Can’t Haven’t Been Brave Enough to Do:
- Control My Image
- Own My Image
The catalyst for this post is my Twitter TL (or “Time Line,” for the uninitiated).
Oh, how I love Twitter.
By far my favorite social media platform. Where else can you get a front row seat to Don Cheadle casually ripping a troll to shreds? Where else do the worlds of porn and politics collide so beautifully? Where else do you get to see the *~other~* side of news and public figures.
Oh, and Chrissy-F***ing Teigen. A goddess.
But can I really claim to love something if I’m not being true? See, today I was hit with the fact that Twitter doesn’t even know my real name. Like many people, I operate under a pop-culture related alias to protect my identity. The reasons for this? Well, all the warnings that have circulated since the first urban myths about someone’s professional or personal life being ruined by an ill-received photo or comment.
So I went through my TL to see if exposing myself would be worth the risk. I couldn’t have tweeted anything that bad, right?
If I had to give a “trash” rating to my tweets (criteria includes foul language, lewd jokes, and pettiness), I’d give them a 4.5/10. Honestly not bad at all – if your trash rating is zero, are you really living?
But my trash rating isn’t what stood out – it was how little I actually tweeted. I retweet (for the innocents, “retweet” is to Twitter as “share” is to Facebook) posts about 75% of the time, and that’s gone down in the past few months.
So, yes, my relationship with Twitter has been a sham. It doesn’t exist, because I don’t even exist on Twitter. I don’t share my writings, I barely share my opinions, and I refuse to share my name – my online persona is the coalescing of other people’s posts, reaction emojis, and ‘lmfao’s.
It’s Twitter though, so why does it matter?
Well, it got me thinking; do I do this in my offline life? If I was that quick to hide my personality and thoughts as an essentially anonymous participant on Twitter, what the hell do I do when my name is attached to something? And what great parts of myself am I hiding from other people out of some unwarranted anxiety over the future?
Also, is it such a ‘small deal’ if I’m censoring myself to this degree online? So much of life nowadays is online, and especially in the industries I’m interested in. I’m sick of being jealous of all the writers and creatives I follow who just #DGAF and are (apparently) doing just fine. So, you know. Ugh.
So tonight, I’m super-sleuth (and also Life Coach™). I’m really evaluating all of the areas in my life where I may be editing myself because I’m afraid of how I may sabotage myself in the long run. Remember Day Two, and my pledge to allow myself to be vulnerable? Yeah, this is definitely related.
Don’t worry, I won’t go and put my entire government, social security, and collection of nudes on Twitter (at least not before I snag another full-time gig*). But will I pay attention to those times where I have a little more wiggle-room to be – I don’t know – myself? Hell yeah.
And maybe you’ll see my name on Twitter one day. @goodie_2_chucks
*If anyone’s reading this who is considering me for a full-time gig or has the potential to offer me one, I can assure you I won’t ever be putting my social and collection of nudes on any social networking site. It was just a joke. Pinkies.