What To Post?
Just hours ago, I had a phone call with a relative of mine. It wasn’t confrontational but this person was resolute in her position: some of the things you share on social media are just too personal. I explained to her that the cost of being related to a writer is that she may use EVERYTHING. When I post, I rarely spend more than 10 minutes assessing my thoughts. I just write and let go. I even composed a poem right on Facebook. Atypical for me, it was not previously edited or screened by one of my brilliant friends or family members. I wrote it in the moment. I have become that fearless.
The likes or messages of approval received from my posts don’t even matter to me. This is evidenced by the fact that I am unaware of who has read my writing unless a comment pops up on my iPhone or it is referred to in person during a random conversation. Reactions can come from any direction as my social media presence is as conflicted as my life itself-vacillating between the raw unfiltered world of the entertainment industry and my day job where we do deep internal work on inclusion, emotional intelligence and basically how NOT to act the way people behave in a tv writer’s room. This means the thoughts that are translated from my brain to the page can come from any of my varied life experiences, even my not so perfect childhood. The one I have joked about on stage. The one that might be perceived as too personal to share.
My posts run the gamut of political rants, to social justice stances, to joke areas I’m testing, to that morning’s dialogue with my kids to everything in between. But even I have my limits. I am not FB friends on my personal page with co-workers. I decided to operate this way when I took a job where the Human Resources person actually adheres to the laws of the state (you know, like making sure if you work until 3am you get paid for it — hey, those days were so long ago that HR person from my early days in entertainment has surely retired and therefore won’t read this!).
In this new world, the one that confounds previous generations, we tell a lot. In some ways it is helpful, like when I first had my daughter and people were encouraging me: “your baby is beautiful,” “it gets easier,” “you’re a great mom.” Of course most of my social media “friends” and followers have no idea if I’m a great mom. But it was nice to read, especially during a 3am nursing session when the thought came across my mind that if this kid bites me one more time i’m going to pop her in the head (TMI?).
I deeply respect and admire this family member I just spoke with so I decided to take down one of my posts from my personal page — the one that’s only connected to people in entertainment or actual friends. It included “family business” and while I plan to use some of it in my novella, I was fine deleting it. The post didn’t just include information about me but my parents and people no longer alive to defend themselves. And so it makes sense, though it is still out on the web somewhere, that I capitulate to make my family member a little less uncomfortable — not so in her face with our business. But I also want to note something important. On social media, or even on stage as a comedian, someone can actually become an entirely different person. For example, I am an introvert who spent the earlier part of my life barely expressing any thoughts to anyone. So what looks like too much can also be seen as the transformation from a person filled with anxiety at the very thought of speaking, to a woman who isn’t afraid to say anything to thousands of virtual strangers. #progress