The Show is the Souls Cover up
In just three days of relieving myself of the pressure of FaceBook I have learned a lot.
Quite a lot. I find myself feeling a bit ashamed because it seems so silly at its core. I realize that people do not have the same relationship some of us have with social media and that it may seem brainless, mundane and dramatic to put such weight on something that I could literally turn off with the click of a mouse. But I know I'm not the only one with this issue. Otherwise 1.4 billion of us wouldn't be using it an average of 50 minutes a day. I'd say that's being generous.
After three days however I realize that social media is much more powerful medium than I ever realized. I know this because after 72 hours I feel instant relief and immediate gratification. Wow. Could this tool be that powerful and why?
Many of us are quick to snap a picture of our family trip to the beach.
Did we decide to go to the beach because it would indeed be a fantastic narrative to our life's show? Perhaps a video of a moment that reminds everyone we are relaxed, in a great mood, and in control of every modern day demand? Or maybe a quick thoughtful post that shows we are a deep thinker rather than just well...thinking.
Let's set aside the obvious "everyone has more than me" issue. Although I thought that was perhaps the culprit to my sense of unease, I think that was just a symptom of the deeper issue.
It wasn't until I felt the freedom from the "show" aspect of my life being on display 24 hours a day that I understood the effects of 10 years of being watched, wanting to be watched and watching others. Lots of watching huh?
This is not on a conscious level.
I am very aware that no one is watching my life 24 hours a day. It wouldn't be that interesting and I'd be quite narcissistic to think that.
It's not that obvious. Instead, 1402 people on my feed have rested as the "symbolical collective audience" of my show. I did not realize that this has served as a constant subliminal message to my work, family and soul.
For you it may be different. Perhaps you are more of a lurker. That's someone who spends time on social media but never makes their presence known. Some people use their lack of "being seen" on social media as a source of pride, despite the fact that they are indeed on FaceBook or Instagram daily scrolling through others feeds. That's a different type of push and pull isn't it?
That's not me. I'm not one to sit quiet and simply watch others.
I don't mind risk taking or being heard. I am proud that it takes a source of strength to be someone who's voice stands out.
To be certain this doesn't affect a certain percentage of us, just as alcoholism or food addiction doesn't. And on it's face I don't think there's anything wrong with a display of one's life. It's when it saturates everyday living, the lines becoming blurred that we start to run into problems.
I'll be the first to admit that I have not allowed myself to sit still for the past ten years and really listen with an open heart of what I want to be without "the show." Instead for the past ten years I have put it through the filter of being watched.
I have created an exterior of someone who is doing everything simultaneously and doing it well. At least that's the intention...you decide.
Dancer, actor, writer, mom, wife, voice coach and I marketed them really well. I put butts in the seats, have had some great ideas, I've helped people laugh and learn and live their creative lives. It was a blast. Until it wasn't.
My favorite part of starting a business, a new project or idea is the marketing. I love to build websites, create slogans, design the branding around an exciting new escape that is sure to be my next great brainchild. By the time I'm done however I've moved on to my next great idea.
That has seeped into my own personal brand... I mean LIFE. Yes, I mean my life. My canvas has been social media. Before you know it I find I have been creating a model of what I want my life to look like rather than who I want it to be.
My own "show" has been my souls cover up.
I just didn't think it could be that simple.
It's left me feeling devoid of any true intention. I am no longer able to tell the difference between doing something because it feels good in my soul or because it feeds the narrative of my show.
The good news? I'm a quick study.
It has been liberating to shed this feeling of "showmanship". And it was quite simple.
I may even go back to a flip phone.
Maybe. Let's not get carried away.