Everyone can be discontented if he ignores his blessings and looks only at his burdens. ~Thomas S. Monson
Question #92623 posted on 09/26/2019 7:48 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have a few friends who I consider myself close to, but over the last few months, they seem to no longer interact with *any* of my social media posts, and it makes me feel very unseen by them. (We live all around the country and so we don't interact in-person very often.) Is it reasonable for me to ask them (one-on-one) if they see my posts? and to let them know how I feel when they consistently never interact with my content anymore? When social media interaction is one of the very few ways we still keep in touch with each other, I feel very isolated from them, especially if it's a post about a serious life update or change.

-My Name Here

A:

Dear you, 

It may be that they are just decreasing the amount of time and effort they put into their social media accounts. I know that happens sometimes and so it may be that they would interact with your post if they were on social media.

I agree with Alta that more personal communication (i.e. phone calls, texts, direct social media messages, etc.) might help you maintain these relationships that you cherish. It may also make them feel like you are investing more of your time and attention in them and that might help them to reciprocate.

It's tough to have friends and family so far away, but I think it is worth the effort to maintain those relationships.

Good luck!

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear MNH,

I have a lot of friends who are now pretty far-flung from me, living around the country, so I know what you mean about social media being an important way to interact. However, if one of them were to confront me and tell me to react more to their posts I would feel a little attacked, because there are a lot of reasons people might not be interacting with your posts as much. Maybe they're trying to cut back on social media so they can spend more time doing other things, so they're not seeing your posts. Maybe the algorithms of whatever platform you're both on are making it harder for them to see your content for whatever reason. Maybe they saw your post when they were mindlessly scrolling through social media as they were falling asleep, and they didn't like it right then and there because they were exhausted, and then forgot to go back and comment on it. Maybe they feel like if it's a serious enough update, you should tell them in a more personalized way than just hoping they see your posts. Maybe they think if they comment you won't see it anyway, so what's the point? Maybe they're secretly jealous of your life and some of the stuff you have going on, and not in the right headspace to comment. Maybe they're crazy busy and don't have the energy to do anything other than flop down on the couch when they get home so they're not on social media as much. All of those are things I've experienced before, but not necessarily something I would want to tell someone else about, especially if out of the blue they sent me a message demanding to know why I'm not liking their posts anymore.

Instead, I would recommend trying to reach out to your friends in a more positive way. Rather than confronting them about not reacting to your social media posts, just send them a text to see how they're doing and get a conversation started. That way you'll have other ways of keeping in touch with your friends than just relying on social media. You could also send a group message to some close friends saying something along the lines of you needing some extra love and support right now, so any kind words or positive vibes they send your way would be appreciated.

A lot of my friends live in different states, and even the friends who do live in Utah all live in different cities from me, so I can definitely empathize with sometimes feeling a little cut-off from the people you love. I live in Utah, and two of my best friends live in Washington DC and Texas. (And yes, sometimes I think it's sad that I haven't just made a new best friend where I live right now, but such is not the case, unfortunately.) The amount I interact with my friends on social media definitely ebbs and flows, and there have been times when we don't have much contact, but what brings us back into close contact again is when one of us reaches out even just to say, "Hey, can I call you this week?" Rather than chiding the other one for not doing more before that, we're just happy when we do have contact, and those happy feelings make us want to keep having more interactions, so reaching out creates a positive upwards cycle of love and support. That's what I would suggest doing with your friends. Reach out to them to just catch up, and while you're talking you could mention feeling lonely and disconnected lately, but don't put all the blame for that on them. Be vulnerable about your feelings, not confrontational.

Maintaining friendships can be hard work when you all live far away from each other, and I truly feel for you. Good luck trying to reignite some of your old friendships.

-Alta

A:

Dear you,

I can understand where you're coming from. However, I think it's important in situations like this to take a step outside of yourself.

Your friends don't necessarily value interactions on social media. Most likely, they do not perceive it as a great way to maintain closeness with you, and so don't try overly hard to interact with your posts. 

I would suggest calling your friends up to simply catch up on life rather than to ask them to like more of your posts. In the long run, I think that will help you maintain a better, more meaningful relationship with them.

~Anathema