When I was 21 I had my daughter. Mili. She’s amazing. And awful.
I also broke up with her Biological dad. It wasn’t nice. It was hard.
I remember looking back on it a few years later. I was on Facebook and a friend was posting about her break up. Her ex was also posting. It became this awkward airing of dirty laundry. “Thank god social media didn’t exist when I had a break up” I thought to myself.
Since then I’ve basically made a career out of social media. Writing and PR. I even look after other people’s social media accounts. They pay me to do that!
Many of you use social media as a way of keeping up with friends and family. Some of you use it as a way of promoting your business. Others use it as a platform to write down their feelings.
The lovely thing about social media is that it is a space for you to express yourself.
The problem with my job is that my company is me. I’m the brand. And whilst a lot of what I do is motorcycles or car work, my real passion comes from this, my blogs, writing.
When I was young I never really felt I could talk to anyone about what was hurting me, making me feel sad. I made quite a lot of stupid mistakes that I was judged for and when people asked me why I did things, I couldn’t explain it for fear of no one else understanding. I felt alone. A lot. In many ways I still feel alone a lot.
The first time I wrote something personal was when I was pregnant with my daughter. It was a way of me dealing with how I felt. Of course, no one else has ever read it. But by writing it down I found that I could some how come up with answers.
Over the years I started to listen to people more. I realised that how I feel isn’t uncommon. In fact most people have worries, concerns and fears that they don’t really know how to explain or fix. Most people feel like no one else could understand if they tried to explain thier actions.
I’ve done some hurtful things too, mostly fuelled by the fact I just felt I couldn’t speak up or make my voice heard.
I’ve also been to afraid to say things. Because of what others might think.
When I started writing my blog. The old one, years ago before I started to write professionally. The purpose of it was to stand up, be brave and just say it. In the hope that by doing that someone might read my stories and think “omg, I feel like that” or could relate to it and become brave enough to use their voice. It also helped me get through some really tough times. It’s amazing how kind complete strangers can be. How much impact words can have. I’ve made some very good friends because of it.
Over the years I have had many people, both male and female, read some of my most personal things, my hurts, fears and sometimes rants. Then contact me to tell me they had been through something similar or to thank me for saying what they couldn’t say.
I write because I love the thought that people might feel like shit about something and feel isolated, read my stories and then suddenly not feel so alone. Abnormal. Stupid. I write stuff I probably shouldn’t, personal, honest and emotional things. Not because I need attention. Or I need the public to get out their tiny violin and give me a tune. I write because I know I’m strong enough to voice things and take the abuse you get for being honest, human, flawed. And I write because I want people to see that when things are dark, there is always a light to walk towards. When things aren’t fair you don’t have to stay quiet and accept it. That it’s ok to have an opinion, no matter what other people say about opinions and arseholes.
Because of that I have a platform where I can also make other people accountable for their actions. This isn’t something that I use to shame my boyfriend if he’s got on my nerves. Or to make people feel small when they need support. But it is something I use when I feel something really unfair has happened.
Such as if a friend has been treated badly by a company. Or if some utter arsehole sends indecent images to my underage child. Or, infact sends me indecent images when I’ve repeatedly asked them not to.
I post, write and share things that I think need to be said. Because if they aren’t said, then they will continue to happen. I hope that by doing it, it might prevent someone else from experiencing it.
Of course, that does mean that I’ll offend some people. Which is ok. We all have a right to an opinion. Good and bad.
However, I’ll happily take 100 negative comments, calling me names or putting me down, if what I have written touches one person in the right way. Or prevents one person from having to deal with something crap.
My social media is exactly that. It’s mine.
And yours is yours.
Whilst I don’t choose to tell the world if I’ve found out my other half is bonking the local vicar, or telling everyone I just got teabagged by my fiancé. Or posting photos of me drunk with my boobs hanging out. I also don’t care if you choose to do that.
Social media comes with very few rules. Don’t post offensive content (nakedness, pornography) Don’t be abusive or harmful to others.
It doesn’t come with a rule that says you can only write things that relate to current affairs, politics or what you had to eat last Sunday.
Every single thing a person posts has a point. Either to raise awareness. To help other people. To entertain. To inform. Or to reach out and ask for help without saying “help me”
Perhaps if we all spent more time considering why someone has posted something, we might be able to help and support each other a little more.
And if you are reading this and thinking “if this is true then why were you posting about the rainbow of doom on your computer last night” I can explain.
I was in a bad mood. Sometimes you need to have a little rant to get it out of your system. And popping it on Facebook then reading other people’s hatred of the rainbow of doom (I’m looking at you Apple users) makes you feel a little better.
Which is good, because then you don’t end up holding on to stupid anger that has stemmed from something silly, and biting your partners head off.