Do I vlog to feed my ego?
In the last 6 years I have gone through a particular transition in my life, the type of transition that actually shifts your mindset and changes you as a person.
- I became a Mum (Twice!)
- Had terrible pregnancies with 1 premature baby who spent time in special care
- My husband was diagnosed with Grade 4 brain cancer
Yep, that stuff will change you.
So over this time I have had to protect my mindset and there have been times when I have definitely not got the balance right, and times when I have totally lost it.
No judgement on myself here, by the way, but I am a thinker and I have to take stock of my own motives and why we do what we do.
Not in a time like now, where EVERYONE seems to have been on television. Reality TV wasn’t even a twinkle in Big Brothers Big eye and here was 11-18 year old me on television, the BBC. Growing up on screen, all those awkward teen haircuts, feeling all unsure of myself, first onscreen kiss, played out in front of millions of viewers.
This experience alone set me apart from my peers and made me have to deal with very adult themes at a young age. I was very self aware and at times highly critical of myself.
I went to a very normal school in Newcastle Upon Tyne, no stagey London drama schools and definitely no glamour.
The world has changed dramatically from that time and now we see people who are ‘internet famous’, ‘Instagram models’, bloggers, vloggers and reality TV ‘stars’ coming at us from every angle and we are all vying for our place in this new digital world.
This means we are all very self aware and all comparing our lives to others, or so we think. I remind those I coach all the time that social media is just a snapshot of that persons world (although I think we can all agree that this fact is easy to forget when you are trolling through ‘gorgeous man or woman’s’ perfect life photos)
Since my husbands diagnosis 3 years ago and the chaos that then ensues I felt no initial pull to perform. Just prior to his diagnosis I had finished a few episodes in a major storyline for BBC Casualty and was booked to shoot a film a few weeks later. When that was halted and we were thrust into a world of brain surgeries, chemo therapy and all these new words we had no knowledge of, I didn’t care about anything, but keeping my husband alive.
As the months and years have progressed I found ways to adapt and to learn, to find who I am and what I offer in that moment.
I found that my ability to cope and thrive during this trying time was seen as unusual and from the messages and emails I receive daily ‘inspirational’. I realised that people can learn from what I learn and if I document it all then it would feel like some sense had come out of the nonsense.
I began using YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter frequently and allowing people into my world. Perhaps there were times when I shared too much and didn’t protect my own self enough, but overall the response was incredible.
What I have learnt over the last few years is that I love to help others see their light and that I am passionate about self development and helping people to feel connected to each other. I am a storyteller and still a performer.
There are so many mediums to do this now and so many ways to connect with people across the pond. I have made some unbelievable friends and contacts online via someones blog or YouTube Channel.
Now and then however social media can have a negative impact, I found this out late last year (just a month after my husbands 2nd brain surgery) when a video I posted of my 5 year old daughter, shouting at the UK PM went viral and I was hit with a torrent of abuse about what an awful parent I am and how I am indoctrinating my child.
I guess the response didn’t shock me, but often the vitriol it was said with did and who it was coming from certainly did.
“Oh dear, oh dear…proper exploitation of an innocent. This is sad. Poor little girl, doesn’t stand a chance with a desperado parent wanting to be in the spotlight…sad & very, very ill-advised.”
“Brooke is a f*****g 5 year old that lives in a fantasy world where nobody has any responsibility and the money flows infinitely from a magical money tree. Her parents should be arrested for child abuse. This video is f*****g infuriating.”
“Of course she’s “spoonfed” the information…a 5 year old hardly reads a range of broadsheets & watches Newsnight ffs…& your other kid is called Texas lol so that explains a lot. Also, exposing a 5year old to this kind of thing, you are irresponsible & reckless. Oh, loved the brain cancer bit at the end, you’re through to the next round.”
“nah ur just making her think she’s raising her child right, maybe she don’t need viral attention and focus on her kid and husband with brain cancer, you dumb f**k, and raise her daughter so she don’t become a future feminist vegan.”
Again after that episode I quietened down on social media and wondered had I post anything to feed my own ego in some way, to fill a void.
My work is online and I enjoy the interaction this brings, but I am well aware that too much social media time is not healthy and can actually have to opposite effect of connecting you with people, merely making you feel more disconnected than ever.
After soul searching I realised that I post with a true heart, I believe there is always an element of showmanship in what I do. I grew up on television and I guess I do see things as a story, but then thats all life is, a game, a series of stories and hopefully we can all learn from each other.
Truly I adore watching other peoples vlogs, hearing news from someones blog and contrary to most I love seeing peoples posey selfies.
OK it might all seem a little narcissistic at times, but try not to judge, because that girl posting the pouty selfies might be trying to get her confidence back after a break up, that man posting the topless snaps might have grown up overweight and right now feels amazing about himself, that Mum posting endless snaps of her children is happy.
Try to hold off your judgement.
We all see the world through our own filters and we are all just trying to get by. If I can help one or two people along the way by posting my vlogs or sharing our news then I will. If it makes you uncomfortable then change the channel, find the voices that resonates with you.
I don’t think posting online is about merely about feeding our ego’s but a way to make sense of a fast paced and confusing world. The genie is out of the bottle, so whether you like social media and online content or not, it’s happening, we just have to learn to make sure we are protecting our hearts and minds when posting.
*messages like this make everything worth while
Follow your own journey and if this connects with you, then come and say hi, tweet me your blog, tell me your story, I want to hear, I’m interested and I champion you.
Ego- schmigo, do your thing, have fun and remember there is a real person at the other end of every account.