I got my first computer only 5 years ago. That’s also when I learned about social media and would nearly pee my pants from memes on Instagram for 2 good years after ‘discovering’ them. We use ‘lol’ all the time, but I really laughed out loud (while my friends looked at me like I was crazy). Memes brought me true joy.
I got Facebook around the same time. It’s interesting how hustlers don’t create social media profiles. I get it. Too many eyes on I. Too much to hide and not as much wiggle room once you start posting who you are, what you’re up to, and who you know. So, I was afraid of being on the interwebs. My profile pic was my silhouette in front of a glowing jellyfish in giant aquarium. That felt like a safe move.
Fast-forward and there I was, willing to share my whole life with the world. There was a new freedom found in sharing my life and pictures and thoughts on the web with people I cared about and even supposed strangers. It was an exciting new world and I had lots to learn. But I was a late bloomer, or maybe I held back, so the number of followers I had were not really where they “should’ve” been. And as the web goes, my credibility went down with this.
As I’ve been told before, numbers don’t lie. But do they? I’m sure that if I posted more booty pics or twerking boomerangs I’d have higher stats. For a long while, I was told I had the best booty in the 6… but then wouldn’t my crowd just be a bunch of horny men? Do I need to draw people in with a gimmick in order to have them give me a chance to voice myself, or would they try and shut me up before I even had the chance anyways?
I like to believe in the integrity of people. That if you give people good shit to think about, to listen to, to eat, to feel, they’ll choose it. Sometimes. If not, most of the time. Over time… We are all victims of availability. If people were only presented a menu full of burgers and fries, when they’re hungry, what are they gonna choose? Burgers and fucking fries! But give people another option, some salad, vegetables, fruits, now this menu be giving people options. And eventually, these people are gonna be making choices that better reflect their state of mind.
I’d like to think my music and my lyrics are like a kale salad. And if I offer it, people will eventually gravitate to it. I don’t believe in dumbing myself down. People will come. Ya’ll are smarter than a lot of this media is giving you credit for. I know it and I see it whenever I get to sit with anyone one on one and take them in.
Nowadays, people don’t have to have integrity. Why? Because they can say they are this kind of person or that kind of person on socials and never have to back it up. They can say they care about the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movement and gain credibility for all of those who follow them, meanwhile doing nothing that actually merits any of this praise in real life. I know people who are actually the complete opposite of what they ‘claim’ to be on social media. So people don’t HAVE to be of their word anymore. Seeing is believing? But are we actually seeing anything but a fragmented edited version of pixels and light. Back in the day (less than 15 years ago), your word was your bond and you WERE accredited to your words and your actions aligning. Nowadays, everyone is just a number, and if you’re good at branding, choosing the right filters and posting enough to make the algorithms work you, you can seem like the most authentic, amazing human being… whether you’re a piece of shit or not.
So as much as social media has brought me closer to friends I had lost touch with, access to fans and people who might get something from my art and give me an awesome meme or two to laugh at on a hard day, for me, it’s not worth it in comparison to the negatives. Maybe I’m old school, but fuck, if old school means I like seeing people in real life for who they truly are, then I’m OOOOLLLDDD as FUUUUCCKK!
My computer has given me a voice, freedom and a breadth of information and so I’m grateful. I now have access to the world and worlds within worlds within worlds. But it has also instilled insecurities, given me too many contradicting options and left me feeling disconnected. I think it’s important to examine how we use social media, what it means to us, why and how we can use it, mostly because… it’s not going anywhere! So we might as well learn to use the demon to our advantage, like money. It can be a tool or a thing you lose yourself to. Give love, light and truth. Know that it does not define us but is simply a device to help us potentially move in a particular direction and influence others positively.
I personally don’t care for it being a part of my daily life and find it adds very little value to my world. When I had fewer personal connections with people, it gave me a space to live in. But now that I’m actively living in the real world, the internet feels like less of a place I want to give attention to. Life is all about the good, the bad and the ugly. I want to see more ‘ugly’. I want to see more raw, more vulnerability. I want to hug more people in my day to day. It’s safe to hide behind a filter and a quote that took you 30 minutes to ponder, but real life isn’t waiting 30 minutes for you to decide what to say next, and make-up can only do so much when you get older.
Be real. Be you. Tell your story in all of its dimensions, not just the flattering angles or who you think you ‘should’ be. Share with others. Be bold and fearless. But most importantly. Just BE.