A little while ago I was lamenting life and the very many changes that have occurred in the last 6 months. I ended up watching a YouTube video by justkisssmyfrog aka Leena Norms titled: How to feel chill about moving away from home and so many of the things she said really struck me, but there was one particular idea that really caught me, the idea of having a home online.
A home online: from the beginning
For the longest time, probably since the first time I used social media I’ve been building a social and digital space online and treating it as my home and hanging paintings, words, poems, stories, conversations and debates here. It’s like the mediums we use are walls. That idea, to me, sounds so comforting. In her video Leena calls it “a new way to have a village or to understand yourself.” From Tumblr where you post images and share your favourite quotes funny jokes and the very odd threads where people say some illuminating stuff actually to Instagram and Twitter where I update my status every once in a few months or share a picture, I’m creating a portfolio of my life, my online footprint, a sort of photo album of my life on social media, no wonder it feel so much like home.
Being an online native is part of my identity
I know social media and digital platforms have their shortcomings. Over the last few years I’ve built a massive social media following on Twitter and that platform out of the many has felt in ways a sort of home. I’ve been able to grow up there and share my silly opinions that nobody would otherwise listen to. I’ve been able to discuss, share emotions, learn and make new friends – who are now real life friends all through this platform.
I feel like a lot of people use social media because they think they are being cool or for professional companies they want to reach customers and I think that’s great. But ultimately when I use social media I think of it as an individual telling a story and sharing their experiences of the world and with the world.
As a teen, I often felt overlooked and for most of my teen life I was very good at blending into walls but then I would come online and I would talk to people and they were my friends and the things I was saying online were part of my story and my opinions and my identity. I’m able to look back at things I wrote years ago and cringe or laugh at them. I’m able to in a physical way capture my life and share it with so many people.
The people I know from online are my village, they are my people and I don’t need to live in the same city as them or the same country and it’s okay if they can’t come around for tea because we can still talk and communicate and in it’s own way, it’s like they are in my home talking to me, cause they are in my home online.