A couple posts ago, I reflected on the nature of "Objectification vs. Agency." I ended the post with the following sentence:
Well, the next day I set up the microphones and I interviewed her. Here's the interview:
I've always wanted to do a podcast, but I don't think I have enough to say on a weekly—or event monthly—basis in order to maintain one. I have a lot of things on the go: music, a Master's research project, family, house chores, etc., and I don't have enough time to put anything else on the plate.
But I have had the idea of setting up interviews about topics I don't fully "get." Here's what I wrote on the YouTube page:
This interview was my first attempt at creating something in the genre. I think it's a good first step. I have plenty of topics that I can cover, but if I get this going smoothly, it'll be a fun intermittent activity.
I joined a group of politically-minded folks on YouTube called "A Path for Progress" (for now). I just uploaded my first topical, slow-talking video to their channel.
I'm not a confident person. I can deal with that. This plan to limit my use of social media is one part of me trying to increase/improve my sense of self-confidence.
This lack of self-confidence can have some serious negative effects: it makes me unnecessarily stress out about my upcoming research project for my Master's in Education degree; it makes me frightened about self-promoting my own music. There are countless ways that I don't feel adequate.
A lack of self-confidence was rather useful being raised in the church. I could always come across as "humble" because I had no self-confidence. This misreading of the nature of both humility and confidence served me well in the church context because I didn't have an ego to "get past" in order to "serve."
But with relationships, my lack of self-confidence has always been a problem. I squandered many dates by "not stepping up" to the next level, whatevertheheck that might have been at that time. I avoided dates and girlfriends in the name of my lack of self-confidence.
And when I would enter relationships, I'd fall into a seemingly unique hole: I'd be so afraid of objectifying a woman that I would essentially act asexually. I'd feel like any sexual suggestion or idea would essentially make me into a sexist pig who couldn't see past a woman's body. And this still carries on to today in some aspects; I still fear coming off as a "bro" if I make a comment about a woman's appearance. This is good for avoiding making sexist remarks; this is bad for acknowledging a woman's sexuality or acknowledging the time and money women put in to their appearance.
For the embedded episode of This Week In Blackness Prime above, the discussion starts at 42:28.
For the purpose of this weblog, I'd like to highlight the following explanation, starting at 54:20 in the TWIB Prime podcast embedded above.
or, in reference to the tweet that they refer to in the show,
I'd never thought about it that way. That might be helpful. At those times when my partner[s] have agency over themselves, I need to acknowledge and encourage that agency in any way I can. The question might be, "Do I have the self-confidence to accurately encourage that agency in my relationships?" and "What would that look like?"
Now I just need to talk to my wife about it and see what she thinks.
Two nights ago, while pulling my dog with the wagon, I stopped walking, looked down at my phone, and posted this:
I posted similar "On hiatus" messages on my other accounts, and subsequently deleted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from my phone.
What I think I'm trying to say is this: Social media has not been making me happy in any way. I make some connections here and there, but the public aspect of social media has grown tiresome. I'm obsessed with looking at my phone and checking for notifications, but I just feel further and further from real relationships and I simply can't do it anymore.
So I'm going for an indefinite public hiatus. I haven't deleted any accounts; my Messaging apps and accounts will exist in order to keep connections here and there. But, for the time being, I'm not going to "maintain a social media presence" per se.
What will I maintain over this period?
I started to feel that social media was taking far more from me than I was getting from it and my real-life relationships and my ego were suffering.
So it's time for a break.
The Internet Archive
YouTube: ephemeral ideas