Social Media and The “Freedom” of Expression


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For those who might follow me on Twitter, you will have gone through some self-realization with me on the day after my birthday. Taking a break from personal blogging resulted in several things, and this was one of them. Keeping my thoughts to myself for a while somehow made it possible for me to–well, more than just identify a problem, but I had a clear-enough head to do something about it. I have my original train of thought from Twitter below for you to read:

It’s a constant struggle, it seems, to continually express myself openly. It is something I struggle with a lot. Social media lets eyes into your mind when they otherwise wouldn’t be. Let’s be honest: The people on social media who make each site what it is can create expectations that are intimidating, and can make it hard to share yourself honestly. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media because they can create platforms to do so many different things…but there’s a negative side them all, too.

Facebook is fully of well-meaning parents, peers, and elders who can be quick to speak their minds without being sensitive. Twitter puts up expectations that one must be funny and sarcastic all the time. Tumblr will literally get offended by anything you might say, no matter what its about. Instagram sells the misconception of “they must have perfect lives, look at their perfect pictures, my life sucks compared to them.” There’s just no filter for “I just feel like a mess right now.”

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And blogging can have heated articles full of unresearched opinions, while the opposite side of the spectrum is full of writers who are too scared to share certain fandoms or thoughts; simply for the response they might get from readers and family–“What are you doing? You watch that? You need to write a disclaimer before every tv show you watch to make sure no one stumbles.” It makes it really hard to share some things about yourself.

It’s for reasons like this that one doesn’t just casually state, along-side their other fandoms, “I love Game of Thrones.” No seriously, that’s me actually admitting that I love Game of Thrones for the first time on this blog. 99% of you didn’t know that about me because its something I’ve kept private for the reasons I just listed in the paragraph above.

Vulnerability IS SCARY. But I meant what I said in that last tweet about being me everywhere un-apologetically. That’s why I’m sitting here writing this.

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Of course, what you share on social media is ultimately up to you. Privacy is always a very good thing to keep in mind; I generally share more than most because I know that speaking plainly about topics resting on my heart not only helps me but others too. And I like to feel connected to people who feel the same vulnerability. I actually wish there was more of this on the Internet but I understand why most people are private.

But its silly when things like fandom Pinterest boards and silly little thoughts for Twitter become filtered for no reason. And it took me two months of blogging “radio” silence to realize that’s what I’ve been doing to myself.

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Being myself has and probably always will be a battle for me as I learn to let go of expectations. Besides, I’ve had people freak out over my likes and dislikes for years–In 2011 my sister and I were verbally attacked for an extended period of time by church peers because we were watching Star Wars without dissecting it to pieces. STAR. WARS. So, I’m learning to wear tough skin when it comes to the fandom things. 😄

To cut this short: this whole social media thing was a fantastic “ah-ha” moment that I had almost two months ago and I’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you guys! I felt like in a day I grew up a little bit more. I live for these types of moments in my life, these types of revelations of my hesitation.

I feel kinda dumb after having them; like, “wow, I shouldn’t let this bother me. I can make however many stupid Pinterest boards I want. Why do I do this to myself.” This might honestly sound like a pretty silly, trivial issue to some of you, to struggle with social media, which is ok. But I know a lot of other people might struggle with this too, and I want those people to know they’re not alone.

I love social media. It’s an awesome thing.  But it’s especially awesome when I can feel free to use it for me. Thanks again for listening, guys. ❤

~Jamie

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24 thoughts on “Social Media and The “Freedom” of Expression

  1. (*bangs palms on table in complete agreement*)

    This is something I’ve struggled with SO MUCH over the years, and not just in social media. I went through a time where I couldn’t even express my love of history (HISTORY, PEOPLES) to the people at my old church without being told that I wasn’t “setting my mind on things above.” The Lord has set me free from that kind of bondage, thankfully–while still giving me what I really and truly hope is a balanced sensitivity to others’ personal preferences. Because obviously I’m not going to talk about Lord of the Rings/Star Trek/Star Wars with people who I KNOW don’t care for it. But they shouldn’t be surprised (and I don’t care if they ARE surprised) if they find me chattering about it on my blog.

    I hope you’ll do a post about “Game of Thrones,” by the way! I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on it.

    1. You couldn’t even share your love for history?! How– why– wtf– that’s pretty messed up. How on earth are we so suppose to move towards the future without understanding and studying our past?! I’m really sorry that happened to you! Praise God that you’re away from those people and you feel a lot more free to express your love! Thank you for sharing with me, Maribeth! We relate well when I write these posts. ❤ ❤ ❤

      I will indeed consider writing something about Game of Thrones since you and Rachel are both interested. It will probably make me want to rewatch the available seasons all over again though. 😄

      ~Jamie

  2. Oh. My. Gosh.

    THANK YOU.

    I just feel like shouting this from the rooftops all the time but I didn’t know how to say it. And you’ve put it into words!!! I’m trying to be myself on social media, too, even though I feel the expectations. (AND I FEEL YOU ABOUT THE BLOG PARAGRAPH. I hate having to use a disclaimer for everything!)

    So thank you SO much for writing this. AMEN AND AMEN!

    -Ashley-

    1. 😀 😀 😀 YOU’RE WELCOME. I’m glad what I wrote struck a chord with you! I knew I couldn’t be alone with this problem.

      I hate giving disclaimers, and for the most part I’ve stopped giving them here on the blog (Seriously: if you’re more sensitive, you should do your own thorough research! Don’t make someone else responsible for the entertainment choices you make! Unless its in someone’s heart to actually share disclaimers, they should not be demanded from anyone! This is one of my biggest blogging pet peeves, I swear to God!)

      You’re very welcome, thank you for your enthusiastic comment, it made me feel all warm inside! ❤

      ~Jamie

      1. AHH, your parenthetical rant is me every. single. day. 😄 People are all like, “Why did you say that book/movie/CD was good when it had _____ in it?!” And I’m always like “Because you took my recommendation blindly and didn’t ask me if there was any Content in it. Duh.” I never give disclaimers on my Goodreads reviews anymore unless there’s something major. *rolls eyes*

        Aww, I’m glad. 🙂 Thanks again!

  3. Add another to your applauding audience 🙂 I think that kind of judgmental attitude is detrimental to church in general, too…and you’re definitely one who can appreciate that more than me!

    I’m keenly interested in your thoughts on GoT also–it’s not a fandom I’m in, but I know enough about it to hold a conversation*!

    *ask semi-informed questions

    1. Thank you! ❤ It really is, I'm so cautious of church and church folk these days. I'm so sad that a place that should be a sanctuary and safe house has become more of a place of judgement and yard sticks. 😦

      I'll certainly consider a way to blog about Game of Thrones at some point. It's one of my favorite TV shows. ❤ I'll take questions if you have any! 🙂 Thank you so much, Rachel! ❤

      ~Jamie

  4. You nailed just about every social media issue. Well done : ) I really enjoyed Game of Thrones, but the sexual content was just way to much for me. I got through S1, but only got about 1/3 of the way through S2 before I finally stopped watching. Which is sad, because sexual content set aside, the story is amazing!! Who are your favorite characters?

    1. Thank you very much!

      I hear you, there’s definitely a lot of nudity to sift through.But the story really takes off during season 3 and 4! Those blew my mind!

      My favorite character hands down is Tyrion Lannister: he’s got some of the best character development I’ve ever seen in a show hands down. Daenarerys Targareon is a long time fave, too, and Jon Snow, Jamie Lannister (he’s a great example of character perception, like you talked about!) Brieene of Tarth, Margery Tyrell, and The Hound…to name a few. 😄 Who did you like from the seasons you saw?

      1. Well…I might give it second shot and it was really getting exciting too when I stopped watching it. My favorite characters are Daenarerys Targareon (I love how they used her marriage as the foundation of her courage and eventual destiny as a queen), Jorah (do he and Dany become a thing), Arya Stark, Robb Stark and Jon Snow…ok, pretty much the whole Stark family! Mostly Robb though…

        My favorite scene in the beginning of S2 is when Jamie Lannister is being held prisoner by Robb Stark’s command and and he’s being questioned by Robb (looking all noble and bad-ass and beautiful with his curly black hair and big blue eyes) and all of a sudden this wolf the size of my family’s kitchen island just walks right up next to him and I’m like “GOOD GOD WHAT IS THAT???” That moment just defined epic for me. Do you think the Stark wolves count as characters? If so, then I love them too.

        Ok, too much fan-girling. Turning it off.

      2. Yes, you basically stopped right as everything to really good–if you survived the first season than you basically owe yourself to see the rest because OH MY GOD GIRL. OH MY GOD. 😄 I like the Starks too. But I’m really biting my tongue here to make sure I don’t spoil anything…………. 😄 Let me know if you pick it up again. 😀

  5. This is a great post, thank you for sharing it

    I’ll echo commenters above and hope you share some thoughts and opinions on Game of Thrones, a show that I really enjoy, and enjoy talking about, but more importantly, I enjoy reading people’s opinions of the show, regardless if they match my opinion.

    Best regards!

    1. No thank you for stopping long enough to comment! I appreciate it! 😀

      Horray, another GoT fan! 😀 Thank you for the encouragement to write about the show. It’s so big I wouldn’t know where to begin but I’m glad you’d like to know my opinion of them without your own being threatened. 😄 I’ll have to start a draft somewhere I start putting down my thoughts. 😀

      ~Jamie

  6. A late congrats on your birthday, and sorry I haven’t stopped by the blog for a while!

    I understand exactly how you feel, both about social media and life in general. I find being “me” has been one of the hardest struggles as I’ve gotten older. I’m nearing 25 now, and it can still be difficult, but don’t despair. Keep bring true to yourself, and keep moving towards your goals without apology. You are who you are, and that is good. Your twenties is full of all manner of struggles, but keep holding on!

    1. Alexandra! Oh my gosh, so good to hear from you again! I hope life’s treating you and your books well! 🙂

      Thank you for that encouragement! It’s nice to hear from someone who goes through these worries too. I’m looking forward to my twenties, I hope they are good years with lots of self-realizations and practice. 😀

      ~Jamie

  7. AMEN, PREACH IT SISTER!

    I’m glad you were able to recognize this and want to change it. Being totally authentic is hard. Even as I was reading this, I realized that I do the same exact thing on Pinterest and blogging. So I’m going to try to be more “me”, too. Thanks for this post, Jamie! 🙂

    ~Emily

    1. 😀 😀 😀 😀

      Wow! I’m so glad you’re going to try to be more “you” too! We’ll do it together sister! Thanks for this! ❤

      ~Jamie

  8. Great post! This is such a real issue for society today. I mean, people are always going to hide parts of them from certain groups to some extent, but social media really adds to that pressure to please everyone.

    And honestly it is scary to put your true self out there for everyone. It’s vulnerable. It’s something I’ve struggled with for years.

    Thank you for talking about this! People need encouragement to be our true selves on social media. The confidence won’t come overnight, but even just taking things step by step will make a big difference in the way we feel about ourselves.

    1. Thank you so much! And well said! Social media is really such a new thing for our culture that we’re probably just figuring out the anxiety it can create without our realization. I’m glad I was able to put my finger on the problem. 🙂 I agree, we definitely can’t change over night, but we can start the beginning of the change! Nicely said! 🙂

      ~Jamie

  9. I’ve felt the exact same way, especially with some of my fandoms like Supernatural or Attack on Titan. I feel like my church groups will think me weirder than they already do. I’m glad you’ve come to this resolution. I’m slowly getting more honest on my blog, but it can be tough sometimes.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    1. I can REALLY feel you here! That’s sad your church groups aren’t more accepting to people’s personal choices like TV shows. 😦 I’m glad you’re at least finding a little freedom on your blog even though its hard; I can really empathize with you there too! *hugs*

      1. I have a lot of geeky Christian friends that accept my fandoms, but one thing that miffs me about the church culture is how they don’t accept geeks. It’s one reason I write and edit for Geeks Under Grace because I feel like I’m doing something about the issue. Christian geeks are some of the coolest people I know. It’s just tough that it seems like to many people a geek being a Christian is like mixing oil and water, and geeks end up shunning the church. It’s why I’m trying to be more bold as a Christian geek, because I still can be a strong Christian while loving anime and video games and superheroes. *hugs back*

It always makes my day to see your messages! Don't forget to check back, I try to write back to you too! <3

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