Medium, Medium On The Wall…
How Medium Is Like A Mirror
As someone who practices mindfulness and aims to live beyond the confines of ego, this month and a half of writing on Medium has been intriguing.
You may think I’m talking about the writing aspect. And yes, that’s definitely been an interesting journey, but it’s not what inspired this article.
It’s that suddenly, I feel like I’m in a new relationship. Not with Medium, exactly… but with the Medium community at large.
I tend to look at close relationships (especially romantic ones) as an opportunity to become more aware of myself and the ego responses that inevitably get triggered through interacting closely with others.
But get this: I’ve been in a romantic relationship for the past 10 months that hasn’t brought out even a fraction of the ego that the past six weeks of writing on Medium has.
Here are some of the things that have popped up a few times in the past few weeks:
Wow. I had no idea when I started writing on Medium that I’d be opening the door to feelings and emotions that don’t often come up in my day-to-day life anymore. At least, not all within the span of, say, one minute.
These emotions don’t surface at all when I publish on my personal blog. So I know it’s the medium (err — the Medium — ) and not the act of writing itself.
It’s the fact that Medium is a social media site, making it different to write for than a regular blog, where your readers fall largely into a black hole that you never see.
A writing platform with the possibility of claps and followers just hits me in a different way.
Here, the currency (quite literally) flows in claps, highlights, and comments. So unless you live in a cave, it’s hard, at least at times, not to notice these things. Or the lack thereof.
Have you ever felt like someone’s biggest clapper, highlighter and comment dropper, but can tell they haven’t even bothered to look at your work even though you mostly write on all the same tags?
Mind being mind is always going to compare, contrast and take offense with whatever it can. That’s where self-awareness comes in. Yep, even on Medium.
I’m realizing that to “play” Medium is to sometimes play the game of wondering why a person who seems to follow a gazillion other people doesn’t follow me, one of their only 5 followers. Or at least why they don’t acknowledge the highly pertinent comments I leave on their posts.
Really? Am I actually going to regress to first-grade playground politics here? (I think I could combine all the bullet points I listed above into one wave of emotion in that single example.)
So there you have it. That’s why Medium is a mirror, and a great opportunity to catch myself getting tempted by silly ego games of my own creation with people I’ve never met and in all likelihood never will.
These sometimes literally non-existent relationships are just as capable of stirring ego as any face to face relationship. Who knew?
In my rational moments (which thankfully happen a pretty high percentage of the time), I do know that Medium is different things to different people and that everyone is doing Medium for their own unique reasons. Which means no two people will do Medium exactly the same way.
Some people just want to get their message out there, even if nobody reads it. They may not even register who follows or engages them and vice-versa. They just want to write.
Others are writers who crave to be read, but social media makes them cringe, and they just can’t play that game. Still, they publish on Medium, because it’s a super easy way to publish. Kudos to them!
Still others are all about stockpiling followers and claps that they never plan to reciprocate even if deserved because their writing is all about their own climb to the top and nothing more.
There are numerous other Medium “types.”
So What Is Medium To Me?
I know it seems like I went into a rant here. And I did. But that was really just me expressing the relatively small bit of negativity that has come up so far.
Most of the time I’m actually in awe and grateful for Medium and the friends I’ve met here. Yes, I’ve already developed some friendships here.
And that’s what I’d like this platform to be about for me. Contact. Interaction. Sharing and receiving. Learning and growing from those I follow. Occasionally starting conversations and contributing to conversations.
Not just about amassing followers for the clap potential, but following people I’m actually drawn to and resonate with. And reading what they have to say too.
So I’ve decided there will be no more ridiculously petty “hard feelings” anymore around who does and doesn’t engage. Ha, what a joke that is!
Everyone has a right to “Medium” however they choose, and to not be judged for it. It’s all about choice.
What I choose from this point forward is to run a pretty tight ship of engaged followers.
I’ll be searching out folks who mostly want to see this Medium thing as a somewhat interactive rather than passive, write-only “relationship.”
In other words, if I get nothing but a dead air feeling from a followee I’m eventually moving on. No hard feelings.
Through all the Medium mayhem I’m finding my tribe. And it feels good!