Can we REALLY say whatever the f*ck we want?
In a world where your digital profile is forever etched in meta, how much can we REALLY say online? I often think about blogging like i do about scribbling in my teenage diary. It’s heartfelt, unstructured, a little messy - but it’s real.
I know, I know, the world of blogging and digital content has changed the world forever and now people are putting a great deal of thought into their content online. But now my blog IS my diary and that means that my online profile is going to get a little dirty.
Recently I’ve been going through quite a bit of personal emotional turmoil and I have wanted to scream about it from the rooftops. I have felt unjustly done. I have felt unseen and unheard. I have felt angry.
I HAVE felt better, however, after sharing with other people about what’s going on. I needed for someone to hear about my struggles. I needed to get angry, vent and get yucky the feelings out. I know everyone handles situations differently, but for me, personally, I need to share what’s going on for me. Once it’s out it’s like I can breathe again.
And for me - knowing that I made that choice to put something out there, I understand that whatever comes back to me is something that I cannot control. This is something that I'm willing to do because if I don't get my truth out it feels like I’m going to EXPLODE. Because for me, whatever is going on is REAL in my mind. And once I get it out, then I’m able to look at it from different perspective. But until then, it’s all muddled.
But it doesn't mean I'm not scared to do it! I’m scared to share what’s really going on for me for fear of being judged. For fear that i’m being ungrateful, or because in comparison to what others are going through, I shouldn't be complaining at all. If I get responses like these I would then feel shame, and then the cycle of anger would just continue.
When we started YDY us founders all felt the same way about being honest about what was happening for us and how important it was to share it. We had felt stifled for so long it felt like our feelings were coming out sideways in really unhealthy ways.
For me, when I feel like I don’t have a voice I get angry, and when I get angry I turn into a child and start behaving like a naughty school girl. And as a 35 year old professional woman with two children I can’t really do that anymore!
By the way, my high school sweetheart was in love with a young Britney Spears and used to watch this video all the time. THAT made my angry. But she's such a boss in this clip all is forgiven. YDY, Britney Spears.
These days I think the words we say are being too controlled. I don’t mean by the government or other governing bodies, we can officially say anything, but we are worried about what others might think or say of us. Mostly women. Actually, especially women. I might even go as far as to say that ONLY women are the worst enemies of complete freedom of speech among the sisterhood.
All too often in my own social media feeds I see women attack other women for simply expressing their own points of view. It’s so interesting to me that people can become so vile simply by reading another person’s thoughts that they’ve put up - absentmindedly or not - into a public forum. I know that I’ve been guilty of having a go at someone online that I didn’t know.
Online trolls are rampant in social media platforms like Facebook groups and other online forums, and often when someone speaks their mind openly and honestly, they have to duck for digital cover while a barrage of abuse ensues.
And the pendulum swings the other way too. Many of us become digital cowgirls - righteous from the safety of anonymity, cloaked by an avatar and a keyboard.
I wonder - are trolls really angry with themselves because they don't feel safe enough to share their own truths? Are women becoming more depressed because they’re worried about expressing their opinions? And are us women doing ourselves a disservice emotionally by holding our thoughts and feelings back in fear? Or should we always tread carefully do the "right" thing?
I challenge you this week to think twice about two things. Firstly, take a moment and a breath before responding to anything in a public forum when you don’t know the person or their situation personally.
And secondly, I would encourage you to check in to see if need to take care of your own emotions, before reacting angrily to someone else’s.
And if you say what you want, what you really, really want and you STILL feel angry? Send them a bag of dicks.