So, tonight I was watching the awesome “Master of None” – comedian Aziz Ansari’s new show, and I decided I wanted to post about it on Facebook. But I kept second guessing myself. I thought: Is anyone really interested? Does anyone even read my posts? Am I yelling into a vortex that this is how I spend my Friday nights, Netflix and pizza? And will anyone “like” this post?
The last two things I posted on Facebook got exactly ZERO likes. For having 762 “friends,” that was surprising. I rarely get zero likes. For some reason, that really bothered me. I wondered why no one was liking my posts. They weren’t terrible; it’s not like I was posting pro-Donald Trump messages or advocating for the NRA. One of my posts was a link to an article on friendship, and another was a quote from one of my favorite movies. When no one liked them, I felt invisible. I’ve always told myself, “Who gives a shit about Facebook?” and pretended like I was holier than thou, but then, I found out that clearly I care.
The thought of having these “zero” likes would float to my head every once in awhile this past week. I wondered why the quote I posted didn’t resonate with anyone. Or why no one could relate to the article I posted about friendship in adulthood.
But then. Tonight, as I posted my Aziz Ansari TV show plug, Facebook asked me if I wanted to keep my privacy settings for posting as “Only Me.” I sat there, looking at my computer screen, feeling like a dummy. Because I had inadvertently made my last posts completely private, so that only I could see them.
As I sat there, I realized just how much I let Facebook affect my self-esteem. The whole time, I thought the “world” was ignoring me. And yet, it was my administrative mess-up.
So for awhile, without me realizing it, my only audience was myself. But as corny as it may sound, there’s something kind of beautiful about that.In the same way when you feel most isolated (after a break-up or a friendship ending), you learn to dive a little deeper into your own reserves and find you’re stronger than you think. You become your own rock, not because you want to, but because you’re forced to.
What did I learn from all this? That at the end of the day, we are our own most important audience.
Let’s impress ourselves.