One of the great advantages of sticking with Social media whilst many people simply won’t take part is the continual reassessment of ground rules. Those people who are so far above the petty and incestuous self-consumption that seems quite rife of late are undoubtedly the winners: you don’t let the bastards get you down, the entitled whiners are effectively tuned out and the conspiracy theorists… well, they’re never gonna stop regardless of what anybody says.
Ploughing your own furrow is undoubtedly the way forward.
Except, along the way, there’s a very real chance your real self can get lost. I’ve watched it with a few people whose ‘career’ has effectively been launched via this platform. It becomes impossible to keep everybody happy and eventually, you become a mirror of yourself, almost identical copy except… everybody is held at a distance. Sure, you’ll have conversations with others and happily contribute to dialogue but something has changed. The rants are a bit more rantier. Your obsessions become more pronounced and often quite repetitive.
You have become a stylised version of the person who began here.
Of course, for many people this is an ideal state of affairs, because that allows Twitter to maintain the illusion of actual conversation and community whilst giving you a way to detach from all that bad shit that makes the entire process so much more difficult. Except, as we discussed yesterday, this is a fallacy. However great it is to have everybody liking you, and for that state to be maintained as long as possible, there will come a point where it all falls down. When that happens, you need to be ready.
Building mental strength in all areas of existence is vitally important. If you take the time and force yourself to look back on what is said and done online, there is an awful lot that can be taken from the experience. I know some people who do this with every Tweet they write, whose stuff can often vanish without warning or seeming justification because, undoubtedly, they’re doing that job too well. You can overthink everything too, or needlessly obsess over details nobody else considers as significant. That used to be my hill, but now I choose to die over far worthier causes.
The point today, as we start a new week, is simple. Even the smart people are stupid sometimes. Everybody fucks up, however hard we try… and over-trying is a fantastic way to make a bad situation worse. Listening to how you deal with other people in virtual environments has a massive amount of benefit long-term. It’s a great way to assess and address issues that probably also present themselves in the Real World but without having to deal with the (far messier) real life emotions that present. Looking at your output, and simply deleting what you don’t like won’t address the bigger issues either.
What you write in immediacy and passion is simply a mirror of your true self. You might not like that person very much in the cold light of day, but they can teach a great deal about what you really are. Plus, if your employer gets a tip off over that anonymous account, or a lover discovers your secret double life… Nothing is hidden on the Internet. It remembers everything, and can be brutally unforgiving as a result. If you really want to improve your quality of life everywhere?
Start by listening to yourself in here.
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