How do you know if someone needs real life help when you only ever see them online? – By @katiebcreates

How do you know if someone needs real life help when you only ever see them online? 

Well, I’m not sure you do. Unless that person feels like they want to ask for it. But I’m not sure it’s that simple. It’s not always that easy. 

When you’re physically in a room with people, you feed off the energy. You pick up on each other’s signals, you respond. You might not need to say anything to anyone, your body language, facial expressions, can say it all. In the ‘real,’ physical world I’m not afraid to talk about my emotions. I’m not afraid to ask for help. But in this very different, online space we find ourselves in, a space I thought I would adapt to quite easily, it’s as if you’re learning how to be you all over again. 

Communicating without words isn’t really an option. The silent signals you’re used to sharing just aren’t cutting it. No one can see you if you don’t show your face. If you don’t speak up no one can hear you. And the whole thing feels wrong. Like you’re stuck in a strange limbo between how you want to be naturally and how you might need to adapt. 

So maybe it’s about taking a step back and trying to rewire your mind. This is difficult because your responses are a part of you, they’re instinctive. Looking at yourself from the outside in is hard. If I felt like this in the ‘real’ world, how would I be dealing with it? What are the differences between that and how I’m feeling and responding now? How can I make these very new circumstances we all find ourselves in work for me? Not just work for me, how can I make them work to my advantage? 

Because this is the situation. It’s one we’ve been forced into very quickly and it isn’t going to change for a while. In every situation there are good aspects and bad. Maybe when something feels so new there’s a tendency to cling onto what you know or to seek out easier options. Maybe you feel like you just want to sit and wait it out, hoping it’ll all go back to normal. That won’t be easier in the long run. This is now. We can’t change it. But we can recognise and enjoy the good stuff and make everything else work for us as best we can. 

Now more than ever we need honesty. We need to step away from what’s comfortable. To find a balance between a real life and online version of ourselves so we can get the most out of these circumstances. If you’re feeling stuck, if you feel like it’d be better to hide away, tell someone you need a hand. In this online world it’s too easy to get lost. 

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