I used to find navigating how much is posting too much on social media very difficult. In a lot of ways, it is tied to performances of femininity and gender. Ladies hide their emotions behind their fans; they do not overshare. And, I wouldn’t say that I am an over-sharer because there is a lot about me that a lot of people don’t know. But, I do like to speak. I like to have words crawl out of my mouth, dragging their weightiness behind them. I love words. Sometimes, or a lot of the time, I may say things I might not necessarily mean, but I am trying to work my way through ideas or friendships or concepts or relationships. If you can give voice or expression or audience to what you feel or feel you mean, it can help to clarify things up.
For instance, you might be really angry with someone and call them a total wanker. But then, maybe in a day or two, because you’ve vented that anger you start to piece together what made you feel the way you did and parse it from the actions of that person. Yes, they might be a total wanker, still, or you might be the total wanker, but at least you can gave those emotions their time and their place, and you can begin to understand and grow from that situation.
In terms of social media, there are times when I don’t really have anything to say to a general audience. Sometimes, I totally forget about my phone and twitter. And there are other times when I need to share things that have happened. When I have really vivid dreams, I want to tell them to people. At times, they’re super scary and you need to connect because you don’t want to feel alone. Loneliness is real–reach out to people, and, most importantly, allow people to reach out to you and recognize them. That is vital. Other times, my dreams are absolutely, off-the-walls, bonkers, hilarious, cute, problematic, romantic, sweet, endearing, stunning, or a bit odd. I don’t know what it is about my over-active subconscious, but perhaps because it is *in* my brain, I have to give in to a speech act to evidence my internalized experiences. Externalizing my introspection like a boss bitch. (I usually really hate that word, but I quite like the alliteration.)
I used to think that it was not dainty to share the things I thought. I didn’t have 10 people liking or engaging with what I had to say, and that seemed to mean that what I had to say was not worthwhile. It actually just made me realize that it is more likely they weren’t my audience. As a human being, I don’t get to demand that people pay attention to me. What is this, reality tv?? I do not want to dismiss the fact that I do have amazing friends and family to engage with my thoughts, and I love them and appreciate them. I feel like our brains connect for a moment, as we move through this chaotic reality. That is worth everything. However, I do think that I can’t not express myself because I am afraid that people might know too much about me, or they might judge me (I don’t care what you think, unless you’re thinking about ways to make having three shitzus affordable whilst saving up to go back to school, coz I bloody-well love dogs), or that my noted presence might come off as all of the diminishing adjectives you can use to describe women. I’m not going to give them space here because they are wrong, and it is not necessary to tell you what sexist or misogynist things are already in your mind.
I was once asked to stop using my Facebook as a platform to spread politicized posts. I responded with: I have an extraordinary amount of privilege to have a Facebook as a platform to communicate with a number (even if its finite) of friends, colleagues, and or, acquaintances–of course I am going to put other people’s voices forward in my space of privilege. That is what being an ally is about. You have to shush your own space, to make sure that people who might not be heard have their voice(s) heard!
So, it makes me wonder why I then give into that feeling that tells me I shouldn’t say this or I shouldn’t say that. I can’t post photos of myself because that’s so vain (even though I don’t think that about other people’s photos, I love them!); I have to post photos of my glasses, or the edge of a book lest you think I’m trying to be too smart, my tenth cup of delicious coffee, or mushrooms. I actually love mushrooms. If I could be, I would be one: coz I’d be a fungi. Yes, it’s an old joke, but I’m hilairrrr.
I guess I’ve decided to make my public self and my introspective self a little more hand-in-hand. I don’t think I’ve been lying to other people, but I’ve been lying to myself about how I’m allowed to perform my being. We are always performing, and that is okay; it’s good! Perform your hearts out. As much as one might want to, one cannot live a vocal life when you’re afraid of having your own voice heard because you’re so busy whispering as silently as possible that people just think you’re farting at them, or something like that. When you say one word, it gets a lot easier to keep saying more and more. If someone doesn’t want to hear what you have to say, then they can tune out: block, unfriend, click the x, mute, unsubscribe. I don’t want you to feel you have to leave, but I want to speak–to sing to the heavens and drink deep into the caverns of existence.
Please feel free to join me in the caverns; I also like coffee and Twinings’ earl grey tea (with coconut-almond mylk and one sugar).
Heaps of Love,
WordPlay: one that is going to feel more free to speak out loud.