Over the past couple of weeks, what with the holidays and getting rather slammed at work, I inadvertently weaned myself from the web a little. I also got a few negative comments about my last article, so honestly I had to regroup a bit. People can be mean on the internet! See, I’m only mean in real life – I don’t understand being internet mean. Isn’t the internet where we can pretend to be a sparkly, bubbly and charismatic people? I need that after stress, tension and doom and gloom at work all day.
So anyway, I was a little surprised by how little I missed the internet. I didn’t miss email, I didn’t miss texting, I certainly haven’t missed talking on the phone since around 2000 and I didn’t miss Twitter. I don’t even need to say I didn’t miss Facebook, do I? Well, I didn’t. I didn’t miss hearing about how far people run every day, how amazing their babies are, how they are soooo domestic or just how they are somehow better than I am?
Usually Twitter makes me laugh and I can feel like I am “with” my friends and sharing jokes with them. It also makes me feel a little empty, because I am not actually with my friends. I feel pressure to think “cool” things, and my head should be my personal safe space where nothing can be wrong or uncool, no? Twitter also makes me feel uncool and left out sometimes. As you probably inferred from above, I am sensitive!
So the question is, am I too sensitive and insecure for cyberspace? I mean, if I ever made a YouTube video or put up a picture and got some of those comments… Well, I would take a long walk off a short pier, if you know what I mean.
I truly have a thick skin in real life. I can take just about anything. After being called an “F**king moron” regularly and being called out on any and everything you don’t do perfectly (including reading minds) in residency, there isn’t much you can’t take. Nor is there much that your can’t stand up for yourself about. I literally make life or death decisions, I talk with angry and scared patients, I deliver and receive terrible news and I interact with bullying and condescending doctors (yes, they treat me that way too sometimes). No problem. It’s what I am trained to do.
With the distance and anonymity involved, one would think I would be even LESS sensitive with stuff online. Not the case for me. I am more sensitive, because it’s surprisingly more personal for me. It’s not something I have trained to do with robotic precision- it’s just me. I don’t have reasons or science behind everything I say online, and it makes me vulnerable. But you know what? It’s damn good for me. It’s good for anyone to try to express their self in a new way.
I don’t know what to do with all of this. I guess there’s a price to pay for putting yourself out there. I’ve connected with amazing people, gotten loads of inspiration, sparked my curiosity and you challenged myself with doing something new. I guess I just need to make sure I stay interested in and protective of my self. I also have tremendous respect for the artists and entertainers that DO put themselves out there, every single day. It’s brave, it’s generous, it’s amazing. I thank them for their talent and, more importantly, for their bravery.
Much love, safety and health to all of you in this New Year! And let’s be nice, okay? At least on the internet? Thanks for reading. Until next week…
Image from Shutterstock