I’m evolving and so is the blog.
I’m going to use my voice again. You can count on me to talk about performance psychology, but I am also going to talk about leadership, philosophy, and other constructive topics.
But first I’m going to talk about leaving social media. Just for a bit. Partially to explain things and partially because I think you all need a break, too.
I’m convinced that I WASN’T doing that before.
I left social media a while back, and while I do have a mild Instragram account that I started again (follow me…or don’t. I couldn’t care less), I haven’t looked back when if comes to Facebook. Recently I’ve been compelled to write again, although I’m not quite sure how the overall structure will pan out. That’s really not the point, though. The real point here is that my return is for the purpose of doing something creative and constructive.
At the heart of my departure was this odd, nagging feeling that my involvement in social media just wasn’t productive within the context of fitness/wellness industry. Or life, in general, for that matter. Like a wafty, fishy smell, it started to grate at me and absorb my attention.
Remember: before I had a platform in the fitness industry and before I even had a Sport Psychology pedigree, I was the Chief. I was a leader.
I don’t use that word lightly, either.
When the rubber meets the road, this is really the foundation of my feelings of incongruity:
Facebook left me feeling like I really wasn’t leading anyone. I wasn’t helping things, I wasn’t developing people. I was just part of the cacophony. The dissonance was giving me a headache.
The audience of “friends” I had were only classified as such based on the convenient label that Facebook applied to the act of gathering contacts. I was only actually friends with a very small handful of people on my profile. The rest collected me.
Like I was a fucking trading card.
The irony here is that even when my audience was relatively large, no one in fitness land was actually listening, to begin with. In that realm, waiting one’s turn to speak would be a more apt description. Maybe a handful were, and those who were are what I would label as outsiders. These were great people, though because these folks wanted to learn something, collaborate on constructive projects, or some combination of the two. I still speak with many of these people, but they are the minority.
At the onset, I was feebly attempting to pruning my friends list down to people that actually were constructive. This was futile. I would get complaints about this, of course…
The main argument I heard was: “That’s censorship, you can’t just reject everything you don’t want to hear.”
This made sense to me for a while, but in retrospect it was a lame strawman. It was also a simultaneous red herring that the prime perpetrators deployed to put the attention on censorship and away from the abuse that trolls level at people on a daily basis.
Of course I believe in free speech. I also believe that if someone that I don’t know shows up at my house for a party and spends the better part of an hour spewing vitriol and garbage, I’m not going to let them stay in my living room, eat my food, breathe my air, and put their feet up on my ottoman out of respect for “free speech”.
You wouldn’t either.
In time I viewed social media the same way: it was my world and I could respect the input and views of others while simultaneously punting those who were abusive.
Also bear in mind that much of this nonsense wouldn’t happen if you were ACTUALLY FACE-TO-FACE WITH SOMEONE. I read a great article in the New York Times about the reemergence of Dungeons and Dragons . One of the biggest takeaways: playing D&D might be fantasy, but you are often doing it an a room of REAL people. When mistakes are made, it’s a lot harder to belittle a real person who is sitting right in front of you. Also work noting is that people you play D&D with are generally your friends…not your “friends”.
Social media can be powerful, but you need to understand who your real friends are and, more importantly, accept what the real purpose of social media is. Especially now that the companies are publicly traded.
If you feel as though your mindset needs adjusting, or you are after personal growth, looking for the answers via a social media platform is probably the worst idea you could have.
The entire place is designed to sell you shit and, more specifically, to get you to hear what you want to hear, rather than what you need to hear. It’s marketing. That’s not really a good thing or a bad thing, but it IS something to be aware of.
Someone said once: “If you are trying to solve your problems by hanging out with a bunch of people who all share the same problem, maybe you aren’t so serious about fixing it.” I wish I remembered precisely who said that because it is brilliant.
Social media, as a tool, has a lot of good stuff going for it that I feel gets drowned out by the negatives. Social media allows you to be the worst possible version of yourself while simultaneously having the least amount of accountability for your actions.
In the end, that wasn’t who I wanted to be. This website is what I want to be. These articles are who I want to be.
I want to help. I want to be there for you.
Follow the leader…