Social networking sites like facebook and twitter are the new thing, and part of the fun is "tweeting" what is on one's mind at any moment. There is no filter (aside from swearing for most people, or blatant insults/offenses) and people can just put what they think or feel out there.
I can't do this.. let me back up. I am on facebook next to constantly, yet there is something crazy going on that I have noticed in my self... I tailor my "tweet" or whatever, to my audience!! I over think how I should word it as to not offend anyone, and eventually the thought is so general and vague that it loses it's meaning. I dare not say anything that another "friend" might find fault, and when I do post something even slightly controversial, I enter a panic mode and eventually I delete my post- it is the only thing that makes me feel better.
Why is this a problem? I cannot express myself without worrying what others will think. So then I wonder, does anyone know the real me? Do I know where I stand on things with an audience completely removed?
This carries over into my daily life.. I am an adult child of an alcoholic, and "they say" that this is one of the characteristics of ACOA's- constant filter. As a child who thought I had to take care of my alcoholic parent, I learned that no matter what I do or what I say, I cannot change my mother's behaviors. I am powerless. So, I learned to tailor my life to her in order to reduce conflict as much as possible. Somehow, this powerlessness creeped into me such that I cannot express myself without thinking of other people and worrying whta they might think..
The biggest example of this tragic way of being is, deciding where to go to graduate school. I had to choose between two very good options in two very different directions. I could not make the decision. THe last person I listened to was myself. Obviously the choice came down to me, but it still haunts me. I regret it (and I am confident that I would have regretted my decision had I gone the other way)... why did I regret it? Because I felt like I let someone down. I would have let someone down no matter what I decided.. and that was the biggest factor for me. I didn't consider personal choices like say, where would I be happiest at. I made my choice mostly on how others felt and on whom I could please. And now the "what if's" are haunting me.
This is no way to be. And on the internet, like facebook and twitter.. we are even further removed from the world in which we are socializing in.. When I "tweet" no one can see my face or my body language. Once I "tweet", it goes out into cyber space, I have no control over who sees it, and I have no control over how people react to it. I seem to have even less control than I would have in a normal face-to-face interaction!
When I do "tweet" and someone comments and/or disagrees, I feel physically ill. That sort of anxiety that puts your stomach in knots.. I quite honestly feel like I need to take a **** when that happens. Why do I give the internet so much power?
I want to be able to express anger, disappointment, happiness, being proud, being victorious, being rejected, with out wondering what others think about it. After all, I own how I feel and I own what I say.. why do I let others threaten it? How can I reach a point where I can tweet what I think and feel, and not worry about what other people think.