People tell their life story in a variety of ways these days, most of it out on the internet for all of us to gawk at, comment on, or shake our heads over. But is it the truth? Are we really the shiny, happy people we project ourselves to be in that picture that came along with an update and witty blurb?
If you think about it, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube are the prime example of flash fiction, key word being fiction. Like FB, a quick look at a picture and the comments below it can piece together something like a story. Snippets of life that last for as long as it takes for your newsfeed page to scroll down as people add their own updates. Sometimes, there are no new pictures, only a suggestive comment, intended to invoke drama.
What’s it all about really? I’ll tell you. It’s about perception.
When was the last time you posted a picture or video out on Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter that was so downright UGLY, you figured no one would recognize you because it was your worst moment? Have you ever posted one where you just got up, your hair is going in every direction, you have some goopy shit on your mouth, and eye boogers? Did you post the one right after you ran in 90 degrees and humidity of 100% and your hair’s wet, your face is purple and you’re bent over like you’re going to throw up? What about the one of you without any makeup, wearing baggy shorts and t-shirt, a.k.a. your slobsville outfit? Or the one where you were eating, your mouth wide open, eyes half shut?
Never? Me neither.
When was the last time you weighed in and made a comment on a controversial subject or spouted an opinion that was 110% truth, even if you knew it would hurt someone, or make others see you in a totally different light? When was the last time you saw pictures, comments, videos of family, friends doing whatever, and you said, “Damn, ya’ll sure do look like shit in this picture!” Or, “God knows, I sure am glad I wasn’t there, this looks like a bunch of spoiled rotten stuck up wannabes.” Or, “oh for Pete’s sake, stop putting pictures of you and your stupid boat, house, car, bike, vacations, parties, out here. Nobody gives a shit about your shit!”
Okay, two for two. (Look, I get this is what social media is about, but honestly, we share too much sometimes. )
if you participate in that pretty, picture perfect world known as social media, a somewhat fake world if you ask me, then, what about your writing? In other words, what about your work in progress, that novel? Will you tell the truth there? What if the “truth” we see through your character is the truth about you, your life, your view of the world? Would it matter to those around you, making them see you much differently? Do you keep the truth hidden in your stories, because of how you want people to see or think of you?
My question is…are you treating your book like social media, only allowing what you want us to see?