Good Lord, Starbucks…what hell hath thou wrought on the Internet in the past 24 hours?
I’m going to work backwards from my title order, because it will make more sense. So, part one:
Let me go on the record right now in saying that I think any food specifically designed to be Instagram’d is probably a bad idea. I didn’t say definitely a bad idea. But, like, probably a bad idea.
Enter: the Unicorn Frappuccino
My first recognition of said beverage was a coworker posting a link about it early in the morning of April 19th. I saw the picture, saw the description, and thought “Um, yeah, no…”
Then I saw a bunch of people posting pictures of/with them drinking said beverage and I thought, “I wonder what they taste like.”
Then I saw someone post the Nutrition Facts and I went, “Dear God, no. No, you are NOT going to drink one of those. In fact, you should probably share those Nutrition Facts out in case anyone else wants that information before they go and get one.” Which I did do.
Here’s why: I was totally thinking about getting one. And I needed to stop MYSELF and hold MYSELF accountable and, you know, not get one.
I make no apologies for the fact that I love pop culture trends, and I am more than willing to be the anti-hipster and do something just because everyone else is doing it. Maybe there’s something cool off that bridge all my friends are jumping off of, okay?!
And I make no apologies for the fact that I do live a good portion of my life on social media, and I am perfectly happy to go spend money on and consume a food designed specifically for Instagram, even though – as I said in the beginning of this blog post – I think any food designed specifically to be Instagram’d is probably a bad idea.
So I shared the Nutrition Facts. And in the midst of some Facebook wall comment conversations, my muse came up and punched me in the arm (she does that when she has a REALLY GOOD IDEA for me to write) and said “OMG, can’t you just hear this in Will and Jack and Grace’s voices?!” So, I wrote this:
INT. – WILL’S APARTMENT – DAY
Will is in the kitchen, stirring something on the stove. Grace and Jack enter, drinking Unicorn Frappuccinos.
What are those? I told you I was making brunch!
That’s okay. This is pre-brunch.
Yeah, besides Will, what would my followers say if I wasn’t one of the first to post the Hashtag Unicorn Hashtag Fabulousness?
Your followers? Jack, I told you, that attempt to claim yourself as a religious leader in order to avoid taxes was denied.
My INSTAGRAM followers, Will.
And what about you Grace? I thought you were off carbs again this week?
No, I’m carb cycling.
Yeah, it means she gets her carbs from the Starbucks next to Soul Cycle.
I saw lots of posts like mine. I also saw lots of posts of people drinking the Unicorn Fraps. I saw lots of people sharing articles about the how, the why, the viral marketing, the taste, that whatever. Unicorn Frappuccinos won the day on social media yesterday, there is no question.
But here’s the thing. An apparent all-out war has began between the Frap lovers/buyers and the naysayers. I mean, it’s gonna happen. Remember how riled up everyone got over what color the dress was (and then the fact that we spent a week talking about it)?
I can’t speak to what everyone posted, how everyone reacted, or how everyone else reacted to how everyone reacted. But I can speak to me – where I was, what I was thinking, and why I posted the things I did. And I can post one truth:
I AM NOT JUDGING YOU.
BECAUSE I AM PROBABLY HONESTLY NOT EVEN THINKING ABOUT YOU.
You know the song “You’re so vain“? “You’re so vain…you probably think this song is about you…” Well, it’s not. The song is about me. Literally almost 100% of the time.
This is where things get tricky, but I feel like I need to spell it out (again, mostly just for myself, but if you’re here reading this, thanks and I hope you get something out of it too!). I realized that ever since I became a coach, I’ve had people tell me they feel guilty or like I’m gonna be mad or judge them when they make certain food choices or skip a workout.
Lemme clear something up right now: I have my own shit to worry about. I literally cannot spend any brain space or time or energy worrying about whether or not you worked out or ate fast food yesterday or whatever.
If you ask me or want my opinion or help or support, I will give it wholeheartedly. But I’m not worrying about your every single move all the time.
If you post that you’re eating a giant plate of spaghetti, my thought is never going to be “Goodness, do they realize how many complex carbohydrates are in that?” My thought is going to be “I wonder which wine they ordered… And, hey, why wasn’t I invited to dinner?”
Now, I am spending a lot of time judging someone… ME. And that’s where a lot of my posts come from. That’s why sometimes I check and read ingredient labels out loud. That’s why I make faces at the free box of donuts in the break room, and that’s why I post about Unicorn Frappuccinos and how much sugar are in them. YOU are a grown-ass adult who has your own life to worry about (as you should), and so am I, so please – you keep doing you.
But here is one thing many people teach and preach to coaches and other MLMs: when you’re on social media, you write posts to your “avatar.” And your avatar is often defined as YOU — what do YOU want/need to hear, what would have spoken to YOU before (or now), what will help YOU stay on track. The person on the left, in the 2014 photo:
That’s who I’m talking to. Because I like being the person on the right much better, and I need to keep myself on track.
Once again. The song is not about you. It’s about me.
Again, are there a billion people on the Internet being Judgey McJudgerson like, 1000% of the time? Yep. Welcome to the Internet. But again, that’s not what my posts were/are about.
As many/anyone reading this might know, I used to be a teacher. Given the option (and forgiveness of all current student loan debt and the chance to pursue any/all additional education for free…), I would still probably still be a student. I’d spend my entire life just pursuing degree after degree, taking classes in anything and everything, until my time on Earth was up. And if there’s an afterlife, one of my first questions will probably be, “So, like, is there a school here? Can I go? What can I study there?”
As many/anyone reading this might know, I also am a writer, and a (lapsed, non-practicing) actress. That means I love to entertain. I love to be entertained. My brain responds well to things in script format.
Combining those two things about myself, you might begin to understand why my two posts about Unicorn Frappuccinos yesterday were Nutrition Information (facts/knowledge/learning/information) and a random Will & Grace scene I decided to write (creativity/entertainment/humor).
That’s who I am. That’s how I process the world. That’s the “avatar” I’m speaking to when I make posts on social media. If you like them or learn from them or are entertained by them, that is amazing and fulfilling and great. But please don’t ever feel judged by them, because again, they’re not about you. They’re about me. They’re for me. Any additional positive impact is a pleasant surprise, and any negative impact is an unintended consequence.
So go forth! Lift weights on your lunch break or drink, as my friend’s daughter described it, a thing that tastes like “salty gummy bears.” I’m not going to do either of those things, but I’m also not going to judge or worry about which one of those things YOU choose to do.
We all gotta live a little happier.