Permission for sombre in the social media world?

I had a thought. A question. Something I was wondering about. And, wondering if you ponder it as well.

Do you feel that with all the opportunities to express, share, and be present with social media platforms, blogs etc, that you have to or should be positive all the time? Do you sense there is no room for some difficult or more sombre truths of your life? Do you think it’s bad business to share harder moments, or challenging “I hate these times” moments?

"Dali in the Alley" by Chara Berk Photography

Sometimes I feel that way.

I post a gratitude list at the end of every day, finding it a good way to appreciate the positive aspects of my life, regardless of the type of day I’ve had. It’s a good way to go to sleep. My ritual (inspired by a friend) has helped me especially when I slip into examining what is NOT working. (guess we all do)

But, sometimes I wonder if gives a false impression. Your life appears successful with very few bumps in your social media streams. Then… does that affect your readers’ viewpoint of their life? “Wish my life was as interesting as hers” …kind of the same idea of comparing your life to a movie where they avoid all the quotidian because, well, it’s just not interesting in a film.

A tad philosophical  I know but.. I’m curious. Do you allow yourself to share some of those tougher moments? And, if you do, what kind of feedback do you receive? And, how do you feel if you do reveal these darker occasions?

I remember hinting on twitter I was having a tough moment one time. A friendly, compassionate connection “direct messaged” me to see if I was okay. We ended up having a private message exchange and I have to say… it was a cathartic and helpful.

Perhaps witnessing a vulnerable moment via social media can help us, as readers. It might give us an opportunity to give some warmth, and also know we are not alone. A good thing, yes?

I guess we can assume that life being what it is, everyone is surely having  “moments”, but keeping it private. (most of the time)

I would love to hear your thoughts.

3 thoughts on “Permission for sombre in the social media world?

  1. I have to say, I’ve put a couple of “rough patch” posts and once I hit some surprising backlash once. Basically telling me to crawl out of my self-pity and move on. What’s funny to me is that since I so rarely post the bad stuff, when I do it is something really important to me, making criticism hard to take in those moments.

    On the flipside, I have engaged with and have received the occasional helpful push/advice from social media friends. It reaffirms to me a general good feeling about the community.

    It’s funny, isn’t it? On the one hand, when we are in a rough patch and post about it, we are in an emotional place with certain circumstances, etc and we send out feelings out into the stream, which are then picked up by another as 140 characters of text, with no context of the posters bodily language, vocal inflection and other subtext clues that let us know how much is really happening inside them. Sometimes a lot more goes into 140 characters than meets the eye, I think.

    Ok, I’m about to go on for my second show of the day. Just wanted to respond to your thoughtful post and say “I’m with ya!”


    1. trilbyjeeves

      Thank you, Jef, for your sincere response. I really appreciate your perspective. Communication at the best of times is challenging, and I know when I see a lower energy tweet or FB message, I try to extend compassion. It helps me feel more human! After all life is ups and downs, right? I think a little permission for that online is okay. Goodness, we live in a different world from not that long ago! 🙂

  2. Marlene

    I think it depends on a number of factors… what role we see social media having in our personal and business lives and what we think we might be expressing to people who don’t know us that well.

    For people whose area of work has to do with ‘growth’ it would make sense to show the ups and downs as part of the whole process.

    Some close friends used to do Rose and Thorn at the end of the day. Going around the table each expressing the best and most difficult thing in the day. It sort of evened things out.

    When we expose personal things in an impersonal medium we do lay ourselves open. People we don’t know could misinterpret us. And people we do know could misinterpret us. We have to take care.

    So, no, I don’t express the difficult stuff unless it’s emotionally neutral (like breaking my wrist). But that’s me. And yes, I have reached out if someone sounded like they needed a friendly contact.

    Sometimes I have things to express and I don’t really know how and where. We’re all trying to figure out what to do with these new lines of communication. I like how you open these discussions. Thanks Trilby!

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