I spend a lot of time filtering. Filtering my speech, filtering my writing, filtering my thoughts.
Yes, any traditional therapist would say that it’s not healthy to bottle up your feelings, that you should just spit them out (and yes, before you point out the delicate irony, I see it).
Knowing that employers look at your social media activity has made me vigilant about what I post online. I’d rather not run the risk of not being hired because of something I could have easily removed.
In that sense, I’m okay with filtering, despite my honesty policy.
Yes, you read that right. Here’s why I’m okay with it.
Not Everything Has to Be Immortalized On The Internet
In the words of Christopher Hudspeth:
“Not every little thing your brain spews out needs to be photographed, video recorded, or written into 140 characters or less statements, and shared with the potentially permanent, inerasable abyss.”
This is exactly why I end up discarding half of my blog post list ideas from my Evernote file. There’s enough in society about me, me, me, and how social media is making us stupid. How would you, my lovely readers, benefit from reading about how I waited for a hour in a doctor’s office only to have him look at me for less than ten minutes?
You get the idea.
I try my best to make the personal stuff stay in the Moleskine. If I still have something to say about it once I’m through my venting/sorting through my feelings stage, that’s when I put it here.
The same goes for celebrity culture. We live in a world where we feel like we have the right to know everything about a public figure. Who they’re dating, what their workouts are, what they like, what they don’t like.
Sure, all of us love a good story, but there’s a line that needs to be drawn in the sand somewhere. I feel uncomfortable seeing the headlines. What people choose to do in their lives is their business, public figure or not. If they don’t want to talk about it, they won’t, if they do want to talk about it, they will. And we should respect that. They’re not obligated to tell us about their lives, just as I’m not obligated to tell you about mine.
Face-to-Face Interactions Are So Much Better
We’ve all seen “Look Up,” that viral spoken word piece on YouTube, haven’t we? When you’re interacting someone one on one, there’s so much more depth to the conversation. You hear the inflections in their voices, pick up on social cues…the list goes on and on. Little things like that can change the nature of a conversation.
Sometimes we can share a little too much information on the Internet; sometimes we’re not even conscious of it. But face-to-face interactions force you to filter out things depending on the circumstances. You have to be able to take responsibility for what you say. Once you share something with the Internet, you can’t take it back.
Okay, you can’t take words back after you say them, but over time, people may forget what you said. What we remember is how we feel.
I would rather feel better going with my gut and filtering a little if I feel like I want to or have to rather than spilling my guts and trying to clean up afterwards, wouldn’t you?
How do you feel about filtering your emotions? How do you deal with your feelings about it?
Image Credit: Gratisography