R U OK? A Rant About Why This Is An Important Question But Shouldn’t Be Asked By Some People

Today is September 8 – R U Ok? Day.

For those of you that may not have heard about it, it’s a day for recognition, conversation understanding, and support. It’s a day for checking in with your friends, family, coworkers and asking the question ‘R U Ok?’. The concept is to generate a conversation with somebody who might actually not be okay, and prompt them to talk about what’s concerning them; what’s weighing them down; what’s making them feel sad etc.

It’s by facilitating this conversation that somebody might have a better opportunity for ‘opening up’ rather than continue suffering in silence and keeping their problem(s) to themselves, in turn creating more issues.

Whilst I think it’s good to create a national campaign and a social ‘movement’, I don’t think it’s something that should be predominantly advertised and spoken about on just one day. It’s a conversation starter that should be had on a regular basis, well, providing you’re a decent human being who actually gives a shit about other people. And no, asking somebody if they are okay, before commenting on their hairstyle or fashion choices doesn’t count.


Browsing social media today, all I saw were posts about it. Images like the one above and all these people on my feed were making comments about ‘asking the question’ and ‘having the conversation’; linking to the RUOK website, and using #as #many #hashtags #as #possible, because #socialmedia.

But there was one post I saw that really struck a nerve, and it went along the lines of:

‘R U Ok?’

‘Well, actually, no I’m really not, I’ve been feeling…’

‘Okay my work here is done’

‘But I haven’t even told you what’s wrong’

And I realised that there were actually a number of people making posts about this day, that immediately fall into that particular category. The people who want to portray an image of being socially / morally responsible and caring etc, but really just do it to look good and ensure they get enough likes for their own validation and self worth. They are the sort of people that ask the question without any actual interest or concern in how the other person is feeling (when sometimes I think they are the ones who should be asked the question… ‘R U OK? I’ve noticed that you’re constantly concerned with how many selfies you’re posting on Instagram, and I’m concerned that you have absolutely zero self worth, and instead are trying to find self worth and validation from countless numbers of absolute strangers on the internet… ‘

Millennials and social media narcissists… I’m look at you!

Personally speaking, I’ve also found that a number of the people publishing these posts are also the people with the biggest gossipy mouths, so are automatically the WORST people to be having such sensitive conversations with, because that then works to their advantage within their social circles, and gives them plenty of gossipy ammunition with which to talk about you behind your back.

And for anybody that has previously, or is currently, going through a tough time, having people talking and gossiping about you behind your back is only going to make things worse.

Let’s pause for a moment. Could this sense of hostility possibly be coming from previous personal experience? Perhaps? 

Could it be based on observation of actual human behaviour within certain social circles? Absolutely.

Do I perhaps have trust issues with people from previous experiences? Undeniably.

Could this be making me sound quite biased? Shut up – nobody asked you!

To avoid any confusion moving forward, I’ll openly admit that I don’t currently classify myself as okay.

I M NT OK. 😕😩😞

#HotMess #WhereDoIBegin #WhatIsWrongWithMe #Numb #DeadInside

So there I am, sitting at my desk watching these posts pass through my newsfeed and each person that mentioned RUOK? I asked myself whether I could (a) comfortably open up to them about what is on my mind, (b) could I actually trust them enough to have a REAL in depth conversation with me about what’s wrong, or (c) would they just pass the buck and be like gurl, you just need to go see a #shrink or something, because you are #BatshitCrazy which completely defeats the purpose of the whole concept.

I’m not denying that there aren’t people in my life that I could open up to, but I’m not entirely sure I could trust them with the information that I would be divulging. Should I maybe go see a professional instead? Absolutely. However, that shit is ridiculously expensive, and it’s a luxury I simply cannot afford right now.

I, for one, can confidently say that if I ask you if you’re okay, I’m genuinely concerned about your response. I care about your wellbeing. Even if we might not necessarily be close friends. Sometimes you mind find it’s actually easier to speak to somebody outside you’re social circle, or working environment / industry, to be able to listen to what you have to say, and then be unbiased about it. Sometimes we need somebody to play Devil’s Advocate. Sometimes it’s easier to open up to a stranger. If you ever feel like something has got you down, I’ll always make time to hear you out and provide support, and know that whatever is said between us will remain between us. Shoot me a message and I’ll organise a time to talk!

I care about those suffering from mental illness. As somebody diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety, I completely understand anybody who says they’re having a rough time, or they’re feeling depressed or sad etc. I sympathise because I’ve been there. I’ve hung out with the Black Dog a number of times before, and am currently hanging out with him.

For anybody that is serious about asking somebody R U OK?, I would highly recommend watching this video before hand to be more consciously aware of what you could potentially be getting yourself into. Having somebody trust you enough to really open up for you is more than just unwrapping a bandage and showing you a wound; it’s breaking the stitches and cutting through the scar tissue to really get into it in depth. This is something that makes the person feel extremely vulnerable; baring their soul. For the person asking, it can become an extremely uncomfortable and confronting position to be in so I would suggest you make sure that you’re committed and ready enough to ask the question, because it’s so much more than just asking the question. It can open a can of worms and show you a completely different side of somebody that you never thought existed, but they need to know that you’re there to support them no matter what.

We all need to feel supported, especially at our most vulnerable.

So please don’t just let RUOK? be a question reserved for one day of the year. Don’t let it be the reason you’re trying to get attention and likes on social media. Ask the question on a regular basis, but actually mean it when you ask. Pay more attention to the people around you, and if you notice a change in behaviour, don’t ignore it. Confront it.

It could be nothing. Or it could be something .

It could change a life. But not asking could cost a life.

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25 Nov – New Social Media

You are given unlimited funds and a fabulous team of programmers and told to create your own social networking platform.Tell us all about your ideal, fictional social media site.

This is quite difficult, because everything you could want / need has already been created.

Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Overload Alert

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein
Do you agree?

See, I look at this and interpret ‘information’ as actual information; knowledge; facts etc, not information as ‘oh hey, here’s a photo of my lunch, and a video of some cats’. I call that ‘filler’.

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26 Aug – Feeling Content vs. Constant Achievement

Could you be content with having really good memories and the knowledge that you did something amazing, or do you constantly need to be achieving something new to be happy?

I feel a bit conflicted by this. I’m a bit on the fence about it. Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Breaking The Ice

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

I’m so sick of hearing about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I hope that they start getting freezer burn from too much ice.

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10 July – 2010-2019

How do you think we’ll define this decade when we look back at it in the future? What descriptive term will we use to name 2010 – 2019?

 

How exactly are we defining this decade? Are we talking 2005 – 2015. Or 2010 -2019?? If it’s the latter, shouldn’t we be asking this question in a few more years, rather than trying to predict the future?

At the moment, I would be defining this decade as the decade of
‘Lolspeak’, the decade of selfies, but most importantly, social media.

Daily Prompt – Going Obsolete

Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your lifetime, which one do you miss the most?

In terms of technology, there really isn’t much from my lifetime that has become extinct, instead technology has grown and evolved.

I sometimes miss some of the computer games that I used to play on my Commodore 64 or on my Amiga. Especially this one game called New Zealand Story… it was one of my absolute favourite games to play.

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Apr 23 – Comment: DELETED

Have you ever deleted a comment?  Tell us about it.

I’m regularly finding myself deleting comments online.

The most common reason for me doing this is because I forget to apply my filter whenever I write a comment, and instead just write whatever I’m thinking, completely disregarding how offensive or scathing it might be. Then once I’ve actually written it, I’ll stop and re-read it a few times, and realise that it could probably be worded in a much nicer way, and then I’ll go back and generally edit the comment.

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Apr 21: Social Media Scandal

Have you ever had an Internet scandal or drama play out over social media?

No, I’m not that much of an attention whore. I remember when Hulk and I first began dating and we both changed out ‘status’ to ‘In A Relationship’ which was the mark that things were serious between us, and one day, he had accidentally changed his stats, and it said single, and within minutes of that happening, I had an influx of messages asking if I was okay. I hadn’t actually seen any of this, because I was at a conference, and walked out on a break to all these messages saying ‘I’m so sorry to hear about you guys’, or ‘I just saw your relationship status change to ‘Single’, what happened, do you need to talk?’ etc etc.

I was so confused, and checked Facebook and saw it for myself. I messaged Hulk immediately to ask him what was going on, and he didn’t even realise what had happened.

Other than that, I’ve never had anything scandalous occur on social media. My view is that anything of a personal nature really doesn’t need to be broadcast out to the world for anybody and everybody to see. If it’s something that’s happening between two people, it should remain between those two people. I would like to think that if Hulk and I ever broke up, it wouldn’t be plastered all over Facebook, instead, we’d just keep it between us only.

However, if we did breakup and he started to publicly badmouth me over social media… then it’d be on, and I’d go out of my way to destroy him!!