BS on social media

Bad advice

With depression, a major point on my agenda is procrastination. I can either spend hours sitting on my phone, looking at memes which I don’t even remember two seconds later, or I watch tons of videos on YouTube. While doing the latter, I recently came across a video with the clickbaity title “10 Things You Should Keep Private | NEVER Share These Things”. And since I’m constantly worrying about how people, especially guys, view me, I of course had to watch it.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe something that would reveal extreme negativity or would make the other person feel insecure. But instead, the list was as follows:

I think the only item I can get on board with is number 9. That indeed is non-negotiable. Although, I’m not sure if I’d keep a secret if friend A told me they were planning to kill friend B. Or if they were cheating. Or anything like that. I would most definitely tell friend B. I guess it’s a question of where your moral compass is pointing in some cases.

  • 1. Intimate details of your relationships, especially with your partner (sex details, shows respect for privacy)
  • 2. Income and financial situation (income/bank account status; create negative intentions)
  • 3. Future goals (sharing your goals without starting can allow others to taint your vision) move in silence until you succeed
  • 4. Arguments and fights (keep any disagreements between the parties involved) Give respect and wish that person well.
  • 5. Family problems (no one is perfect, and we all have flaws, but there’s no need to tell others about these issues)
  • 6. Medical condition (do share medical issues unless it’s family or your doctor.
  • 7. Acts of kindness (don’t help others to get something in return)
  • 8. Therapy sessions (don’t share the details of your therapy session; it should only be said in your sessions)
  • 9. Secrets about others (private conversation you have with others. They trust you with this information, so keep it secretive)
  • 10. Mistakes and regrets (they don’t define us; they’re a part of are past and not the present. You learned from it and moved on. Constantly talking about it can damage your image. Don’t share was went wrong in your past relationships; you have moved on from it.

This list has really left me wondering what people are supposed to talk about with their friends. I mean, what topics does it leave you with, besides the weather? But before I’ll get into each item, I think it’s important to mention that the channel featuring the video should supposedly enhance femininity and self-improvement. The hashtags used in the video description are #privacy, #femininity, #elegance.

I thought that there’d maybe be a disclaimer saying that the video is meant to guide you through conversations with people you newly met, but no. It specifically says to “never share with others”, no matter what your relation to them is.

Maybe I’m expecting too much, but my understanding is that videos are nowadays made for women should empower women, and therefore also be feminist. And just for the record, I don’t see a conflict between being very feminine and elegant and being a feminist. (I actually have no idea why that has ever been called into question by some people.) So now that I have mentioned that, let’s dive in.

Let’s start with
1Intimate details of your relationships
I don’t know what other people’s relationships are like with their friends, but my friends and I are pretty open about everything. Picture us talking like in Sex and the City. I’ve openly talked about role play, anal, literally anything about my friends. And of course, my friends are always there if I need some advice when it comes to dating and relationships. And, of course, vice versa. However, we still manage to always keep it classy, and we never share details that are too intimate or would expose someone’s partner in any way. In addition to that, sexual liberation and self-determination are only possible in an environment that allows people to talk about their experiences. What I find problematic about statement number 1 is that it pretty much prohibits that exchange. But how should people learn what’s normal or not? How would they become aware of abusive behavior when, because of a lack of talking, they don’t have any comparison to what other people are experiencing? Not talking only benefits predators and any kind of unwanted behavior. The #MeeToo and #Time’sUp movements proved that. Telling people to shut up doesn’t do any good to anyone. There’s a reason why Salt-N-Pepa made a song encouraging people to talk about sex. Geniuses.

2Income and financial situation
Wait what now? I should add that the video was indeed made in 2021. Exactly, after we’ve finally all become aware of the pay gap and the fact that women and minorities have a much harder time getting promotions or equal pay as their white male colleagues. According to the video, talks about money should be avoided because they can “create an uncomfortable work environment”. But guess what’s even more uncomfortable? Having trouble making ends meet because your fucking boss is discriminating against you through your monthly salary.

3 – Future goals
Okay, I can respect that to some point. Personally, I have this fear that I jinx something when I talk about potential possibilities or future endeavors with others. But at the same time, sharing your ambitions with others can have huge benefits. I’ve had multiple occasions where my friends or even just acquaintances helped me get a job. Or had ideas that could help me with my plans. Also, talking about your projects can help you stay motivated. As for having your vision tainted: I don’t think that this will happen when you believe in yourself. I don’t see how someone else’s opinion could have you throw everything overboard just because they might have a different opinion. Besides, getting someone else’s point of view can only be beneficial and add to your perspective. Or they can provide constructive criticism. All that will only be helpful on the way. And with any advice or criticism, you’ll always have the choice to take it or leave it.

4 – Arguments and fights
This is pretty much the same as with relationships. I probably tend to overanalyze every interaction I have with people, but when fighting with someone, I’ve found it really helpful in the past to have my friends tell me what they think of it. Because sometimes, I wonder if I’m overreacting, or if my emotional response is justified. Having someone I trust to point out if I was out of line or simply being gaslighted has really helped me to deal with conflicts and to trust my gut. And btw, you can of course be respectful while talking about a fight you had with someone. These are not mutually exclusive.

5 – Family problems
Again, same as with relationships, so I won’t dive too deep into this. Why is this even on the list? As far as I know, everyone has a somewhat messy family. The only thing besides talking about it with a therapist is talking about it with your friends. More often than not, people will be able to relate. It even seems to me as if most families all have the same issues. So why not ask someone you’re close to how they would handle a certain situation?

6 – Medical condition
Sure, never tell anyone if you’re suffering from any kind of condition or disease. Just keep it to yourself, let it fester and eat you up, and convince yourself you’re a burden to everyone around you. Make sure to keep everything secret from loved ones to really enjoy a much harder time throughout your struggle. It’s not like it’s been proven that having a great support system ups your chances of a successful recovery. Instead, experience the wonderful void when falling into that deep depression that will inevitably come when you feel like you have to face everything on your own. Because how could anyone help if they’re not a doctor? Fuck balloons or Get-well-cards. Or if (God forbid) you have any severe issues, just die surprisingly, because who doesn’t love a shocking turn of events.

7 – Acts of kindness
In elementary school, we had the Christmas tradition of preparing a shoebox with nice and useful gifts for underprivileged children. We put in toys, some non-perishable snacks, crayons, and other little goodies. I always loved doing that, and I hope these boxes made some kids’ Christmas a little more memorable.
I don’t know why I didn’t keep going with this tradition after elementary school, but last year, I picked it back up, making boxes for homeless people. During this time, I of course talked to my friends about it, and I asked if they wanted to contribute as well. Two did, and we ended up having more than just one box. So again, I don’t get why you would want to keep acts of kindness to yourself unless maybe you’re being boastful and the only goal is to point out what a great person you are. But in any other situation, talking about a good deed can inspire others to do the same and eventually make the world a tiny little bit better.

8 – Therapy sessions
I’m starting to wonder if this list is just really nonsensical, or if I just don’t have any boundaries. Which wouldn’t be surprising, given that all I do in this blog is to write about very personal stuff. Anyway, I talk about my therapy sessions all the time. Sometimes, I use the things my therapist says to me when I try to give advice to a friend. And other times, I talk about how I agree or disagree with my therapist. Doing so has actually helped me to figure out that my last therapist wasn’t helping me at all. Ranting about her to my friends every week was definitely useful to realize that she wasn’t the right fit for me, and they supported me when I decided to end sessions with her.

9 – Secrets about others
As I said in the beginning, this is the only one I fully agree with. Moving on.

10 – Mistakes and regrets
Jesus Christ, why is everyone obsessed with seeming infallible to others? What’s so bad about mistakes and regrets that you could never ever talk about them? I definitely don’t agree with sharing what has not worked in the past will damage your image. In my opinion, it’s the contrary. When you can explain why something has turned out to be an unsuccessful experience, what part you had in it and what you’ve learned from it, that’s a sign of strength. Maybe you shouldn’t lead a convo with listing all the things that went wrong in your past, but when someone asks you about a specific situation, why not? It can be helpful to the person who’s asking, and even for you when you see if you’re still triggered by it or not. It also shows that you have character and that can be vulnerable, which is also proof of a strong personality. Talking about failures also makes you relatable and can help you connect with others. For what other reason would people enjoy sharing stories of when they got totally shitfaced at the bar? If you’re in the position of mentoring someone, showing that nobody’s perfect can help your mentee to put too much pressure on themselves and gain trust in their own abilities.

Verdict
While giving my two cents about all the things one should keep quiet about, I was constantly thinking, “Who hurt you?”. Honestly, to me, this list reeks of insecurity and the fear of being betrayed, which is a shame, and I wish the person coming up with this was able to put more trust into others. What I find highly problematic is the underlying, internalized misogyny. Even though what I wrote to each item applies to both sexes, the video is clearly made for women as a targeted audience. This is made very clear in the video and also in its description and hashtags. So if you look at each item again, you will notice that women are basically told (by another woman) to shut up and never talk about their experiences and struggles. I guess anything else is considered unladylike and inelegant? Why does this video discourage women from talking about their sexuality, how much they’re earning, or future goals? What’s not feminine about that, and why should these topics be excluded from a conversation? To me, that sounds a lot like “Keep a woman in her place” and putting them at a disadvantage by discouraging transparency.
Besides, I don’t care if it’s classy or elegant or not, I have the best time talking with my friends about dick and everything considered inappropriate. And I largely prefer having a fun conversation over a politically correct one.

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