Compared to my social media accounts, people like to tell me I come across a lot differently in person or “once you get to know me”. In all honesty, I’m glad. Disclaimer: These comments have never been received negatively nor were they intended that way; purely side notes from friends who love me, and I them. This has actually been something I’ve wanted to bring up for a while, never knowing how to put it in writing UNTIL NOW so settle in because ya girl (apparently) has a lot to say on the subject.
I was in the car with my sister – who shares the same love for discussion (equal parts rant and gossip) as I do – and we somehow landed on the subject of social media(s), and what people choose to put out there. Now when I say social media your minds will jump to forms of public media, the likes of Facebook, Instagram et al. and you’re not wrong, but this time I’m also talking about private media – texting, tinder, messenger, carrier pigeon… you get the picture. Why include private media you ask? To which I will answer your question with my own question – have you ever been so overwhelmingly gobsmacked by a first meet with someone whose only contact with you has been via social media they may as well have gone full blown catfish? Same. HOWEVER there are always two sides to a coin. Carrying on from that analogy, meeting someone for the first time and them being different to what you had originally expected is not always a bad thing. For one, the key word(s) there are ‘you’, and ‘expected’ – see what I’m getting at here? As many times I have been dumbfounded by the stranger that turns up, I’ve equally been pleasantly surprised upon meeting them to find out they far exceed my expectations. It’s definitely a mixed pot.
So what does all this have to do with me coming across differently on social vs ‘once you know me’? Well. Allow me to introduce myself, my other self, and my other self (+3).
I’ll start off by saying I am a huge advocate for being as honest and open as possible. Growing up in a female dominated environment made me a communicator, but living in the age of social media taught me how to moderate. I treat social media the same way I do a lot of my relationships; with equal parts caution and care.
Think of my Instagram as ‘Public Taylor’. Looking through the carefully curated pictures, one-liner captions, and the occasional heart-to-heart insight into my personal life/struggles/thoughts you seem to get a fairly reasonable idea of who I am, and what I’m about, and usually you’re not far off. I post what makes me happy, representative of where I’m at in my journey, and try to let you know how I’m feeling (usually feelin’ my looks but it still counts). After looking through, you then think ‘she seems pretty cool’ (or a waste of time, but your loss on that one to be honest) I’ll go check out her other accounts. Enter Snapchat stage right. This is the ‘Meet Taylor’. The semi-permanent nature of Snapchat as a public platform makes it a lot more candid, and a lot less filtered figuratively speaking. Since my account is public, my MyStory is still pretty skin-deep when it comes to knowing me, but you get a great insight on how terrible my jokes are, that I love a good market, how much I celebrate my birthday (still going by the way), and that I deeply enjoy wearing black.
On both Instagram and Snapchat I make a conscious decision to not report constantly about my everyday life – 1. because during the week (and most weekends) I’m not doing anything I feel is noteworthy enough to chat 24/7 about. I work full time, I train after work, and then I spend a lot of time lying facedown on my gigantic bed trying to summon motivation, 2. A lot of the things worth knowing about me; how I came to be where I am, and what I have struggled through aren’t things I’m willing to talk about via 10 second snippets. I hold these things very close to my heart, and if (IF) I’m going to talk about them publicly you will most likely find them on here. My vulnerabilities, like insecurities, are very difficult to broadcast to the masses so I am very firm believer in putting a lot of conscious effort into what I choose to put out in the universe. Also, I do not like crying on public platforms while strangers watch me so there’s that too.
If by this point you’re still thinking, ‘yeah I could definitely get to know this person’ – platonically or otherwise – let’s say you open up a line of direct communication; or as us intellectuals say: Slide into my DM’s. As I mentioned earlier, when I say DM’s I’m talking about all forms of private comms lines. Well private until you screenshot and send them to your best friend for subsequent analysis but that’s another post… So you drop in with a hypothetical ‘hey girl’ and the conversation blossoms from there. This is the point where you get my undivided attention – one on one conversations are the closest you’ll get short of meeting me in person. In saying that, you are still getting a ‘version’ of me. If you’re not my friend, family, or lover there is still a grey area – a waiting room, if you like – in which you reside until I decide to let you in. Which historically isn’t too often. Via message I’m very polite and agreeable, throw out a couple of one liners, and express my interest in trying to find common ground. If I do click with you, a switch is flicked and the transition from stranger to comfortable is incredibly apparent – in other words, I find it very hard to hide my feelings (VIRGO GIRL) so if I like you, I will most definitely make it known. Fade to black.
Lights up. We’re sitting across from each other at a table somewhere and here’s where you get to meet Taylor (yes I find it super weird talking about myself in third person). No time to think about what you’re going to say, nerves kick in, and after about 20 minutes of conversation you then realise that I will most definitely not fold and make myself smaller to fit into your ideal of what a woman should be and WHAM this is where shit gets real. All of a sudden I am too much, too tall, and too happy with myself than you were prepared for. The correct term for what you are now feeling is called ‘Fight or Flight’. No, you will not have to fight me (no guarantees though) it’s more along the lines of fighting for/with me to get past initial barriers i’ll put up, shutting you down, or switching subjects. Please keep in mind I’m not doing this because I’m an a-grade a-hole. Over the years i’ve developed it as a defence mechanism when I feel my vulnerabilities are compromised; usually by someone I like enough to let in – which, by the way, scares the shit out of me. Obviously. ‘Flight’ on the other hand is pretty self explanatory – real life Taylor is too ‘Real Life’ for you so it’s time to cut the comms and get the hell out of dodge. Hey, that’s one hundred percent your prerogative as a freely consenting adult of sound mind. The only thing that ever bugs me about this is the lack of honesty that comes with it. Since when did it become an acceptable human practice to just disappear? I know you all know what I’m talking about – Ghosting. It still astounds me that it actually has a name because all it does is validate it in the minds of the ‘ghosters’ which sucks. Yes, I am 10000 percent guilty of ghosting people in the past; I was a coward and I’ll freely admit that, but I am happy to say I have since learnt from those mistakes. The thing that really gets to me about ghosting, that just really, really grinds my gears is this: The person doing the ghosting thinks – I’m assuming – that you’ll be so devastated, and so butt-hurt about them not being into you that they’d rather dismiss you and run away instead of having to be confronted by another person’s very real (and very valid) feelings. Now, from personal experience it usually goes one of three ways. 1. No reply. Which is completely understandable, but still good to have everything said and on the table. 2. Anger. I have received many a ‘Fuck you bitch’ and ‘You’re a waste of time’ which again, are very valid feelings to have, so take it, feel sad for a minute, and then remember that those words have come from a place of hurt and anger and that you are definitely not a waste of time (maybe have a cry, but then move on. Which is 100% what I did). and 3. the best case scenario and what we all hope for: Acceptance. Something along he lines of ‘Thank you for being honest, I hope you find what you’re looking for’. Regardless of the response, there is never an excuse to ignore, and run away from someone that you have invested time into; they are real people with real feelings, just like you if the roles were reversed. Plus, cowardice (and ass-holiness) are terrible for the soul and karma meter so just keep that in mind when you get a speeding ticket out of the blue, or the heel of your favourite shoe breaks on a night out… Actions ALWAYS have reactions people! So practice love and light when you can. Moving on…
After labelling myself as a ‘Public Figure’ – still not completely sure what that is – through my blog and Instagram page I have found that a lot of people (strangers, I might add) believe it is their inherent right to know absolutely everything about you, and draw judgement. To which I say, who the hell are you? Why should you have access to every part of me, the parts I reserve only for the people I care most about, the softest most fragile pieces very few get to see – why do you think you are entitled to receive these and then (more often than not) tear them to shreds. Yes, and before you hit me with the ‘Well if you’re a self proclaimed public figure, your life should be public’, I am well aware that once you catapult yourself into the public superdome you should be prepared to be attacked by lions, placed under a microscope, and receive others’ opinions of you – even when you don’t ask BUT this is absolutely no excuse when it comes to the lengths people (reminder, strangers) will go just to try dim your light, hence my guarded nature on public medias, and initial distrust of most. Don’t get me wrong – I try see the good in everybody and keep myself as open as possible, BUT there is a line of naivety that if not careful, can be crossed and then subsequently exploited (see. lessons learnt).
Now, in true Oh She Writes fashion, here is my ultra positive spin after what feels like a mega rant. Also sorry about all the shits/fucks/bitches (they’re happy ones I promise).
Know that in whatever version you receive of me, whether it be a first impression, a fleeting chat in passing, or my wholly earnest self – it will always, always be completely genuine. Do not forget that these are all still pieces of me (or you, in your world) that ultimately create me as a whole. I am still learning about myself in the same way you’re learning about me (and vice versa), and I am forever grateful for the many people who have come in and out of my life to teach me more about who I am, what I am capable of, and where I should go next. It’s a testament to the fact that no matter how independent, or happy you are in your own company, you still need others to help shape your journey and teach you (sometimes hard) lessons you wouldn’t otherwise learn.
I hope this gives you some kind of insight of what goes on in my big head. I am working on being more earnest, completely honest (but knowing the difference between honesty and being an asshole) and getting to know myself and what it is I really want out of this amazing life I lead after all the growth that has gone on this year. More posts like this to come.
You know I love ya!