Not so long ago, I was still one of those people who are against Facebook. A lot of the ways I saw social media being used really put me off it.
I saw inauthentic expression, I saw addictive behaviour, I saw comparison, I saw privacy disappearing and a wild-wild-west of data collection. I was absolutely terrified of falling into a trap of some kind but above all else I was afraid of participating.
Posting anything leaves a little trace of yourself in the virtual world for anyone to see. I was afraid of sharing and exposing myself to all those potential risks. The fear of what could become of those pieces of me has had me hiding in the shadows for a long time.
So what's changed?
While I'm not saying that the pitfalls I used to see in social media have evaporated completely, I'm finally beginning to see past those things and let myself enjoy the benefits of it. I now see all the beautiful ways social media is being used and the potential to inspire change, to share dreams and to connect in ways I haven't known before.
I've been hurting myself by staying underneath my rock and staying disconnected out of fear. Sure, some of that fear is still there. For instance, I don't know what will happen when I put this post out there, but I'm just so sick of hiding.
The Urge to Express
A man once asked me why I create. I couldn't explain it then and I'm not sure I'm better at explaining it now. All I know is that I absolutely need an outlet. I need the freedom to create and to express things from the soul on my own terms.
On top of that, I need an excuse to create things otherwise I won't because I honestly don't even know "what I need to express or how to express it." (Wax Tailor, Our Dance).
Even though I've never felt comfortable calling myself an artist or felt like I was especially good at any one thing, I know I'm a creator of sorts. It's because on some level, creating gives me a reason. It gives some sense of meaning to my existence somehow.
So overtime I've made things for myself and I've made things for others, but in terms of creating and living a meaningful life, I'm finding I'm the only one who can give myself what I'm seeking. Every time I think I've found a potential solution elsewhere, it always falls up short.
So now I'm exploring this powerful urge to take action and to create freely from the heart all while having as much fun as possible. The Internet and social media are becoming tools in the exploration of ways to take care of my creative needs.
I feel some part of me needs to share and another part needs to be convinced that it's okay to do that. I already need to give myself an excuse to create, but I especially need a reason for sharing otherwise it feels shallow.
So honestly I'm just taking stabs at trying to create that excuse for myself otherwise I know I'll just keep looking for it somewhere else.
In the past, I've always tried to stay anonymous in what I was creating. Right now I feel like the exposure, like the risk of being seen, provides a challenge to discover, accept and own who I really am, all that I am and all that I want to be. I'm ready to accept that challenge.
I have to admit that the risk of knowing you've left piece of your soul out in the universe for someone else to find and be moved by in some way is kind of thrilling. It's terrifying, but exciting and I feel it links to a need for connection.
I've been dipping my toes in the water, testing the feeling for the past year and now it's time to jump in. I'm sharing more now on social media than I ever have. I'm putting it all out there: weirdness, happiness, vulnerability... Discovery.
I'm staying mindful about what I choose to share and why. I ask myself whether or not I'm trying to show something or to prove something about myself. Is it truly to express from the heart and soul and perhaps to inspire or is it to pat my ego or to make myself feel better in someway? I'll never be perfect, but I'm trying to stay aware of what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.
I'd also like to note that above all else, I'm trying to follow joy. I take all this to heart and oftentimes take myself too seriously... so I'm trying to have fun with it in my own way!
I have no idea where any of this will lead. It's all an experiment I'm trying, a risk I'm taking, a challenge I'm accepting.
Amazingly, I'm already finding myself growing every single step of the way. Surprisingly, I'm already connecting with others in ways I never imagined and ultimately, I think I've already got all I've ever wanted right there.
What are some of the ways you stay conscious while sharing? Let me know in the comments!