I am far from a serious social media user most of the time. At least for this blog, anyway. It’s a personal blog and as such, my social media reflects me: sometimes happy, sometimes grumpy, often lightly mocking food bloggers on Instagram, and sometimes whacked out on painkillers from cramps.
I posted that photo yesterday morning on Instagram and called it “breakfast” – inverted commas included. It was funny, sad and lame. Which was kind of how I felt yesterday.
What then made me wonder was a comment I got from someone I had never heard of before, asking if I used essential oils instead of chemicals. And it annoyed me at first. I don’t like being judged. I especially don’t like being judged by a stranger. (I don’t buy the “you put it out there argument”. But that’s a topic of its own.) Number one: it’s none of your business when I make my decision to take painkillers. Just so you know, I’d really rather that my uterus didn’t cause me a large amount of pain every month for anything between 0-48 hours, but I have no control over that unfortunately.
But what then really bugged me was the assumption that because I take painkillers for one thing, that I take them for everything and am clearly anti any other option. Life is grey. This person made an incorrect assumption about me based on one Instagram photo. Really? That one photo really told you everything about me, did it?
The irony here is that I actually do use essential oils for some parts of managing my health. I’ve found that eucalyptus oil in a steam shower works a lot better for my sinuses than any drug I’ve tried over the years. I’ve gone through daily ones, as needed ones (that I still keep on me at all times for severe issues), CT scans (that gave me a false reading of a brain tumour) and in the end, and in conjunction with advice from doctors, that is what works best for me. It might not for you, who knows. We’re individuals.
Assumptions don’t work. Assumptions made on the basis of one photo don’t work. Assumptions made even by people close to us are often wrong. Because life is grey. I am pretty anti label and anti niche and all these things that just irritate me a lot these days. I am me. I am a lot of things. Labels feel exclusive.
I use essential oils for one thing and painkillers for another. Where does that put me on the natural to “chemical” spectrum of health? Is there a label for this? Can we give up on labels and just let people make the choices that they want to for themselves? Most people on the internet are adults, legally at least!
Now: I haven’t replied to this person and this is not a post about them, it’s the questions that their comment has raised in my mind about assumptions and the internet.
What labels annoy you? How do you deal with assumptions made about you?