This morning, I got called prejudiced because I happen to be of the opinion that all politicians are crooks. It’s understandable why I’d feel that way, since I don’t really hear about any of the positive things they’re doing, and know what’s reality for me, my family, and community, and know how powerful special interest groups are, and how they shape our laws and spend, er, I mean, waste our tax money. Meanwhile, unemployment is almost at an all-time high, gas prices are at an almost high, my wife still can’t find a full-time teaching position (despite having a 10 year perfect record), and politicians make more than they ever have, with no reduction in their own pay. It’s easy to see why I’d have little respect for them and say what I did.
The other thing that was brought to my attention, is that I’m one of the largest users of social media they knew. And that I’ve used it to “build my brand.” And that got me thinking, I sure don’t think it’s a brand I’ve been creating with social media. I don’t feel like that’s what it is. But, I guess they’re right. We all create our brand every day. So then, I began to think, what is my brand? What does it say? Well, I get emails and messages from folks all the time, I know what they tell me, and I appreciate it. I then thought about what do I put out there?
Well, I put myself out there. I put all that I am on display for all the world to see. There’s no hidden agenda, no facade I’m hiding behind, no front, there’s just me. There’s every facet of my life, from my marriage, to my family, to my faith, and my belief system. There’s lots of stuff others cringe at, there’s stuff that my family’s cringed at. There’s stuff that’s very personal, and there’s stuff that other folks don’t agree with. But it’s all me. You get the real me, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, or LinkedIn, it’s all me, in all my selfish glory.
You see, lots of folks use social media for lots of reasons. Some folks use it to get ahead professionally. Some folks use it to get ahead in relationships. Some folks use it for illegal activities. I use it to peel back the layers of my life that aren’t real, to provide a greater level of transparency that in my vulnerability, I would find strength and growth. It reminds me of Derek Webb’s music, and it’s push for transparency that we may find peace in the reality of who we are, while looking forward to who we can be. I feel like social media for me has been a great way to get out what’s inside, to let it out, to work through things, and to give myself hope, while acknowledging that it has the potential to help others who are in the same place.
Some folks aren’t comfortable with that much vulnerability. Some folks aren’t okay with putting themselves out there, and that’s fine. I just know that for me, every year of my life I live becoming more open and transparent, putting aside all the BS, the more free I become to live life fully. And social media is a great tool, because it is the current mode of transportation for communication. And in that, I’m communicating my brand. Whatever you view that as. I know what I’d like it to be. I’d like my brand to be, “Jason Dominy. Lover of his family, of his friends, of his community, the less fortunate in Africa, and of coffee.” It’s that simple. I hope that’s the brand that comes across, because it’s my goal. Peeling back the layers to reveal the real me, someone selfish, someone fearful, someone that doesn’t accept love easily, and someone who yearns to be more like the brand he thinks he is.
Cheers to peeling back the layers.