May 3, 2017

Digital Vulnerability

Irecall my early adolescence quite fondly, mostly due to untamed, shame-free creativity I often fail to recreate nowadays. Countless sketches, drawings and stories kept flowing. Sometimes I’d share them with close friends, usually receiving words of encouragement and praise, rather than negativity. The world was an endlessly inspiring and mostly happy place.

Today, Internet access is so prevalent thousands could possibly see our work and ridicule or criticise it. Realising the enormous reach the World Wide Web has can be both exhilarating and paralysing. It’s simultaneously the greatest and worst thing, frequently preventing us from hitting “Publish”. Too many projects don’t see the light of the day.

What if similar ideas have been written up? What if alike products were already released? What if no one likes or finds it valuable? Had these thoughts before?

I certainly did.

There’s vulnerability in building for the Web. An innumerable amount of people and projects to look up to and compare yourself against. It’s almost too easy to find something considerably better, whatever meaning this evaluation carries. It’s too effortless to feel the pressure for greatness, that’s seemingly mandatory. Work in progress is still taboo. But most of the time it’s not the Internet, but ourselves—the most dreaded critic, whispering into our ears.

Over 7 billion people live on Earth. While ideas might be repetitive, the uniqueness of perspectives and values cannot be mimicked. The beauty of authenticity trumps minor flaws or lack of experience. Why not try and open ourselves up a little more? It’s scary, I know.

Whatever we make is never finished. There are always improvements to be made, bugs to be fixed. Accepting the state of flux and the inevitability of imperfection is the quintessence of navigating the medium.

The value of your individual experiences, thought process, cultural, national, gender or language background is oftentimes greater than skill. There’s no better way to test the waters than by dipping in your toes.

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

- Brené Brown

Let yourself be seen. Hit Publish. Be vulnerable.