I started blogging long before I created Life as a Jane Doe. In fact, even before blogs were blogs, I documented my thoughts on a regular basis on paper. For as long as I can remember, whether it was writing it down in a paper journal, typing it out in an online journal like LiveJournal, or simply talking to a group of “strangers” (all of whom I consider dear friends—shout out to my Mos Def boardie loves!) through an AOL message board, I’ve been using these methods as a means to get my thoughts, worries, hopes, disappointments, frustrations, dreams, and desires out of my head.
Unfortunately, with the rise of new sites like Facebook and Twitter, sometimes people misinterpret my innocent thoughts. They actually think I post certain things in an effort to start a personal vendetta with someone. In reality, the only intention I have is to express my frustrations in the same manner I’ve always expressed them.
We live in a selfish world, my friends. We live in a world where people are incredibly vain and assume everything is about them. I admit I have been guilty of thinking the same way from time to time. BUT… when I start to wonder if something is aimed at me, I always try to remember that maybe it’s not. Maybe this person's life doesn't revolve around little 'ole JJ and maybe they’re simply airing their thoughts and frustrations in the same manner I do.
I did my senior applied psych research study on the ways social networking affects personal relationships. My hypothesis was that people who spent a large amount of time on social networking sites would report having a higher number of problems in their personal lives compared to those who don’t spend a lot of time on them. I surveyed 100+ anonymous people on surveymonkey.com and the results were astonishing. They answered questions about the number of social networking sites they use on a regular basis, how much time they spend on social networking sites on a daily and weekly basis, and they indicated whether different scenarios had occurred directly because of the use of these sites. There was a very high correlation between the amount of time spent on these sites and the number of reported problems in their personal lives, confirming my hypothesis.* There were a large number of people who admitted they not only post things on their page but also post things elsewhere with the sole intent to create jealousy. Nearly 25% of the people I surveyed stated they had ended a relationship with a significant other or close friend over something related to a social networking site. That’s just ridiculous.
I miss the days when I could write about whatever I wanted to write about without the fear of someone reading too much into it (or anyone that I personally knew reading it at all!) Sometimes I just blog or tweet or whatever… simply to express how I’m feeling. They are my thoughts… free of insinuation. There is obviously no way to go back to the “good old days” when I didn’t need to worry about things such as this. I know I can always change my privacy settings and make my blog and tweets private, but the thought of needing to do that just pisses me off more. Why should I keep MY thoughts private because self absorbed individuals may mistake my words for something they’re not? That should be their problem, right? Right.
Anyway—all of this rambling was typed into this blog post to put my thoughts out there… just like always. Please don’t become the person this entire post is against by thinking I wrote this post with the intent to upset anyone. I’m not writing this about YOU. I’m writing this about ME. And with the hopes that if you are reading this, you’ll think twice before you assume this blog is about you.
*Side note about my psych research study--
Please keep in my mind that the sample size of my study was limited to a small number of subjects, it’s impossible to scientifically measure the number of personal problems in one’s life because it’s relative to the individual, and there is no way to ensure the subjects were 100% honest—even with an anonymous survey. There were few similar studies done prior to mine, and therefore, there's very few articles to research or validate my findings. You can read my entire article here.