True to You (Digital Identity)

After the discussions in class, I’ve realized how powerful technology really is. As much as I want to disagree, the disheartening truth of it is that the way one uses technology can either dramatically aid him/her in their endeavors or completely wipe out all of their opportunities for success in both personal and career relations. I have been in denial about this since I was 15 years old, but the time has come to accept that this is my generations reality.

As I scroll through my Facebook, I wonder… What good does this even do for me? I scroll past hundreds of names unknown that I’ve gathered along with years of trying to fit in and have as many friends as I could. I sit in the library of my college and realize these “friends” mean nothing. They do nothing for me; their posts complaining or bragging about their lives are only distractions  to me, taking me away from my goals and sucking away my passion for success and setting my expectations for happiness up to disappoint me.

Things like Facebook can be used for many things.. but no one person trying to be seen as a responsible, professional and genuine person can deny that there are some ways to use Facebook that are more beneficial than others. For this reason, I completely deleted my Facebook. I have started a new profile. This time around, it will be an accurate and presentable version of who I am. No longer am I the girl who lacked digression. Today I am a person with purpose and now my online profile will reiterate that.

Just like you, there is not one other person in the whole entire universe (to our knowledge…) that is just like you. While that is an empowering feeling, it is also an overwhelming one. How do we create a digital identity that stands true to who we really are- encompassing our talents, achievements whilst oozing with genuine personality?  Here I am, trying to figure that out. The content of your digital identity is important.  After all, in a lot of ways, it defines you.

To create an accurate digital identity, I will keep my profile updated and accurate. To make sure the things that come up on my page are appropriate, I plan to keep my contacts trustworthy and relevant to who I am and what I stand for today. My goal is to keep the content of my online identity growing in depth and richness as years pass by continuing to do the things that matter to me, on both a small and large scale. My passion is what will tie together all things relevant to my digital identity, like water soaking into a sponge, it will seep through everything I do.

 

Slam Poetry Passion

I always felt like expressing complex emotions and rehashing memories, both bitter and sweet, would tremendously help a healing heart. There is something about being heart and understood. Sometimes all a person needs is to feel less alone. It is easy to feel alone and misunderstood in such a world as we live in today. It’s easy to be hurt and it is hard to trust.

It’s unusual (at least in my life right now) to be in a room with people who only send feelings of love and acceptance out. It’s so unusual that it takes me a minute to adapt to the change in environment. People so often walk around thinking only of their problems. We perpetuate feelings of loneliness by thinking day in and day out, “I am the only one with these feelings.. with this pain.” I realized over the past year that those feelings are only true from where you stand.

I can surround myself with people who choose love over fear. I can surround myself with people who live honestly instead of trapping themselves within their lies. Whoever I surround myself with is my reality. I can live in a judgement free world if I so choose. Or I can keep walking the streets of Richmond feeling out of place and alone.

Twice now I have been to Verses “Open Mic”. Slam poetry is such a deep and vulnerable thing. I feel so honored to be part of a crowd who aids in someones journey to mental and emotional health and balance. I find it to be such a beautiful thing that a person can stand on stage and take a memory or emotion filled with so much pain and make it into something beautiful. The person on stage shares his/her pain, anger, betrayal with the rest of the crowd till each of us has a sliver of it in our hearts and it becomes something manageable; something less of a burden for them. I leave open mic with stories of other peoples pain and I don’t feel weighed down by it. Instead, I feel more alive than I did before I went. I feel understood.. less alone… I feel grounded.

Of course, it’s not only poems sadness and pain. There are also people who share beautiful poems of memories with lovers, parents, siblings, moments in time where they felt connected to everyone and everything else.

I won’t lie, there are lots of days since moving to Richmond where I feel I don’t have somewhere to go where I am understood and welcome. Entering such an honest and open atmosphere is definitely uncomfortable and challenging, but that discomfort is GOOD. It means you’re close to the truth. Being that close to truth, and honesty and love is uncomfortable. For me, at least.

This discomfort is a challenge in it of itself and a huge reason why I will be going back to Verses.

I have been working so hard for so long to move through certain memories in my life. They are amongst the hardest obstacles I face. Not a lot of things inspire me to revisit those memories and the feelings that are associated with them, so when I do something that feeds the strength to face and deal, I know that I have to continue whatever it is that makes me feel strong. One day I want to stand up there and tell people about the things that have brought me pain and bring me joy in my life. The feelings I see on the faces of people on stage after telling their stories looks so beyond worth it.

If anyone reading this wants to go one day to Verses with me, I would love love love to go. 🙂

 

 

Sea of Technology

I’ve always felt quite overwhelmed by technology today. It’s rare to find a person who isn’t completely wrapped up in the newest posts on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. The Circle does a good job of bringing light to the truth about what kind of world we live in today.  Most people I talk to are in denial about what technology has done to humanity and I have heard lots of people shrug the book off in annoyance. Of course they are annoyed, it’s true! I could compare technology to cigarettes. The more you smoke, the worse your sense of smell and taste get. The more you smoke, the more tired you feel.. you’re obsessed, you’re addicted, you’re completely wrapped up in something that isn’t the least bit wrapped up in you. That is how technology has affected people of my era. Just like Mae, we have become transparent, too.

Mae’s world changed so drastically when she became transparent. She lost the ability to have intimate conversation with the few friends she had and her family began to take her less and less seriously. How could they trust her knowing anything they say to her would be said to the rest of the world? Mae herself even changed.. becoming less truthful and less personal with herself and everyone she came in contact with. Her life, already filled with stress and self doubt, became completely overcome with anxiety and confusion. I think this is what social media has done to my people all over the country. It’s much easier to show a “happy” face on Instagram.. but are you fulfilled in your life? Is it even possible to be completely fulfilled with distractions such as what we have today? Instagram and Twitter may have been a good idea at first,  but now they seem to be used to avoid confrontation and peoples real emotions. In a short time, Mae lost everyone that really cared about her and she fully committed to a life of transparency. In our world, I have seen so many people become so distant from their loved ones that it is practically like they have lost them because only technology holds them together.. and technology is something that can one day be inaccessible.

At the end of the day, I feel bad for Mae. It seems to me like she was an easy target.. insecure about her success and quiet about what brought her joy. Those are the kinds of people that blend right in to the world of technology and social media… a place where it’s so easy to lie, everyone practically does it.

Almost every day I look around and feel alone amongst all of my peers. I see a lot of people frowning down into their phones. When I do get to have a conversation with someone, the cell phone is a constant reminder of where their mind REALLY is. It is not with me in this conversation, it is in a virtual world, such as Twitter, reeling about the comment their ex said that might be about them.

They are either dwelling in the past or fretting about a future they haven’t even earned yet.  Like I said in paragraph one, it is rare to find someone who is not completely enthralled by technology and it’s many distractions.