Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Am @sslluvbooks & I Will Not Be Embarrassed ~ Pressure, Peers, Respect & Distractions.... The Plight of a 21st Century Teenage Blogger: Discussion in GIFs (6)

*I went into this discussion thinking it was going to be short.... for ONCE. No such luck as my tangents went on tangents*

Ze Backstory: Today, I was driving home from school, and my friend's mom (the driver) told me that she had seen my YouTube video {Introduction ~ Reading, Writing, Overall Craziness and Quirks}. Instantaneously, I was embarrassed. All she said was that she had seen it. She hadn't even taken a breath to tell me what she thought, and my mind AUTOMATICALLY jumped to the conclusion that she would judge me. This is my friend's 40-something year old mom, I expected her to say something like, "Oh that's nice Sofia." or some lame remark like that. One of those things adults say when they want to compliment on effort, not quality, and they don't really mean it. In short, she thought it was a great video (she might be biased) and loved the informal-ness I portrayed throughout it.

Yet.... in the back of my mind, from 3 o'clock on, for the past FOUR hours (it's 7 now), my reaction has been on my mind. And that's why I'm writing this discussion.

Why am I so afraid of being judged?
WHY am I terrified of showing people (peers, parents, teachers) my blog/YouTube channel?
Moreover, WHY do I even care?

I don't let negative comments about other topics in my life get in my way. I am a self-confident person that doesn't need recognition or reassurance that I'm good at something. (My ego is way to big for that).
Take This Into Consideration: Why am I so petrified to share my work with people in real life, yet I'm perfectly fine with putting myself out there online?

Online, there are haters, there are negative people. Not everyone is going to like what you create, it's a given for life in general. If anything, I should be more willing to show my friends. They know me, and some embarrassing YouTube video or opinionated blog post doesn't define who I am. They already have their own perceptions of me (good OR bad).
In fact, I shouldn't feel bad. I should take pride in the art I'm creating. (I use the term "art" loosely, I originally had a "Make Good Art Analysis" planned for today's blog post, which is coming SOON) IF I don't feel comfortable with people I know seeing what I say, then why on earth am I saying it on the internet?

Today's incident in the car was NOT the first of its kind: One of my friends is subscribed to me EMAIL feed. A ton of others are following my on Instagram. I've been asked about blogging, and now vlogging. I've been asked why I do it. I've been asked why I'm so obsessed with books.

My sister keeps urging me to create a private Instagram and my friends have urged me to make a private twitter. Yet, there's a reason I'm a book blogger/vlogger/Instagrammer/Tweeter. I am not about to go around posting perfectly edited and filtered selfies. 

I bring this up because whenever people ask me (as a common courtesy of the 21st century teenager) what my Instagram username is.... I shy away from their questions and try (and fail) to steer the conversation away. It's not that I don't want to share this wonderful, amazing part of my life with the people I know IN real life. I'm just embarrassed about being judged for posting nothing but books. I'm a book blogger/vlogger. I'm not going to go around Instagramming EVERYTHING I see. People would unfollow because of the sporadic irrelevant of my post subjects. 

Are you distracted yet? 
ANYONE can easily look up @sslluvsbooks on Instagram.Twitter and follow me: They can see my feed without having to follow or subscribe. In fact, I would rather them quote unquote "stalk" me by doing so because at least then I wouldn't feel self-conscious.

There are two people following me that I feel especially self conscious about. 
Reason: I like them (interpret that as you will). I'll admit it. I'm a teenage girl. 
I'm not the most experienced or skilled at communicating with the male race.

With people you someone, the stakes are higher. You feel pressure that wasn't there before.
Anyone can make a statement about you online.... but do you give a crap? No. Because you don't care what they think. You don't know who they are. They don't know who you are.

RESPECT: Yet.... when it's your friend, teacher, or adult, you care about what they think of you. Their opinion of you may be higher because of it. They may have a newfound respect for you. They also might judge you. Although I don't know how that could happen because I start talking to people about books the MOMENT I meet them. Some people ask how your weekend was as a conversation starter. The introvert I am asks if they have read anything good lately. 

NO ONE knows who I am online.

In no way am I trying to say that I am fake or not staying true to myself. On the contrary, I'm able to be even MORE myself on the internet. I share my opinions openly, I am EXTROVERTED on the internet. I can be as sarcastic, as thoughtful, as empathetic, as humorous as I want. I have created the identity I want for myself IRL (in real life) online. 

[Cue the adult commentary on why cyber bullying happens]

Obviously, with my leap to BookTube, I am putting myself even more out there. You get to see my gorgeous face now *flips hair* There will be a point where my internet life and real one collide. Yet, for the past 10 months that I have been blogging. I have created "Sofia Li." I have created @sslluvsbooks. Even though I'm not crazy popular (faaar from that), I have created somewhat of a name for myself. You know, for all 200-ish followers. 

There is my internet self and name I have created.
Then there's the in-person self and name I have created. 

Book blogging and now vlogging have become SUCH big parts of who I am now. Instead of wasting time on YouTube or Netflix, I'm creating something, an impression on the internet that will ALWAYS be here. I may not be famous, but nothing ever goes away online. In a way, I'm making a legacy for myself. Of course I have interests outside of books - you're looking at the two-year champion in her age division for the annual Fiesta Days 10k in my area. Yet, my life, my personality, and everything about me has changed. I am, in NO way the girl I was last December when Loving the Language of Literacy was born. (Of course, personal events have changed me as well, but that's not the point) My time-management skills have been sharpened, my organizational skills have improved, my priorities in life have changed. 

What I'm trying to say is....
I am in no way ashamed of what I create and shouldn't ever be. Yet, when it comes to letting people - that I know IRL- in, I get a little self-conscious. This goes beyond wanting to show my blog or YouTube channel to people. This is on the level of showing -people I may say "Hi" to in passing in the school hallways- people who I am.

What is your opinion on the matter?
Do you get self-conscious or embarrassed whenever people from "real life" (if you know any of those kinds of people) find your blog/YouTube channel?
Do you not give it a second thought and think, "More page views for me!"?
Online, are you like you wish you were in real life?
Do you have the exact same personality online as you do in real life?
Does being online give you confidence you don't have in real life?

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