Any technological advance can be dangerous. Fire was dangerous from the start, and so (even more so) was speech – and both are still dangerous to this day – but human beings would not be human without them.
The internet in general has changed everything, for everyone. The world is no longer small and defined by maps, but binary lines of code.
Social media came in and then more things changed. How people saw others, or themselves, changed. We wear masks, take them off, scream at each other things that we would normally never express in person. We can also reach larger audiences to do great things. That’s the duality of it.
It is our latest Pandora’s box. I think it all started with fire, right Prometheus? Or was it an apple? Poor Eva. I sympathize, girl.
I was born in a censored country. Since a very young age I was told, “Your thoughts cannot hurt you if you don’t share them. Share them and others will have the tools of your destruction”. Seems easy to remember, right? It is also no way to live. The older I get the more I hate censorship. Even the self imposed type. The one we tell ourself is about being polite. It’s not. It’s about being afraid to offend. The truth is you can be a nice person and still say what you feel. You don’t need to offend, be honest and realize that not everyone will agree with you. That’s O.K. too. Keep an open mind, you might learn something.
In the past 3 years I’ve been very aware of this. The way we set up our sentences have an effect on how we communicate with the world. We can be honest, straight forward and uncompromising, while being polite and understanding. I do it everyday as a nurse. I do it every day in Twitter too.
The world will always be upset if we don’t fit their little box. That’s fine. we don’t have to be ONE thing either. We are all many things at once.
I am going on a tangent, though. This post has been very “rambly” and it’s because there is so much to say. Mostly, I wanted to talk about Twitter. How and why I use it.
What does censorship have to do with Twitter, you ask? When I found Twitter I was looking for a place where I belonged. Not in the “being accepted” aspect of it. A place where I did not need to be censored. I was looking for a way to find inspiration, to find a path to the new adventure that I, somewhat secretly, had set out on. Art. I logged on and looked for artists. I found so much more. I found a community that loves creating, that loves expression and all its forms.
When I started out, I set some self imposed rules that I follow to this day. People go crazy about followers. In order to avoid this, I told myself I don’t care who was following me, I would follow who I liked. I do not post to please others, I post because I wanted to express something. I block whoever makes me unhappy or aggravates me. There is a “nude” clause in there too, if you must know, “it has to be art, not pornography”. Also, I do not stress typos or delete my posts. The whole point is to be genuine, even in the mistakes.
All this gave me a freedom to do what I want. I can be completely uncensored and enjoy myself, even if no one is listening.
With time, the followers came. The people I met are amazing and inspiring. The people I follow, I hold in very high regard. They are, each on their own way, unique and I am lucky to have found them. Some of them are even more than friends, because they touched my mind and opened it in ways I had not anticipated. The greatest gift someone can give you is to inspire you.
Twitter in a way gave me the courage to make art. Freely and without apologies. Art in its purest form is the ultimate form of self expression.
“He (Prometheus) was, after all, the ultimate rebel — it takes a lot of cojones to stand up to Zeus.”
So, I take the Fire. In equal measures, I burn… and create, without hesitation.