Being Flattered on Social Media; A Conversation About Bites; Andrew Arises Again; Ending with More Social Media and a Study on Depression

I am out of reach in my blog life but not on Instagram where I give and receive messages, with great regularity and mostly with strangers. One man wrote: “Your charm and realness makes you perfect to me. And probably a lot more others. “ I swooned and it totally made my day. Flattery shall be the word of the morning. praise, adulation, compliments, blandishments, admiration, honeyed words, pats on the back; fawning, simpering, puffery, blarney, cajolery, wheedling; informal sweet talk, soft soap, spiel, buttering up, cosying up, toadying, currying favour, weasel words; British informal flannel; British vulgar slang arse-kissing, arse-licking.

Perhaps flattery in not the word to use as it has connotations of fawning, honeyed words and buttering up. What could be this young man’s motives in buttering up a little old lady? Perhaps praise would have been a better term to describe his message.

This morning it was Starbucks for egg bites and a white Americano. I spoke to a woman, asking permission to sit in the facing chair – she acquiesced and the following conversation took place.

Me: Do not you just love those egg bites, they are delicious!

She: They are hard to eat, especially with this plastic fork..

Me: I did not have a problem eating them. I ate at the table and mine were on a plate with real cutlery. I am spoiled I guess.

She: Aren’t you lucky?!?

Me: I do not think it is just a matter of luck, I am optimistic and treat people well and so I am treated well in return. Why more people don’t act this way is beyond me. Hahaha But some people are just miserable and if everyone was cheerful then I would be less popular.

So it is a case of glass half empty/glass half full. She had only negative things to say about the precious bites. By the way, I did not ask for the plate and the cutlery – the wonderful staff just gave it to me. I am not a regular there at Starbucks only going there a few times.

Then returning my plates and cup to the counter, I heard the staff person call: Andrew.

Me: Oh my goodness it is you! I would recognize you anywhere! Hahaha

He: How have you been? Its been ages and ages.

Well Andrew was one of my very favourite bartenders at the Trump International Hotel and he has been featured twice quite recently in the Related Stories section of this blog. He was the man who encouraged me to attend the July 2017 funeral in Edmonton. He also had the hilarious story of being tormented by his sisters who would get him to do all of their dirty deeds promising him money but they never paid up. At that time this was the conversation.

Me: So how much money are we talking about?

He: Enough for a down payment on a condo.

Me: In Vancouver?

He: Yes!

Me: You are stupid!

He: Thanks!

We had the greatest of chats and I found out where he works so I can track him down.

He: You are still trouble! Vancouver is going to miss you!

Me: I thought I was well behaved when I was living in the Trump.

He: You must be kidding! You were not!

I walked down Seymour Street and found two wonderful little leprechauns, took their picture and posted it on Instagram with the following caption. “Two darling leprechauns on Seymour Street. Where were they going?? Church and then the driving range . Honest to goodness that us hat their grandparents said.”Two responses bounced back.

Emma: Happy St/ Patrick’s Day. You’ll have to come over one year and celebrate with me.

Me: I promise I will! Let’s stay in touch

She: Yes let’s stay in touch. You’re so much fun!

Then another response from Flower Girl’s wife who lives in Southhampton and had included pictures of young girls doing the jig.

She: We will take you there when you come and visit! You must come and visit and not just once.

Me: I will come and visit SO often that you will be sick and tired of me. Hahahaha

Me: I wish I could dance the jig like those little girls.

She: I wish could too, the middle child is my daughter and she dances beautifully! Lucky girl!

But there is new news about social media and depression. The study found in my NPR news feed.

“A study published Thursday in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology finds the percentage of U.S. teens and young adults reporting mental distress, depression and suicidal thoughts and actions has risen significantly over the past decade. While these problems also increased among adults 26 and older, the increase was not nearly as large as among younger people.

The study findings suggest a generational shift says psychologist Jean Twenge, with San Diego State University who headed the study and is author of the book iGen. To see a significant increase in negative psychological states “among our vulnerable population of teens and young adults is absolutely heartbreaking,” she says.

Twenge and her colleagues analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a government survey that tracks mental health and substance use in individuals age 12 and over in the U.S. They looked at survey responses from more than 200,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17 and almost 400,000 young adults ages 18 and over between 2005 and 2017.

They found the rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression over the past year increased 52 percent in teens and 63 percent in young adults over a decade. Girls were more vulnerable than boys. By 2017 one out of every five teenage girls had experienced major depression in the last year.”

Why the difference between my social media experiences and those in the study? It is because the young girls in the study are passive recipients of social media and they substitute their phones for real life experiences. They feel belittled to learn of other’s good times. Flower Girl”s Wife’s daughter is out doing it, dancing the jig rather than sitting at home on her phone. But I guess I am adding to someone’s depression as it is impossible to interact with me on the blog. But I make up for it on Instagram.

The photograph is the two little leprechauns who were off to church and then the driving range. They appeared on my phone, not theirs.

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