Social Media Vulnerability
- “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure…Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
- Brené Brown.
The transition that I spoke about here feels complete. Over the Easter Weekend I deactivated my eleven year old Twitter account. I am now off of mainstream social media in totality. I feel comfortable with the decisions that led to this place, and I now feel vulnerable.
Social media is, I have been told, where I have to be to keep my coaching business afloat. But social media is not where my heart is. It feels to me like a noisy party that I can’t keep up with, despite the presence of friends and colleagues. The noise and activity that exist there drown out my ability to keep up with the conversations and hear the clarity of my thoughts. The sensitive side of my nature finds the volume deafening - loud for me does not always manifest as sound - and I have chosen to bow out. Some people have offered me strategies for staying involved, but those have not worked for me.
For me my preference is the quieter world, whether in the virtual or real world, though quieter does not mean unengaged. Places of longer reads, considered conversations, peppered with joy, laughter, friendship and building connections.
The last six months, from leaving social media to embracing a simpler website, has seen me cross a threshold to a place that feels as though it more closely honours who I am, and sits more comfortably with what I want to offer. At the same time it seemingly - as the story goes that I tell myself - leaves me feeling more alone in the opportunities that I now have for making connection, making myself visible…and so, more vulnerable.
But that is simply a story that I tell myself. A story fed by fear brought on by vulnerability. It also feels more like my truth, and now that I have entered that place, I will see where it will take me.
I have been traveling and needed to contact the airline that my wife and I were using. I was looking for a quick response. I didn’t fancy waiting on the telephone for someone to answer, and the only other place I knew where I might get a quick answer was on Twitter. So, very aware of what I wrote here, I reactivated my Twitter account (it sits in a dormant state for thirty days when you deactivate it, before Twitter deletes it) and got the answers that I needed. I acknowledge that this is something that I have found useful about Twitter - quick access to companies for assistance. I have therefore decided for now to keep my Twitter account open, for such instances. I don’t plan on using the platform for anything else, time will tell.
And what might this turn of events say to vulnerability as I spoke about it above? My words still hold true, I believe. I am honest about my need and how Twitter can help me there. I still find social media loud, and will monitor its presence in my life, currently not planning to use it beyond the need that I spoke of.