I remember when social media popped off. I was in the 10th grade, attending an inner city catholic school that had more sinners than saints. What I also thought was interesting was the keen skillset, for both the school and its students, to cover up scandals. When I hear about the scandals nowadays, unbeknownst to me at that time, I am completely blown away. Like how the heck did this TEA slip pass me?! Was I that lame? Lol.
But honestly, when I think back on the many stories told, I know for sure that we were all just naïve. I’m talking about “wet behind the ears” naïve, as old folks would say. The entire school, faculty and students, were obsessed with painting this cookie cutter picture. Some may blame it on the far from liberal, traditional ideals of the catholic diocese, that might have added a bit of pressure to everyone’s lives.
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the high school I attended. I always have and always will. I just find it extremely interesting as an adult, when I think on the extent of which the organization as a whole and its students, sought to cover up anything remotely unpleasant. Why must we only show the highlighted reel? Is it not OK to be authentic and truthful with the things that are going on in our lives?
But really…who am I to talk, right?! Anywho, back to the story.
It was 10th grade and Facebook had just launched. Everyone was so excited about using the “secret” way to get to the website on school property just to set up their page. It was the next best thing since sliced bread! And before you know it, instead of running home to watch TV, we ran home to hop on our computer to check our inbox on Facebook, BEBO, and MySpace. That was around the time long account names was like the “thing.” You know?! **laughs. Well, I’ll go ahead and tell you mine, of course. It was “Morgan Myluvislikewoah Williams.”
**screams “THE GHEETTTOOO!!!”
Why didn’t anyone tell me that I was being extremely extra?! I guess because everyone, like myself, wanted to stand out. We wanted that validation or stamp of approval. It was then, where we went from wanting to impress the people that we came in contact with on a daily basis at school, work, or church, to trying to impress our growing followers on various social media platforms. How exhausting?!
I can’t speak for everyone else, but that sense of needing validation followed me and became a part of who I am. Heck, let’s be honest. It’s a part of the culture now! Not only does the unsolicited (most times) likes and comments give you a sense of importance and value, but it can also give you the money, the moolah, the “green.” And I don’t know ANYONE that doesn’t want a little extra “GREEN!”
But similar to my high school experience, I’ve realized that we have conditioned ourselves to “put on” and only show the good aspects about ourselves. So often we hide behind the person that we want people to think that we are, with fear in our hearts of what people would truly think about the REAL versions of ourselves.
You know? The “EVILEEN” (refer to “the Wiz” for further context, lol) ugly parts of ourselves like jealousy, narcissism, pridefulness, anger, vengefulness, rage, lying, resentment and selfishness. Did I snatch anyone’s wig off yet? Do any of these qualities live deep inside your heart? Is there anything that you work hard to suppress and keep anyone from finding out about? You don’t have to answer. If you are living and breathing, the answer is yes. You know why? Because NO one is perfect. Not one person on this earth was created without spot or wrinkle. Everyone was created with flaws, as we are “born of the flesh”, like church folks would say. That’s just a glamorous way of saying, we are human; therefore we lead with our natural mind – the mind that is influenced by our emotions, circumstances and will.
But don’t be dismayed. In life, we are given the opportunity to learn and grow. Each day we have the choice of whether to hide or heal those things that are not pleasant about ourselves.
Are you still hiding, or healing, Sis?