Possibility In An Confusing Online World…
I like possibility, it’s exciting and it gives me hope, at the time of writing this hope was a really important feeling to me. I feel (felt) completely burnt out, lost, unable to explain how I was feeling, but I was clinging to possibility. Out of so many options, it felt like the safest.
a thing that may happen or be the case.
“relegation remains a distinct possibility”
the state or fact of being possible; likelihood.
“there is no possibility of any government achieving this level of expenditure”
a thing that may be chosen or done out of several possible alternatives.
“one possibility is to allow all firms to participate”
Rather than being vague, I want to talk about how my use of this term came around, it was the day after my 35th birthday, a Friday as a matter of fact. I was feeling extremely vulnerable and I came across a Podcast called “Terrible, thanks for asking” and I listened to “The Happiness Equation”. This is an episode that I recommend EVERYONE who is using social media for a vast amount of time listens to.
During the podcast they spoke about the start of the internet, when it felt like a place of such possibility and wonder, how long we’d wait for a webpage to load up. How utterly surreal it felt to be talking to someone else, from the comfort of our own home, via the computer and not the precious landline.
Everything moved so fast, social media started off as “Chat Rooms” – They might sound, seedy to younger readers but to those in the know? They felt like a revelation of wonder and possibility, who would you meet next? I met a wonderful lady from Hungary via the Red Hot Chili Peppers chatroom, years later we went to see them live in concert in London. The amazing people I’ve met via the internet will always hold a place in my heart.
Moving on, soon Chat Rooms evolved to websites like “Face Party” which was I suppose, the start of social media because that’s when I started curating my photos and trying to write a witty profile. Soon we all switched over to “My Space” and that’s when I became across Christine Dolce, aka Forbidden. To give her some context, she was the first BIG influencer, she appeared on TV, in Playboy, had celebrity connections and I wanted to be just like her.
“People don’t copy losers, they copy success, because if it looks like fun and is working for one person, some of us will ask ourselves ‘What if this can work for me?’. This is one of the reasons that social media is so full of possibility because we’re so addicted to pushing our boundaries of success or so-called joy”
People think that it’s a new thing, it’s not, because for the last 20+ year’s people have just wanted to belong, to create something or be seen and loved online. When I went to Google “Christine Dolce”, I found out that she had died, aged 35 and I felt such sadness. Thinking of Christine reminds me of the Dior Punk necklace I brought aged 21 because I’d seen her in something similar back in the day. It was expensive, complicated, often got tangled but every time I look at it? I see something I hadn’t spotted before, it’s beautiful and made me feel full of possibility and value, just like the internet did.
I know I’m stuck on the subject of Christine, but hear me out here, what I’m trying to say is that actually when a “Reality TV” or “Social Media Star” commits suicide or suddenly dies, it’s nothing new. Yet, it has this warped ability to make us feel like it’s, usual or question “Why” because surely that person had it all?
“It feels good to make a thing, for it to be seen and recognised” – The Happiness Equation
The highs are so incredible, sometimes even a little intoxicating, but the lows are so painful and confusing, I can tell you every.single.negative comment I’ve had, I can list nearly all my so-called failures too. Sometimes it feels impossible to keep up with the pace, continuously create interesting content, capture people’s imagination, or find the words to say. I was so unbelievably exhausted and secretly uninspired, I couldn’t keep up with people’s stories or find the energy to type yet another comment.
To learn more about the impact on a personal level; at the time of writing this, I’ve deleted all social media applications from my phone. At times I feel absolutely desperate to tune in and mindlessly scroll, I am constantly craving that next Dophermine fix (I’ll be talking about this in more detail soon). My only advice to you right now is that there’s so much more than 100 likes on Instagram or trying to create the next big thing. I know people who are living genuinely fraudulent lives online, all tangled up, in this strange ole spider web which enables us to wear so many masks or filters of who we really are.
If social media ever feels like it’s too much or it’s not quite right, chances are that it’s time to take a break. Just keep in mind that anyone can be struggling, even if the filter they use makes it look like they have it all. If you want to belong, make sure it’s in the real world, there’s possibility there too.