Authentic Status Experiment Results

For 1 week, I posted status updates which included things I was scared to share. Here are the results.
I decided to take the challenge from my last post and use social media “socially” for a week. What does this mean exactly? For me, it meant writing status updates that stretched my comfort zone and made me ask “Can I really share THAT?”. I posted ideas, thoughts and worries that I’d otherwise be too scared to share. Instead of sticking to the usual short-and-snappy etiquette, I allowed myself paragraph long posts to give me time to complete a thought. 
Before I undertook this challenge, I didn’t realise how much I used to tailor what I wrote in a public space. The little things I omitted or rephrased for fear my boss/Dad/students would see. I don’t mean over personal things like “Ooh, I’ve got a bum spot!” or unprofessional statements like “Well that was the worst essay I’ve ever marked”. It was smaller than that, and unnecessary. 
The bigger Facebook has become, the more posting a status has felt like standing in the market square and yelling your innermost thoughts through a loudspeaker. Little by little, it’s easy to become inhibited, Things I pushed myself to share this week included my ongoing gender journey (which I’m always concerned will be misunderstood or judged), a success and request for support with a new healthy diet (which I feared might be judged as a holier-than-thou announcement, or outcast me as a health freak) and the conflict I feel when put on the spot to perform at a dinner party (I worried it might discourage people from asking in the future). 
My hope was that Facebook, just like real life, would respond with more genuine contact the more I was willing to reach out myself. I hoped that I could turn my experience of the platform back into the buzzing social hub of former years. Turns out, I was right. 
Throughout the week, I did feel some uncomfortableness, but also had many more fulfilling interactions, and useful ones too. I received one baffled comment about my gender ID, which included a swear word, but generally got many supportive messages. I also got good advice from an Optometrist on managing eye health and computer use. I got back in touch with a few people I haven’t seen in years, who contacted me privately in response to a status.
So, I’ve shown myself that with social media, you really can get out what you put in. I had never been “un-genuine” in the past, but had let the way I used Facebook tick along of its own accord rather than be decisive and selective. 


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