Recently, I have decided to change some of my social media accounts to “Public” (done that to Facebook for a year). It does not mean I publicise my personal life. On the contrary, on those accounts, I will only post things that don’t concern my inner world, and perhaps, I will try to reach out to the outside world. That goes without saying that I will always be an emotional introvert with the urge of wearing my heart on my sleeves. But it’s about drawing the line between the private and the public. For a long time, being an unstable teenager, I have poured my heart out to a bunch of “proches inconnus” (“known strangers”). Like all the people who make diaries out of their Facebook or Twitter or Instagram accounts, I have lived with the illusion of being surrounded and connected. But it didn’t help my depression or my solitude. It was meaningless and pathetic.
Being “publicly” present means that I have become more mature in my feelings. That I no longer feel miserable about being alone, and I actually enjoy it. No more sentimental implicit posts about broken hearts. At the same time, I’m learning to participate. It’s not obvious. I have always withdrawn from social life. I feel like a wild animal, unfamiliar to basic social norms that it has not interiorised. Will this naivety be a quality, or will it take me down?
Everything on social media that is viewed by more than 10 people (not selectively added as friends) is not private anymore. So either I say something to everybody, or I don’t say it.