Mixed Messages

Photo is the top view of a lit white candle with a black background.
Photo by L. Laguna

This morning, I lit the candle in the photo above. I was hoping it could add warmth to my place. Why? I woke up without heat. As I started typing this sentence, I received word from the maintenance man of my building that the heat turned back on. I should start to feel it soon. That is a relief. If you listened to Something New, the latest episode of my podcast also titled Unfiltered Snapshot, you would know that my first morning of the new year has been heatless. I have layered up so I am fine, but my fingers remain cold as I type this post.

I hope this is not a bad sign of the new year. My hope is that it shows with a bit more perseverance, I too will survive and thrive in 2022. Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

How has the start of your new year been?

It has been almost four months since I have written on this site. If you read my last post Funding for Myself, you can make an educated guess as to why I have not been blogging. Sometimes we have to focus so much on living that taking the time to write about that process is not a viable option.

This pandemic has been around for more two years, and we all deserve a break at some point to take a hiatus from things that no longer serve us. For a period of time, writing here did not serve me, but now it does so I am back.

Part of why I stepped away from blogging has been because I have received mixed messages about how much to share about my life. Now we can all agree that if it works for me, it is right, but determining what works for an individual is not always straightforward.

As the number of blogging sites, social media accounts, and general growth of the Internet has grown in the past few decades, many users such as myself have had to navigate the different identities and public images that we put out there for ourselves. Once upon a time, it felt easy to keep different parts of ourselves separate, but now I am convinced that any lines between online profiles are imaginary.

When I was younger, I could keep my AIM accounts separate from my Friendster (Who else was on that?) from my MySpace from my Facebook and so forth. Each account had its own designated set of connections, but now there are blurred lines between each online facet of our lives. You might set a boundary for yourself that you will not become friends online with a particular colleague, but that does not mean that your other friends or other colleagues play by that same set of rules.

There are people who have purged themselves from most if not all online accounts, but that has not worked for me in this pandemic. In a time where it has not been safe to meet with many people in person, connecting online has been the way to build community, but how significant can those connections be when so many people curate their online images to be filtered versions of themselves?

I am privy to the real lives of people who have manufactured their public images to seem perfect. Even when they acknowledge imperfections online, there is a degree of humblebragging and crafted epiphanies that make every challenge appear in conjunction with a purpose and solution.

That is not what this blog was meant to be. I mean … it is called Unfiltered Snapshot, but how unfiltered can it be when the opinions of others discourage you from bucking the trend of advice given by social media managers?

So yeah, I guess I would rather not write if it cannot really feel unfiltered for me.

There is a difference between unedited and unfiltered. If it were unedited, you would be reading longer convoluted streams of consciousness; therefore, editing is essential here as it would be to any piece of writing.

Unfiltered though. That raw emotions should be there even if I edited lines to make the thoughts sound more cogent.

How unfiltered do you intend to be with the people in your lives? How different are you in person versus online? What is the logic behind your choices? In which spaces do people get to hear your most authentic voice?

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