…My husband and I were talking about my feelings that I expressed this weekend on my blog. And we realized (as we have before) that a lot of the problems that evolved on Instagram stemmed from the way we are all limited by our own perspective. Sure, people were jealous. Sure, I got sick of it and eventually lashed-out in my own way… *rolling eyes* But…we think the element most responsible for all the mess was indeed ignorance. Not, just the sort that comes from a lack of quality education but ignorance stemming from the weird 21st Century crisis of extreme over and under exposure to objective truth (or even the acceptance of its innate existence).
Community doesn’t exist the way it used to. That’s a very well-documented and discussed fact. People aren’t as grounded by the push and pull of their own worlds as they used to be and, they also are more lonely. People are under-exposed to real, boring, genuinely scary, wonderful and tragic…objective reality.
Still, at the same time, we meet people we’d never have met otherwise online. In real life you can examine who people are so much better. We’re social creatures and we’ve evolved genius ways to figure out objective truths about each other in person. We can still make mistakes in person but it’s much less likely there than online with the fuzzy or fake portraits we’re presented. Also, you learn to deal with rejection in person in a myriad of ways as you grow-up if you’re a healthy person, so if you meet someone who you can tell doesn’t find you as funny or charming as you believe you are, you can deal with it. You develop coping mechanisms. Online, you can’t even figure out what objective reality is well enough to figure out which coping mechanism to employ. But, as social creatures, we have to try to manage it all and do so for people who not only are obscured by the internet haze but for at least some people who are types we likely haven’t had a lot of experience dealing with.
First, I think, most (not all) of the people I was having issues with came from socio-economic backgrounds that I’ve honestly had little experience with. And I think most (not all) of them never really moved beyond that background very much, if at all. …I grew up in a very nice (and genuinely sophisticated) family in very nice (read affluent and educated) areas in a nice state in the US. I had an excellent education. I’m white and a cis female. And, I’m now at least upper-middle class. And, someday, before I’m 40 I’ll technically join the upper-class according to the Pew Research Center.
I have to spell these things out… And, I’ll continue.
…I didn’t grow up in anything like real poverty. My parents had to be careful with their money but we weren’t poor.
I never lived in a trailer park or even near one. I never lived on a poor farm or in an impoverished rural area. I never lived in a poor or working class southern region in the US (a lot of the south in the US is like that, unfortunately). I lived in a hood (very bad neighborhood) for six months once to help someone in need, but other than that I’ve never lived in a “hood”. And I’ve never lived anywhere but in a “first world country”. Honestly…I’m clueless as to the type of insecurities that could develop if I’d experienced something otherwise.
I get bourgeois arrogance. The middle class, I pretty much understand… And I intimately understand those in between the middle and upper class. …And the lower parts of the upper… I grew up around those people. And, again, not people who pretend to be like me or the people I’m describing. Those. Actual. People. And…those are the people I have subconsciously in my head as a reference.
I do not understand (NOT saying that this is a good thing)…how someone could go into serious debt to buy an expensive car (for a general rule of thumb anything over $35,000.00) when they can’t buy a house. And when I say I don’t understand I mean that literally. I don’t get the emotional (or any other) process that makes that seem like a good choice to make. But I’ve met plenty of people from a background that’s of a lower class who do that very thing and seem to think it’s fine.
Or, ironically, I don’t understand what it’s like to be the most well-off family in your neighborhood…
I really don’t. *smiling* Even though I grew-up around money and was raised in the family I was raised in and married and dated who I did I never was with or was “top dog” of any community financially (except my husband’s friends when we first met did see him as their leader).
I’ve always looked up. And I’m comfortable with that. I like that. It seems scary or somewhat undesirable to me to think of being at the top of the hill, even. I’d do it if I had to for a good reason, but it’s kind of nice to feel…surrounded by people who have more than you do when you’re doing ok too. It feels quiet and yet pleasant. It’s actually really underrated.
I have a sneaking suspicion that some or most of the people I’ve ever had trouble with…are used to being at the top of whatever community they are in. At least in some way. And so, they got jealous and just went for it… Because that’s what they know? It’s like, “Yeah, I’m the best! And if I ever meet someone who threatens that self-perception I ‘take them down’.” ?
I mean, in my world, you could ignore the fact that you don’t own and maintain a private jet for personal use (I do actually have a cousin who owns a plane, but it’s from WWII) and truly couldn’t afford one by telling yourself that…I dunno….you’d never use it? That it’s bad for the environment? That it seems too insensitive to the plight of the working-class and/or poor? And that’s all true for those who may accidentally (or more callously) abuse such a privilege, sadly. You could find ways to make someone who does own a private plane seem less “classy” in your own mind if you really wanted. And then, I dunno, you’d be able to start imagining yourself as almost their equal financially if you could buy just enough of the stuff they have (in your understanding) to sort of get a taste of their lifestyle. Then, when you try to greet your desired rival at the regatta like a socio-economic equal (or the secretly deeper, cooler, more environmentally aware individual you have come to fervently believe you are), embarrassing yourself, and they are nice but find you odd and basically snub you…you pout and tell yourself (and everyone else) that they’re obscenely backward. I mean, that must be it! Right?! You convince yourself that if they don’t recognize your bounty and find it threatening (what you want it to be) that they must be inferior in some way financially after all. You’re always going to be the best anywhere and everywhere. So, they just must be wrong somehow. I mean, who knew they were lying this whole time and actually as jealous as you had hoped for (eventually when you conquered them)? Right?! Yay!! *ironic and yet triumphant sigh*
Why? Why that farce?
Because you’re the “cool girl” in Minneapolis society comparing yourself to the Duchess of Cambridge. You have a 4 million (US Dollars) estate on Lake Minnetonka. A 3 million apartment in Paris that really means a lot to you for status reasons… A $500,000.00 cabin Minnesota’s Northwoods and a summer home in Florida. (Not me I’m describing but within view in my world) …You’re wealthy. And you likely are a very big deal where you come from, but…you’re not that wealthy or powerful. It’s absurd. But…again…you’re used to being the best in your world.
“Oh my gosh!” you yell insanely at the Duchess of Cambridge from a crowd as she passes by. “We’re a lot alike! I love you!” Or, if you’re truly dense or unhinged enough, “Oh my gosh!” you yell (absurdly) at the Pope in his Popemobile. “I walked past an old abandoned Catholic church once and thought it looked kind of pretty. People thought my observations about it were deep. We are probably soo much alike on a spiritual level. I mean, I might even be closer to God than you?” Or the people who critique truly famous people like, “Ugh. Ivanka Trump is so basic with her straight blond hair and constant, huge smile. I mean, so Barbie.” That said by someone who wore Uggs for years and only stopped wearing them last spring…and who is trying to “take down” (Really? From your Twitter?) a lady who for better or worse has some of the top security clearances in the world. BUT, they did own UGGS when they were actually cool (they just wore them for far too long).