By Charlie Emilia
This millennial content creator, social media geek, part-time healthy person and now first-time mom is back to my original roots as a writer. Formerly a radio show, “Chill Out with Charlie” was a peek into my life and what I had going on. Since leaving the airwaves, my journey has taken an extreme turn. For updates on what’s been happening, sit back and chill out with me as I navigate these new paths in a whole new way.
As someone who makes a living as a content creator, I have multiple spaces for people to access me. But as the person I really am, I have to create compartments of myself for public consumption. Giving myself over to the opinions of others, who really don’t know me, is one way to ensure insanity. Have you ever tried or succeeded with putting your entire self on the public chopping block for others to dissect? Yeah, that’s not the idea. It’s about being happy, healthy and also connecting with people on a personal level, without the risk of the people with ill intent gaining access to the parts you hold most dear. In essence, it’s about boundaries.
This isn’t as easy for a lot of people. Many of us see social media as an outlet for emotional and mental stresses. It is often weaponized and used against the unsuspecting – I’m looking at you right-wing Facebook. There’s this misconception that once you have more than a few hundred followers, you are instantly important. When people are outraged, the Twitter Fingers come out and all of a sudden, that previously missing courage has been replaced with hubris, and BOOM! A Trump is born. This is someone who has very little knowledge about what they’re posting, but has very strong opinions regarding whatever the topic is. To those people, I say, “Grow up.”
For me, social media is a way to push my brand, get my voice heard and connect with like-minded individuals. Social media is not my outlet, it’s a link with limitations. Many of my followers know I have times when I go inactive to allow myself some time to breathe and put a hold on the content I create; because even if I’m just posting memes, I need a break sometimes. Or if I’m working on a big project, I have to focus on that, and I don’t have time to answer everyone. This is where the deactivate button comes in handy; it allows me to hide out for a while. I will post a notice letting people know that everything is okay; I just need some time to focus on me. In this day and age, disappearing from social media is the equivalent to people having a nervous breakdown. But I’ve found that taking smaller breaks helps you avoid social media burnouts and allows you to enjoy The Return more. In my head, I say, “Hey guys, I’m back! What did I miss?” Then I scroll through my timeline catching up on everything. There have been times when I’ve come back online and made an instant U-turn into inactivity – the internet can be a scary place.
The reason I think I can do this is because I’m really into DIY projects and organization, so it helps to be able to share as much as I do without feeling invaded – that’s a joke of course. The reason is because I grew up seeing a lot of people either destroy others, or get destroyed on social media by simply not understanding the limitations of the space. So I chose not to be one of those people and preserve my reputation as well as my thoughts. This isn’t easy, because when I do, I have to take care not to lose myself. I am a woman who deals with anxiety, so I have to break it down into parts I can share and others I won’t. I also have my public pages while others are private; I’m still a millennial, after all. Compartmentalisation is how you stay ahead of the curve, so that what’s for you will always be just that.
You’d ask yourself why I’d want to let people in at all, seeing I have anxiety. It’s because I didn’t choose the content life, the content life chose me! But really, it started from a very young age. For as long as I’ve known myself, I’ve been writing. It started with me as a little girl scribbling in my poor sister’s notebooks. I didn’t know how to form words, or sentences yet, but I could feel I would get there eventually. My writing developed more as I grew, but no matter how eloquent I was in my speech, nothing compared to what I could write. In my writing, I could flesh out my thoughts and turn them into logical emotions. As I grew, so did social media spaces. Facebook was the first Juggernaut that allowed me to speak parts of my mind without writing a dissertation and it flowed so easily. I could say what I was thinking and people would send me messages telling me how much they connected with me. I loved being able to do that for people, so it grew from there. My degree in marketing also played a big part in it all, since many of my courses were literally geared toward how to present yourself in a public space like social media. This started there and grew into more writing and eventually my radio show.
This past weekend, I found out that one of the stations was using a time slot to push anti-vax rhetoric and when I heard it, I automatically cringed. For one, I don’t use my space to push any idea or the other, especially when it pertains to medicine – something I never studied. For another, it is our responsibility, as people with larger audiences, to take into consideration that there are people who listen to us and can take our words at face value. I’m hoping that people start to use their platforms in a more informed way, and not simply to reshape ideas into their own desires. Will it stop? I’m not sure, but until then, I remain hopeful for a better outcome.
Feel free to follow me on Facebook.com/LikeCharlieEmilia or my Instagram @CEmiliaMedia. Check out my website, charlieemilia.com – I’m open to questions, comments and any concerns you may have about your own health. But please remember I am not a doctor. My column is strictly for entertainment and, although I may try my utmost to give accurate information, it should in no way replace a visit to your healthcare provider.
Until next time, “Stay distant. Stay safe!”