Is It Just Me?

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A woman cheering on a computer.Is it just me, or do you feel happy and almost relieved knowing the little “odd” things you do are also done by so many others, or the feelings you have towards something are shared by so many?

Is it just me, or does it feel good not to be the only one?

Growing up in the pre-internet days, there were more things to talk about with your friends and family, more important than those little details you could care less about sharing.  

I used to think that I was weird or different and felt alone with my “unique” habits and thoughts. In the past, when I got together with friends or family, no one talked about how strongly we felt about items that are not arranged by size or chewing sounds others make or how annoying wearing socks in bed is.

I remember the first time I realized that I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It was from an article in a newspaper that detailed the symptoms I previously thought were just odd or weird or stupid. Newspapers, books, and magazines were my only resources before the internet. 

But in the time of the internet and social media, you don’t even have to wonder. Things sometimes pop up on your screen the moment you start thinking about them. All you have to do is type a word once, and you get an infinite number of resources, videos, articles, photos, audios, groups; you name it, and it will appear.

I love that I now know that it’s not just me. There are thousands or even millions of people around the world who are just like me.

Facebook groups, memes, TikToks, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, people are sharing more about themselves than we have ever seen before. And with this comes the good, the bad, and the ugly. I laugh at memes and posts that describe my kids, husband, myself, and even my pets exactly (to the T). As humans, we are all more similar than we are different. 

Our kids have resources under their fingertips we never even dreamed of. Instead of asking mom or dad for information, they consult Google, which quite frankly has a better explanation than anything I can ever make up. Come on now, didn’t you ever make up an answer to a random question your kid asked, or is it just me?

We expect with all the information available for free with a click of a button for them to be Einsteins, and in a way, they are. They know a lot.

For example, my nine-year-old pointed out that I have Misophonia (remember earlier when I casually mentioned that I hate chewing sounds and that it’s one of my weirdest traits?). Yes, it turns out it’s a read condition. I previously believed it was just me being an annoying control freak that didn’t want people to breathe around me. Yes, I hate hearing anyone’s breathing, but hey, it’s not just me!

On the other hand, they also have access to unwanted resources, and that’s where we come in. I don’t censor my kids’ phones, computers, or iPads. I never installed one of those parental control apps. I don’t believe in censorship.

I believe in open discussions. I don’t babytalk them into the realities of the world. I tell them the truth as it is, knowing they will understand, and if they don’t, we keep on talking.

Knowledge starts at home, no matter how many devices kids have. They must trust their parents first and foremost with their curious ideas and questions. They need to know there is no shame in curiosity and that they are always safe to share their feelings with you no matter how “embarrassing” they may seem. Then you become the shield they need in this world. 

Does anyone else do this, or is it just me?

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Donia is a stay-at-home Egyptian archaeologist who majored in Egyptology. Egyptology had always been her passion since childhood. But family is her biggest passion. She lives in Mount Kisco with her husband Ayman, their daughters Dania (2005) and Mirette (2012), their cats Tiger and Drogo, and their German Shepherd Max. She is also a stepmom to two girls Nada (1991) and Malak (1995). When she is not busy taking care of her big family, she enjoys anything Sci-Fi and fantasy, watching cooking and baking competition shows, playing the drums, playing tennis with her husband, video games, and DIY projects. According to her girls, she particularly enjoys event and travel planning for her family and always goes all-out and prepares too much for an event. She is excited to join Westchester County Mom to share her experience as an expat and mom.