Being Outgoing Online

I went from being a painfully shy child, to an awkward teen hiding behind sarcasm. At some point, when I needed to get a job, I decided to just fake confidence. I pretended to be someone else, kind of. It was all me, it was just a side of myself I didn’t usually use. I’ve pretty much been riding the “fake it ’til you make it” train ever since.

I like saying nice things when I think them. I compliment strangers in line. I say hello when I pass people in my building. I smile.

But, somehow, none of that carried over to the internet.

I click the hearts and the thumbs up on things, but I almost never left comments. I had this idea that it was somehow bothersome. They already know they’re funny, or their art is amazing, or that their books are delightful. I had the gut-feeling that if I commented it would somehow be intrusive or annoying.

Well, that was nonsense. So, over the last half year or so, I’ve tried to be interactive on social media.

I try to comment on twitter and instagram. I actually use my youtube rather than just lurking on it. And I send messages to authors to tell them they’re amazing–even though I’m 95% sure they know it already. And it’s great! It feels good and, of course, people like when you tell them the nice things you think about them. Why wouldn’t they?

I get so much more out of my social media now. They’ve become communities and I really enjoy getting to know so many people.

Artists and authors are all looking for a rainstorm. They’re farmers, desperate to grow a crop and share it with the world, but they need the rain. It’s okay to be a drop. It’s okay to be a little voice in the world saying you like something–screaming it even. Because maybe one drop will become a thousand and an artist will get that monsoon they’re looking for, and at the very least, they’ll know someone somewhere enjoyed their work.

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