“Stay true in the dark, and humble in the spotlight.”~ Harold B. Lee
One of my good friends did something nice for me. He created a series of slides mentioning my website “Rene’s Reflections” and posted it as one of his Instagram stories. Of course, I was livid!!! Let me explain, he did not tell me he was going to do this. He casually mentioned he was working on something to promote my website. I figured when he was ready, he would contact me to go over the options. But no, he did not do this. He directly posted them online.
When I contacted him with “what the heck is this?!”, he merely replied that it was a surprise, and that he had worked really hard on the “launch”. He even gave it a grandiose name, but that’s very on par for him. He asked me if I was excited for the new slides. I replied that how can I be excited with someone I only knew existed when I saw it on his timeline?!
Anyway, we went back and forth on whether he should have consulted with me before posting (I’ll say of course to my deathbed!), and on whether they look good or not (they did look cool). But that is not the issue of this post. My main issue is “why did that upset me?” Was it because he did something related to me without my knowledge? Was it because I was out there for all to see? Was it because the uncertainty of the whole campaign?
I think is a mix of all of them. I like to have control over anything I post online for various reasons. So, yes, anyone posting something without my knowledge or consent constitutes a violation of my core values. For example, I would never submit anyone’s work (no matter how good it was) to any contest without them knowing. That’s not a pleasant surprise. I believe in not doing anything to others that I wouldn’t like done to me. But my values may be different than his values. He may consider that helping a friend (even against his will) supersedes others.
But I kept digging and I also found out that I didn’t like being out of the loop. I do like control over my own life. Doesn’t everyone? Life is full of uncertainty so having that part of me under wraps feels safe. But with this experience I learned that I cannot be a prisoner of control anymore. So what if someone creates content related to me without my input? As long as they are not damaging my reputation or spreading falsehoods, I should be indifferent.
I also realized that I don’t like being in the spotlight. Growing up, for various reasons, I never celebrated my birthday. I felt relieved because I did not like being in front of the cake alone and looking at everyone’s faces staring at me and singing. Yes, I know that is normal for most people, but it always made me nervous. So having 10 slides on social media mentioning me and showing my photo was a bit too much to absorb. I always said that given the choice between being wealthy or being famous, I would prefer being rich.
Then there are the expectations. Having a social media campaign and launch now means I must keep feeding the monster! Hehe And that is a pressure cooker I want to avoid! But again, who said this? Is this a story I created in my head? There are no rules for social media, so in reality it’s up to me to create content at whatever pace feels ok for me. There is no pressure to do anything at all. After all, everyone is too concerned with their own content to worry that I missed having weekly posts.
I told my friend how uncomfortable that action made me feel, he explained his reasons and way of thinking, and we came to an understanding. But since I can not control how others think and act, I cannot remain upset at him. I believe his intentions were good, so that is what matters. I can only control how I react to random acts of life, and this has been a learning experience. It made me explore the reasons I was uncomfortable and that, is a great thing. It’s good to be rattled occasionally, so I can properly adjust my many blind spots. One more thing. Please check out my good friend’s site: https://arbitrarypixel.com/