The social media wilderness
Once upon a timeline,
there was an enchantress of words who wandered through the social media wilderness of 2022. Virtually friendless and alone, she traversed through the boroughs of the digital world. She was wild and untamed yet forgotten and unseen in this foreign land. The ways of the digital world were strange to her, she didn't know how to navigate the filters that were blatantly obvious because she was used to more subtle psychological masks.
Her passions had previously been fed by the slow burn of paper pages, she longed for the times where she sat on the tiles of her small apartment kitchen twirling a phone line through her fingers while listening to a familiar voice on the other end. She was not meant for this immediate gratification from this instant messaging her head spun from the fast lane of the world wide web and she simply couldn't decipher these snippets of fractured time skewed by 90 second soundbites. “Where do the treasures of this new age lie? “she would mutter to herself often as she attempted to excavate meaning from the quick taglines that littered her path.
“How true it is, what the wise of past ages said to their followers, ‘Do not go directly into the temple; first walk around it fifty times!’ The meaning was, first get tired and then enter. Then you value it. One values something for which one makes an effort.” Hazrat Inayat Khan
Dear Medium reader,
Where does the value lie if everything is instant, how can we truly know ourselves and others in this digital age, how can we build layers of trust and intimacy? What happened to pleasure delay? Anticipation?
I must admit, I often peruse your Medium stories, a voguer into your world. I have laughed , cried and stopped mid story to press save and tuck away a few articles for savoring when I finally have a moment to myself. If I am not careful I can lose myself in the mindless stream of consciousness that exist at any nano second.
But lately I have found myself walking around the word temple in meditation, my steps acting as prayers. I have unwittingly embarked on a pilgrimage to find grace and beauty amongst the illusions of our digital time. Perhaps it is a fruitless venture but I truly believe it is worth the tracks I make around the temple.
May my feet leave prints that other would dare to follow.
Its a real kick in the gut, this vocation. There are moments where every word flows so effortlessly through me, my fingers stroke the keyboard with love and fervor, messages abound from the ethers . On the flip side there are weeks/months where much like an urge to find release I long to write but nothing comes.
I don’t like to be vulnerable (not that anyone really does… do they?) I have always found that sharing the hidden parts of me has more often than not lead me down paths I have far too many scars from. Here in lies my dilemma, my writing demands that I reveal my soft pink underside, it is only then that I am most in my creative flow. Things just click… Go figure!
There are moments of self loathing where I catch myself wondering what are we doing here? Why do we write and for whom do we write? Is anyone really listening…reading?
I find most people are bashful about calling themselves writers unless they are published. It is almost as if the external validation of the world is needed in order to put that badge of honor one.
The first time I stumbled upon Anne Lamott’s advice about writing I was filled with gratitude. Lamott shone a flood light on all my insecurities and gave me the encouragement to proceed anyway but more than that I felt encouraged to shine.
“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Anne Lamott
And so as I put one foot in front of the other out here in the social media wilderness, I arm myself with hope and remember to shine brightly, there may be others who see the path, who search for kindred spirits that are seeking deep and meaningful connections. Who write with conviction and good intentions despite the endless echo within the endless stream of digital chatter.
If you are reading this I implore you, do not listen to the chatter of the internet. Do not get lost in other peoples opinions and certainly don’t wait for likes and hearts or some random strangers comments to validate that you belong here or that your work matters.
Take your shoes off, release the tension from your finger tips and find your sacred writing ground. Give your words the space and the freedom to flow and remember that only you can truly decide if this vocation is what you love and claim your rightful place among those of us who dare to find meaning in the social media wilderness.