In this digital culture of everything-on-display-with-immediacy, we can say anything we want and it might reach a million people in a day.
We can and do express and create and share ourselves freely, completely.
With so much information available at all times, with so much coming at us, we are easily overwhelmed with a million things to react to.
These screens simultaneously connect us and separate us, creating a fictional, two-dimensional world where we can “see” each other but not really be there.
I think it’s simultaneously freeing us and fucking us up.
I’m such a proponent of authenticity. But when it comes to sharing how we feel, I think that we sometimes confuse vulnerability and openness with reactivity and emotionalism—maybe even a little bit of narcissism.
I’ve certainly been this way, and I don’t judge people for it, nor am I asking people to suppress emotions or accept abuse.
We’re learning how to be open and honest, vulnerable and real, but we still need to understand when to choose our battles and how to step into them with grace.
But what if it’s sometimes in ours and others’ best interest to shut up and maybe even fake it a little until all parties are willing and able to have a reasonable conversation?
Expressing emotions is healthy and necessary, but we also need to know how and when it’s best to just take a step back while still facing the problem or issue (person) in question.
This offers space and objectivity in difficult situations—basically, a break.
Then when we’re ready we can step back in with fresh ears.
We now may more easily have an audience, but the flip side of this is that we have more responsibility to participate as attentive audience members as well.
A negative consequence of this sharing and connection economy is that we tend to talk more than we listen.
Or maybe we have always been that way.
Either way, reservation need not be seen as a weakness. It can be an act of grace and a tool of empowerment if we approach it in it the right way.