It’s rare when you come across a post that echoes the sentiments that you been thinking for awhile, but haven’t been able to articulate into words. That’s exactly what I felt after reading this post from C.C. Chapman. Only he articulated it 3 billion times better than I ever could.
C.C. talks about the power of portraying vulnerability and “being real” online. I think this is something that gets lost on social media sites.
Think about it. We’re more connected than we have ever been before, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and insert your social media site du jour. These sites feed into our very human need for CONNECTION. Connection is what gives our lives purpose and makes us want to get up and live another day.
The problem arises when the thing- for example Facebook- that helps us grow more connected to each other is also robbing us of those same connections. It is actually contributing to a growing sense of disconnection.
For so many of us, we’re essentially creating a script of our lives on Facebook, by only showing the best of the best moments. We feel like our ordinary moments- which let’s face it are most things- are too mundane. Or, worst the negative stuff is too raw and vulnerable to share. So, instead we only post the best of the best.
Think about it.
People spend months- if not years- planning their wedding(s). Even getting started before you even land a man. Come on ladies, we all have that single friend- or friends- who have wedding Pinterest boards.
We disregard 10+ selfies, before finally choosing the one to post on Facebook and Instagram.
We only post the job promotions, the exotic vacations and awesome happy things filled with unicorns and double rainbows.
All in a way to showcase our most perfect version of our self. In reality, all this ends up doing is creating more shame, self-doubt and disconnection for those around us and ourselves.
This self-censoring has become so engrained in our psyche (at least it did for me!) that you don’t even second-guess it until you see a person or two open up and share the rare, gut-wrenching vulnerable updates. For me, that came after reading this post from C.C. as well as seeing all the recent updates from Justin Levy. Justin suffered a couple of serious seizures and found out he has a brain tumor last month. Something that would send anyone of us into a state of crippling fear, introspection and serious depression. Instead, he’s sharing his journey- with really vulnerable updates and even photos- with all of his friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. At times, it’s admittedly a little uncomfortable to read because he is being so real and not sugarcoating or hiding anything. He’s telling it as it is. That takes serious strength, courages and GUTS.
Being so open and real isn’t easy. I mean I struggle with showing vulnerability with my closest friends and family. Let alone to my 500+ Facebook friends. That’s something I need to work on. I know it won’t be easy. I know it will probably alienate a few. And, might make some things harder. But at least I will know know that I am being real and true to myself.