Pre-covid I had just revised this blog with the intent of writing more, in the long form. Once covid hit those plans certainly changed as I found myself scrambling to revise (on the fly) my Sociology curriculum and course design for my students in March 2020. That continued for the remainder of that semester and even into the 2020-21 school year. It even continued well into the 2021-2022. It wasn't until halfway through the spring semester that masks came off, and some faux return to normalcy had begun. I still don't think we are "back to normal," and don't know that things will ever be the same. I don't mean that to sound sad. It just is.
Amidst the covid years I had several surgical procedures and certainly those things that I had planned pre-covid were put on hold. I had to set my mind towards taking care of myself, my family, and doing our best to make it through. I'm sure others, in their own way, can relate.
So here we are now back at the start of a new school year and I found myself the last two months really thinking about my use of social media; in particular Facebook. In May of this year some things came to head and I had to force myself to reconcile what I was observing with my own behavior. At this time I also confronted some anxiety and what I saw as some seasonal depression. This really does happen at the end of the school year, and I don't fully understand as to why. During this time someone close to me asked me if I was happy. In that moment I could not honestly say I was happy, but I knew I was at peace. I continue to think about that moment, and elaborating on those observations for personal growth and perhaps as something for others to learn. But at that moment and for several weeks, I felt I was paralyzed in my ability to express myself. I finally wrote about those feelings and emotions. That effort turned into a three-page outline and at this time are mostly serving as catharsis.
While the past several years have been challenging, I also really put my thinking in trying to thrive. Along with my immediate family I think we learned how to thrive under very different circumstances. I felt that I was very flexible and I adapted particularly well with my courses and students. During that time I was able to develop my skills with video and video editing in a way that I had probably wanted to but felt I never had the time until I was put in a position of having to do so. These days I'm finding more value in expressing myself through video. And here's why.
Over the past 5-7 years I have leaned more into visualization. This stems a lot from the work I do with my Prof G Entertainment Services business. I've tried to learn more about expression through lighting and lighting design and I have incorporated that into many events. It certainly creates a feeling and a vibe in a way that prior to I was not aware.
As I thought about visualization in terms of feelings and emotions I began to realize that video allows for more expression than just text on a post. Of course that seems so obvious. Bringing that into my consciousness took me back to pre-covid, where I had redesigned my blog in an effort for more long form attention to ideas and expression. So now moving forward I want to use the technology that I have access to, to develop more video content as a way of more creative expression and presentation of self. It doesn't match face to face interaction, but I don't even know those social spaces exist anymore (at least for now) in real life. Video allows for facial expressions, tone of voice, and many ways to incorporate photos, other video, sound, text, in a mashup of expression. I continue to search for meaningful experiences. If a more complete form of expression allows for more meaning, that is good enough in itself. That's a better use of my time and energy. I want to move away from what I see as the short, casual narcissism of personal branding through Facebook and other social media.
It's taken me several months to articulate these ideas in this written form. I've realized expression doesn't have to be perfect, but I'd like it to me more meaningful.
Lastly, this could change.
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