can have so many circles but keep it small and legit. If i want to share my story about family and my relationship, i have another circle, that goes the same with college problems and work problems. Youth development problems and love, and everything. Mostly they are different but the topic could collide with another. Whatever it may seems, i suggest that shutting yourself out from this world is not good. I dont recommend that. As an introvert who struggles, then, struggles. Trust me, you will eventually meet the people who have the same vibes as yours!.

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The merit of your super-capable-king-of-anything

When you actually have everything that you need, maybe you will start to feel that you can do anything you want. A super-capable-king-of-anything. Look up! you will find a thousand way to be a cool kid. You will find abundance of information to be anything. Tutorial 101. But then, the question won’t be what else that you need or another thing that you have. Despite all the seem-so-capabilities, what are you right now?. You don’t have any kind of title or had done anything that makes you something. From all the source and capabilities, for all the sweats and knowledge, have you become something?. Except you are willing to be something and prove yourself. You always aim for something high, something great. Since you are already have anything that you need. You have yourself.

But nothing comes off better. You feel that you just stuck. At some point. At the same fuckin point. You proved no worth.

Not going anywhere. Complaining. Why am I still being here? Why can’t I be like them? They don’t have anything like I do why they can be something like that?.

First of all, you expect something out of yourself, with zero effort. And by your own expectation, you are always ungrateful.

When you have done a little achievement, you set your expectation higher. Feeling satisfied over a small thing. But set something beyond your projection. Then you feel disappointed, and blame yourself again.

Without you realizing it, everything that you are doing make you something. There must be something even just a slightest change. it does change you. But you don’t realize it, you are blinded with ambitions.

In my case, everything that i do seems never enough. I have haunted by regrets. For not being able to give my full potentials. For not being able to dare. For lacking determination to do things that I actually wanted. I have resources, financial ability, skills and capability, connections. But I didn’t dare to try. Surrendered to my own restriction. My own walls. I couldn’t let go of any, then i couldn’t make any choice. I could not

But there it it. There’s got to be a way to change this and I believe that. If you wanna change the result, change the way to think about it.

I feel when I was a bashful introvert (even maybe I still am), I didn’t dare to take any chance. Even though I tried several things out but I still played safe. I didn’t voice my opinion. I didn’t dare to. I was skeptical enough to let things be. I didn’t give a damn about everything around me. And there also what was there for myself. It became an auto pilot. Like I didn’t fight for anything actually, even I always tryin to fight for one. That was utterly bullshit.

Change your decision. The result will follow. Anything could happen if you try. But trying for real.

Another thing that will work to raise up your determination is a reminder. Find your supporter if you really cant support yourself mentally. When you are down and feelin helpless, contact them.

Every little brave step that you take you will eventually be braver for another one, trust me.

Realistic Ideality, does it exist?

For some people, ideality creates delusion. They are so persistent about being ideal, having ideal environment, and ideal life. But, they don’t fight for that. They only imagine that it could be real somehow.

When you’re being idealistic, or even a perfectionist, you think you can do anything. But it’s all in your head. You just project it in your head, not in your reality. You think you could do anything, and then you start to expect, from yourself. After that, you start to –the most dangerous thing ever- have some kind of a list, what you need to do to achieve those. Every single of thing.

Those expectations become greed. You want to achieve so much, nevertheless, you need to do so much things. Actually, nobody said you necessarily to do so, but then you make it like some kind of urgency, and take it as your needs.

But then you couldn’t discipline yourself, then you felt overwhelmed. Deep down inside, you barely hangin’ on your own thoughts, “no, i could do this even it’s too much and burdensom”. Even the truth is, you couldn’t, and you don’t need to be the opposite.

That greed creates barrier. Where? In your own head. You limit yourself because of your thinking. Nope, i shouldn’t go out and waste anymore time, i need to do this. But in the end, you’re just exhausted, thinking this has nowhere to go anyway. You want to give up, but then again you challenge yourself. Again and again.

I didn’t mean to undermine your spirit or belief, but, trust me. It won’t end there. (even if you have the state where everything’s resolved, it will again crawl back to you).

Beware of your self greed for achievement, cause the nothingness is tailing you.

Self greed makes you want to attain so much, you want to achieve so much. But you don’t enjoy any of that. Because you make your obsession into a necessity so it changed into a burden.

Realize it. You may have too many purpose or it’s actually no purpose at all.

It’s all because you just count, and you are greedy like the more the better. And then you start to aim aimlessly, without any specific goals, just because the more the better. You counted, for the value of the quantitiy, not the quality.

“I want to be like this”. It’s far much better. Rather than i need to be like this. Therefore i need to do this and that. I need to be cool. I need to be smart, i need to be beautiful. I need to be. Everything.

You’ve done so much. But you’re still feeling empty.

You just have the urge to finish, to cross them across yourlist. While at the beginning, yes, you don’t even need to do that.

You couldn’t be everything. you couldn’t do all the things at once. Do it one in one time, or it’ll haunt you, forever. Or else you’re willing to let go.

Whenever it becomes too much burden for you, and finally you just couldn’t focus on anything, let go.

I dont need to be. I dont need them.

And like the all romantic movie said. “Hey, you can actually stop being necessary. You can have your rest. You’ve done enough, you’ve done your best.”

“now you can be anything that you want. Without having to consider anything what they said. Even what your own expectation says”.

Let’s just be realistic, be something real. It’s not about counting anymore. Not about what will you lose, or what will you attain. Just because you just dont want to sacrifice any. But in the end, if you still insist, you lost. That’s my warning.

Listen to your heart, they said. Like i even question about it that much. Let’s just be real. Be serious.

You need to be real. You just can’t take everything. And you cant always feed up your ego like what you’ve been doing all this time. You need to know that, becoming everything that you want is all the matter of stepping out from your place right now. You just, could not be anything. And not necessarily to be one, i assure you. But you surely can be one thing. A real thing.

 

Your own life your own time

When there’s no passion, there’s no life. A routine, doesn’t it sound so boring?. Repeated action for several times. Maybe then you felt like it’s gonna be like this, unless you change something. There’s nothing new. And then you feel that your life’s nothing. As an introvert who struggles maybe when you watch their lives, those people, you start to feel the nothingness. I don’t know for a real reason that the vacant grows so strong and makes you feel you are so weak. Vulnerabilitiy of the state of mind. I think there are two possible things that makes you feel the nothingness in your life. The vacant. You always try to compare yourself with other’s life or simply just a wrong reason to fight for?.

Comparing is not healthy. For my case, everything has became worst since the existence of instagram story. Like okay we can mute several stories or just being curious about what they are doing. Ig story makes place for showin off. People tell about their lifestyle, habits and their existences. As you do with yours. You are lookin for a meaning and creating a good post basically just for the existence’s sake or maybe just want to share things in your life. In several cases, i keep comparing my story, my friends, and people who i admire most. If you like to observe people behaviour and lives, unconsciously you may envy other’s life. It seems nice to have that kind of life. Unlimited happiness. To be in those kind of circle, be with people who are also have a powerful stories. I really like people who do much in their lives.  I keep striving to be like them, to have the life they have. And once again, it’s not healthy. As an introvert who struggles, maybe you also try to find existence. You keep trying but still onto that point. It makes you want to be somebody else. And again, it’s not healthy. It’s not even healthy mentally, your life’s decision and consciousness will also be influenced. You are then not your own self. And in the end, you feel that you are just nothing.

The point that i try to emphasize here, for we all know, comparing our live, with theirs is totally not healthy for we all know. But it’s quite addicting isn’t? I dont know for you, but i really like life stories. But sometimes like i said it’s not good for me. Maybe because naturally i have that kind of competition feelings. But for other reason that’s push you to the life you desire.

Another case is about finding a wrong reason. People do something for a reason they fight for. Sometimes you heard them saying about every decision has their own reason, and you’ll get what you want. Eventually. But then what reason did you pick?. Yap, for some reason the reason does matter. When i decided my every decision is gonna be all about my CV. I did something not because of anything or because i like it, but CV. And guess what? The result kinda off beat. I do have things for my CV, but i didn’t enjoy anything in the process. I didn’t contribute and learn. And supposedly i made the best out of it, but i didn’t. And i felt like what the heck that i was doing? I didn’t do anything in particular. I do have many things on my CV, but there was vacant, again.

Passion and reason are two different things. You may go for a reason without passion, or you may go for passion without a reason. The latter seems more sincere i guess. There’s no need to justify yourself and anything that you are doing with reason, as long as you like it. There won’t be nothingness in passion. Being grateful and being actually grateful are also different things. Be grateful for anything that you’ve become. Not just in your mouth, but then feel it, feel gratitude towards your own achievement. If you like to compare your life with others, then stop it right here right now. Just simply stop watching them. If you feel like your life’s nothing, remember all the things you did. All the achievements. They made you for who you are right now, whatever they are. You are okay as you are, what you are doing is also more than enough. You’ve done enough, and you don’t need to be like anybody else.

Believe it, we have our own time and our own life. Our own story.

(But if you don’t like something than don’t do it, Okay! Be happy in your own way!)

Are you ready to change?

Have you ever want to change but you feel that you just stay the same?. You were so determined, and ready for whatever your resolutions are. But then you felt nothing. Nothing changed. You wonder and tried to figure out the problem. You found your problem. Maybe it was because of this and that, asking for “why”. After that you ask people for advice. Your friends, family, and everybody who are close to you. You ask your “whys”. Those people then heard you and your problems, offering solutions but, you are still there. Feeling nothing much changed, but maybe you were. Those kind of actions then feel like you just tried to find support of your wrongdoings. 

I always ask my friend about my problem. I said, “i want to be happy. And right now i am not happy.” Then i asked her, Why am i not happy? Why their lives so wonderful? Why am i stilll being like this although i’ve tried to find my happiness several times?. But i am still the same. I always feel that i am not enough, and never be good enough even for myself. I always struggle to find it out. The problem that i have is I do things for the sake of achievement and i am not happy even i actually have a happy life. “You should be grateful”, she said. Well, i didn’t understand what she meant. I always tried to be grateful for everything that god has give me this kind of life. But i am not grateful with my own self. I am not happy. I keep asking the same problem to the people who are my close friends and family. I was envious, all the time. She replied wiith then stop look at other peole’s life. That’s your only key to happiness.

Deep donw inside i know the answer, maybe you do too. But you just could’nt admit such a thing. I am envious with other’s life? No way. But maybe i am. Like you know that all along what you did was wrong, still, you ask. You didn’t even ask the how, you asked for the why. You didnt try to find out your own how. Maybe deep down inside you still enjoy your problem?. Like does asking someone better that acting behalf on it?. And like they said, the people you asked, without you know it they realized that you ask the same question, of all times. And that’s gonna be the same until you decide differently. 

One day, one of my friend who i seek advice gave me a song. 

You can stand on the edge shouting out that you’re ready to change ready to change

You can say what you want

You won’t jump, you’re not ready to change ready to change 

She said “the lyric’s really like you”.

Yes, it’s a Kodaline’s song. About someone who maybe not ready to change. But you want it badly. A change. Without actually know what did you mean at that time.

It was all in your mind.

The feelings after i read the lyrics. Well.. was  i determined?. Maybe she is right. I didn’t change, for most of time, i thought i was change. But then i didn’t. Even though i said i wanted it badly, but i didn’t change anything. Oh, was i not ready for the change, or am i just want to change but not an actual change? A sense of conformity. What was i try to change anyway, what change did i mean anyway. Like, i am still here. And then i said to myself. If i am not really willing (to change), then maybe it’s best not to say anything at all. Like, you don’t need to say that you’re gonna change for your own sake. It’s all for you. If you are not willing then don’t act like you will. It’s hipocrisy and maybe unconsciously your own self knows it. 

I just want to tell everybody who is an introvert and still struggling like me. There’s no necessity in changing. I guess. Even if yourself said you were gonna change for your sake, dont believe it. Instead, try to really heed their advice. Yes, they gave you advice sincerely, even though you didn’t listen to them with sincerity. You just want them to bring you the truth you denied. If they said that you are not happy because of your own thinking then maybe they were right. Try to heed them. Dont do anything the same. Change for real, and not just making a willingness to change, i am currently trying to do that. Their advices were the same to me. But i was still continuing my bad habits. That’s why i am still feeling that nothing’s changed. But you can change, for real, as long as you are more than your willingness to change.

Baby you should go and Love Yourself <3

Not all those who know me actually know me. I always feel
like I am hiding from everyone. I usually maintain an image that, is not me. A
façade. It happens a lot. I need to be something like, I need to be look like,
and behave like, some standards that I created by myself, for myself. I call it
an idealization. Another verse of me, the ideal verse of myself. It becomes so
complex I couldn’t even tell and feel like who is me and who is not me anymore,
and I need to maintain the façade for everyone. Like I said, an idealization of
myself. Maybe it sounds exaggerating, but don’t worry, I assure you, I am still
sane.

Some night I told my sister about this complex. Maybe she is
the only one who knows me well. I put my pride and reputation within this
façade. It becomes myself. Everything I do if I feel that it’s not supposed to
be like this and if I behave this or that way has a potential to be criticized,
I won’t do that. Moreover, I often feel like I need to do something that I
don’t want to because I feel that I need it, sooner or later. I can’t even do
things that I want, because I have something more urgent, which is not urgent
at all. Then my sister told me it’s all in me. she said, “It’s something about
you. You always try to repress yourself. It’s a wrong thing to let the world
know who you are, and thinking that you should fit into a society by become
another one. You don’t like something but then you force yourself to do it. Don’t
you think that you are so hard on yourself?. To put it simply, you just don’t
love yourself.”

Then it struck me hard. Maybe she was right, maybe it’s the
answer that I’ve sought. (have you ever feel like you repeatedly probing at
yourself but still everything doesn’t seem to answer it?). I realized everything
now. She is, I mean you, who is myself, the one who is a form of my own
idealization always be victimized by myself. Cruel isn’t. I don’t like to put
blame on people or my environment about everything that happen to me. I always
blame myself. For my incapabilities, for my inability to meet my own idealization.
I didn’t defend her and always look down on her. I always ask why did I, why
couldn’t I, this and that, trying to look for blame and never ask for how, how
can we change the situation?.

Therefore, starting from now, I am learning to love myself more. As if a romantic movie, rather than saying that I am sorry for everything I did, I will say that I love you, myself. I will stand with you, accept and embrace you with everything that I have. These are the romantic side that I have, haha. I think loving ourselves can begin by give respect, just be whoever you are, accept yourself no matter what people think and society expects. Appreciate the things that we did, look at the achievements and fulfillment that you ever had, and have a strong mental state. Never ever think, speak, and act negatively toward ourselves and believe in our capability.

Always remember to love your god, family and yourself! If not you, then who?

An Existence and Social Media

Recently i’ve taken an interest about social media. My last lecture was also about social media, though in another perspective. Sometimes i think social media defines who you are. Some people maybe use it for self branding, makes it as an advantage for their lives. They use social media to sell themselves, in a creative way. Makes live your own passion. But on the other side, it creates your own existence.

An existence which is a self made existence. Through social media you are trying to perceive an existence. Wether it’s actually who you are, or not. Your likes, your post, your live, will define you. When you don’t post, especially in a long term basis people may think you just simply doesn’t exist  “there”. Maybe you are an introvert, socially awkward or an ignorant?. There’s just unidentifiable existence.

That goes the same with wherever you are. Having the urge to have some kind of post-able picture. You forgot to enjoy the moment, instead, been busy collecting moments. Places that gives you credits. Places to show that you’ve been there, fascinating towns, proving something. Another way is about people’s presence. Again, proving something by “show up to show off”. You show yourself up “there” just to prove an existence, that you are maybe a somebody. It defines your community, what you are doing, and the people you are working with. A social life. Strive for a chance to be featured on a post, expressing that you are exist. Is there really much more meaning for all of that? I wonder. I started to feel that social media creates existence, and it’s exhausting. Should we go on diet? Balance the oversharing habit, and overcurious about other’s life.