Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!
Honestly, I really do like when I'm challenged. Whether it's a challenge that I put on myself or a challenge coming from someone else, I get excited about the potential change of perspective. I wasn't always this way and still struggle when the challenge hits a personal cord, but I believe challenges like these make us more well-rounded and open-minded.
Now that I have given you a preface, let's get in to it.
I was approached by someone a few weeks ago about my blog. They expressed that the articles I have been writing come across as self-proclaimed and over-zealous. That I spent too much time writing about "myself and my victories" and not enough time writing about things that other people care about.
I started thinking about selfies and social media. Then I started thinking about the difference between exuding confidence and seeking attention.
I started writing my blog as a way to openly talk about things that go through my head. At the risk of sounding defensive, the purpose for me was to start processing my opposing thoughts in a public way so that I'm ultimately held accountable to continue thinking and processing once my now public perspectives are challenged. But I can't say the same for my selfies and I can't say the same for other people writing similar works to myself. I guess my first response is, "Oh, they've figured out something that was revolutionary for them and now they want to share it with everyone else." I can totally see how people might actually be writing or posting selfies as a way to gain attention and put themselves on a particular pedestal. But isn't that also kind of the point? I don't think trying to gain attention always warrants a negative connotation. I think seeking attention can mean an individual is proud of a discovery, accomplishment, or whatever, and wants to share it with the world. Sometimes that looks like a published work, and other times that looks like a Facebook post. Human beings need attention to survive. Babies don’t know how to ask for the things they need so they just make commotion and draw attention. We were created to connect with each other, therefore we need attention. Our reactions to others needs can cause the negative connotation and that reaction is mostly driven by comparison.
Comparison is the root of all insecurity. I read a quote that said, "Don't compare your lowest moments to someone else's highest accomplishment." I think that's the toll social media takes on many people. We only see our friends' favorite, happiest, and most joyous moments. Then we think about how our day went and start to feel a certain type of way when it doesn't look like others we see on our feeds. And it isn't just social media, but all types of media.
I'm getting off on a little tangent here but stay with me.
I think the important thing is that we remember we can only control ourselves. If something good happens in your life that you want to share with the world, then you have control, and the right for that matter, to share that information however you want. If something not so good happens in your life and you want to share, then go for it. But it's also in your control to stay off social media, not turn on the news, or not read the newspaper. We all have days when we just can't know another piece of information. Jealousy is a normal feeling that everyone has but how you act on that feeling is the key. If you can’t stay off social media, then really be careful with what you let your mind dive into. If you see photos of a beautiful vacation a family took, be happy for them. This may be the first vacation they’ve taken in 10 years. Or it may be a vacation the family needed after losing a loved one. When you see groups of smiling people, remember that it’s a habit to smile for photos and not always a true depiction of what’s going on inside. Avoid reading through the comments of some strangers controversial post just to be nosy—instead, find a new recipe or watch a funny animal video (if you’re my Facebook friend then you know I’m ALL ABOUT funny animal videos). Its almost normal now for our society to see something that is viewed as successful and wonder why it’s not happening for us. Or we wonder what we can do or what we need to change in order to achieve said success. The reality is that post about the family’s vacation has nothing to do with me or you, so let’s not make it about ourselves. I think we can all agree that there is enough going on in our personal lives that we don’t need to add unwanted stress. Comparing yourself to another person is absolutely unwanted and unneeded stress.
Now back to my main point. If I have ever written information that is false in any way or offensive to anyone, I absolutely want to know. But I am fairly certain I haven't. Everything I have shared is coming from my own mind and it‘s ultimately an opinion; it's one of my ways to release. My ideas deserve to be let out word by word, seeing the light of day and knowing they are worthy. And yours do, too.
I started this blog noting that I didn't really care if anyone ever reads these articles -- it's not the point. The point is that I want to continue processing my ideas for myself and this is the outlet in which I'd like to do it. You may see me as an over-confident and over-zealous person. But guess what, you didn't have to read my article to begin with. I am not saying that people shouldn’t challenge others thoughts and ideas. I am, however, saying that we need stop and think about our motives before indulging in reactionary and momentary feelings. Maybe you think this article, and all my articles, is me indulging in my feelings? Heck, maybe it is. But again, the point of these articles is for me to figure that out on my own :-)