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The Right to Live Bizarrely

Every so often, when I hit my darker moods on social media, you'll see something like this:

@Goldkin: I really wish my mind would stop feeling enshamed and self-deprecatory for my prior, years-past mistakes. It would do me lots of good.

‏@Goldkin: I fear the eternal albatross-around-the-neck. The result: I hide most information about myself, am ponderous to reply, and am less engaging.

@Goldkin: I think there's something to be said about safe harbors for promiscuous online sharing. The likes of what happens on Facebook terrifies me.

@Goldkin: ... insofar as it should be socially acceptable to share one's self without fear that it'll become a static data point. I'd like to do that.

‏@Goldkin: I see those assumptions of immutability as giving rise to resentment and bigotry, and I just feel it's too narrow a space to live within.

What this displays is a fundamental insecurity of mine that shapes many of my actions. I am extremely fretful of how my previous actions color how people see me, even if they may have no reflection on my future performance or behavior.

This is, for the most part, a product of my heritage. I grew up within a highly conservative, and for the most part judgmental, family. This same family has been known to take its facts primarily as immutable and at face value. Without wishing to do so, I internalized this view as a representation of how others would see me... and began to deeply fear resentment and bigotry as a result.

This makes me a security professional, because I've become really good at hiding and obscuring information. But this comes at a severe social cost: I don't feel comfortable sharing the details of my private life as often as I'd like to. I feel as if I am far less engaging in conversation with the people that I enjoy being around, because I fear creating poor quality, insurmountable, and immutable data. This fear actually causes me to realize exactly what I otherwise wish to avoid, because it affects my logical centers, my abilities to process information, and my abilities to speak eloquently, due to the applied, slow filter of withholding dangerous information.

This filter makes some sense to maintain, however. Almost daily, we're reminded of some "schmuck" that was too promiscuous on Facebook, Twitter, or other forms of social media. They'll have said something socially hazardous, or they'll have revealed some personal detail, that costs them a lot of credibility. And this galvanizes my fears, because I am afraid of precisely what people would think of me if I shared more of who I am.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'd like to be more open in general. This is very difficult for me, because the past few decades have taught me to be a master of protecting information. Information, I add, that I'd like people I do trust and care about to know and be able to share.

Basically, I'd like to be less envious of the people I know whom I do believe have healthy modes of communication. I'd like to transmute this into action that makes me feel supported and connected by those I care about... which is already difficult for me, given my introverted tendencies. I certainly don't aspire to be an extrovert, but for those small few I communicate with regularly, I'd like to feel as if I'm providing the best communication I can offer.

In a way, this post is sort of a form of social advertising. There's a lot that I keep trapped under the hood, and frankly, I'd like much of it to be less of a tightly-guarded secret. Because, for most of it -- my draconity and spiritual identity, my aspirations, my loves and crushes for others, my carnal desires, and my general zeal for life -- there's actually nothing to be ashamed of. It's frustrating for me to take such a Victorian stance about myself, when the specific predators I'm afraid of are no longer present. Furthermore, I find it highly cathartic to be able to get more of what makes me myself out there for inspection.

But, perhaps most importantly, being more open would alleviate the specific isolation that I've suffered from these past several decades. I certainly wouldn't like to share everything, due to the intersection of healthy secret-keeping and tl;dr. But, just being able to share more, and to establish a sort of safe clearing house for who and what I am, would do me a lot of good.

I'm not yet sure what form that will take. But, the thought of it greatly appeals to me.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
This seems to be what pseudonyms are for, no? Why not just post all this stuff under the name Goldkin?

Or was it you who was outed at work under your pseudonym?

May. 6th, 2013 10:48 am (UTC)
I've read this several times and can't think of anything like a concise response, so I'll ramble for a while, hopefully some of this is useful.

I know people with all manner of bizarre beliefs, and for myself and pretty much all of the worthwhile people I know, as long as you are advocating committing violence, bullying or abusing anyone, or supporting groups that do any of this, the worst anyone's actions can do is color them is as someone who is either boring, weird in ways similar to my own, or weird in ways unlike my own. Obviously, many people aren't like this, but it's also quite obvious to me that I have no interest in interacting with most people - I wish them well, but don't want to have anything to do with them.

However, the situation gets a bit different at the local level. IME, it's for anyone easy to end up involved in social infighting that can alienate them from their current social group, a romantic breakup or an unwillingness to not continue overlooking one person's issues can swiftly eject someone from a social group, but also IME, such events don't carry over beyond the bounds of a fairly small group of people.

I'm still fairly shy (in the manner of socially non-confident extroverts who do not frequently encounter people who I wish to know or who wish to know me) and was moreso when I was younger, but I got over some of this when I realized that hiding myself and not taking social chances resulted in at least as much lost opportunity than avoided pain.

OTOH, having to work in a more mainstream capacity that my own (and there are few occupations that are less mainstream than mine :) does impose limits, because while IMO, there's no value in voluntarily associating with anyone who would shun you if they actually knew more about you, potential employers and colleagues can often hold unreasonable attitudes. I know a number of people who maintain a strict separation between their work and personal lives, with separate facebook and google+ IDs, LJ's under a use-name with no obvious connection to their legal name and suchlike. This seems to work well for them and allows for the freedom to meet like-minded people w/o putting one's professional life at risk.
May. 8th, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
You should feel free to be as un-Victorian around me as you would like. I'm not going to judge you harshly for being who you are.

And welcome to the modern computerized world, where everything you say can now be converted to text or video and disseminated to everybody on Earth, and no matter how long ago it was, how forgotten you think it is, or how well you like to pretend you hid it, somebody can dredge it up and create a fresh hell for you.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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