So, as I sat down to write this post, I had lots of ideas going through my mind.
And I’m not going to lie, most of them were negative.
You see, in the past few months I’ve encountered some truly despicable behavior in the digital space. No sugar-coating it.
I’ve heard people bad-mouthing others.
Experienced constant negativity and criticism.
Watched as thoughts or comments were taken out of context, resulting in name calling and metaphorical door slamming.
And I’ve stumbled into public arguments and assassinations.
I’ve personally rolled my eyes at pokes and jibes directed at me, couched with the winky-faced “Just kidding!” disclaimer, and heard bold-faced lies being told about people I care about.
I could go on and on. And before the tar and feathers come out, I’m not getting all up on my high horse here, because I know I’m only human, and can be a bit of a cranky-pants myself (right Liz Reusswig? LOL).
Truth, Lies, and Facebook Memes
But, as I sat down to tackle some of this negativity, it happened to be American Thanksgiving. My Facebook stream was full of people reveling in the spirit of their holiday. Posting pavlovian-response inducing pics of the food they were about to enjoy. And extolling the virtues of friends and family. And I thought to myself: There! That’s better!
And I just couldn’t do it. I was living vicariously through all of my own American friends and family, and though it was the eve of Black Friday, I didn’t want to feel ‘black,’ much less write about negativity.
Then I remembered one of the more recent of the MANY Facebook memes flying around lately. The one about revealing personal things others might not know about you.
“This seems odd,” you’re saying. “What the heck does this have to do with online nastiness?”
Well, quite a lot actually. Because I believe the more you know a person – the real person behind the ‘persona,’ the harder it is to be quite so nasty.
Maybe, if we all shared just a little bit about our fears or vulnerabilities, our backstory, we would all in turn take a second before posting something, and instead say “Oh. Right. There’s a real human behind that avatar.” And wouldn’t that be nice.
So, since no one tagged me on Facebook to play (*cries*), I picked a random number – 10 – and decided to share a few things about myself, so you can get to know me a bit better.
Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me
- I grew up in (what was) a very small, very conservative Canadian town in New Brunswick. I left home when I was 18, started working and supporting myself, then moved to Toronto in my very early 20s, leaving my entire family behind. That’s been hard. But it’s what I had to do to survive.
- My formal education stopped after graduating high school (see above re: leaving home at a young age!). I never went to college or university, instead I worked my way up from the very bottom at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and enjoyed a successful 20 year career in television production. That said, even all these years later, I still feel terribly insecure I don’t have a degree of some sort.
- I’m loud. Really loud. My whole family is loud. And I curse like a sailor.
- I’ve learned to project an image of strength and confidence. But inside? You can crush me like a robin’s egg with an unkind word or harsh criticism. As alluded to above, I have deep-rooted insecurities, ‘security’ never having been a constant in my life. I learned to mask them in order to succeed – but they’re always there, simmering under the surface.
- I still sleep with a blankie. True story.
- I’m not a patient person. I like things to function the way they’re supposed to. Deadlines to be met. Technology to work the way it was intended. And people to arrive on time (if not a wee bit early). And I get extremely annoyed when they don’t. OCD? Perhaps.
- Speaking of OCD, I won’t take the first magazine or newspaper in a pile. Nope. Can’t do it. I have to go at least five deep. Ten is better. I mean, ewwww! Someone else might have already had their grimy paws on them!
- I have a secret I will never reveal to another living soul. Ever.
- I reinvented my entire life – career and personal – in my 40th year (cliched, yes, but trust me, it just happened to coincide). Completely started over. From scratch. It’s been terrifying, and full of enormous peaks and valleys, but ultimately very rewarding.
- I’ve had my last rites. But I’m still here. N’uff said.
So, there you have it. A small look into what’s behind the avatar. And trust me, what I shared here barely scratches the surface.
Look, this year is rapidly coming to a close. And I know many people for whom 2013 was a brutal, brutal year. Let’s all be kinder when we can.
And remember – everyone has a backstory.