I’m Anti-filter

Apr 25, 2015 by

“But I’m okay in see-through skin.”

Crystals, Of Monsters and Men


          I speak very openly. Not just on my blog, but also in real life. When I was depressed, I hid who I genuinely was and what I was going through, and all that helped me do was disconnect. Aware of the consequences that had on my life, it has been one of my personal principles since beginning The Happiness Experiment to be real with people. It’s the only way to form authentic relationships.

          Of course, there are times I worry about the implications of that principle. Although the happiness that results from it takes precedence, there are times I worry that something I’ve made public could affect how my story with another person evolves. Many people don’t make their honest thoughts as accessible as I do, so anyone who may be interested in what I’m thinking about has the rare opportunity to get a real answer, either by asking me directly or by reading my blog.

          As of late, I’ve written increasingly often about the guy I cried about at the Eiffel Tower. Naturally, friends have asked whether or not he reads. I don’t know the answer to that for sure, but I don’t think so. Maybe it’s because I’m insecure when it comes to him, but I don’t think he’d be interested enough in what’s going on with me to want to read about it. My reasoning is that if he were, he’d be in my life. Maybe it’s also because I’m looking at it from my own perspective on social media. When I say friends have asked whether or not he reads, I mean that they’ve presumed he does. They dispute my doubt with the argument that I don’t understand other people’s curiosity because I don’t even look at my social media newsfeeds.

          They’re right in that I have a unique approach to social media. Recall that I was reluctant just to get Facebook two summers ago, because I don’t like the repercussions that repeatedly watching other people’s lives through filters can have on one’s happiness. Because posts are delayed, even when just by seconds, people have time to edit. People have time to choose what they want other people to see. I don’t expose myself to such filtered information. I post and I post regularly (without filters) because I have a blog and a message about prioritizing happiness that I want to reach people. But you won’t catch me scrolling down my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram feeds to see what’s going on in other people’s lives on edit. I don’t judge anyone for doing so; it’s simply that not doing so is a standard for happiness that I set for myself when I reentered the social media realm, as is being real.

          Thus, whether he does or doesn’t read, my thoughts and therefore my blog content are the same. More importantly, so is my purpose: to cope and to help other people cope. My occasional concerns about what making the coping process public could mean for my potential with him quickly fades when I remember my intent behind it. It further dissipates when I remember that he does not exist for me to have potential with. It completely disappears when I remember the happiness that has come from raw exposure of who I am. It is because I used to be very guarded and extremely unhappy that I fully appreciate the benefits of being open now.

          To the guy who may or may not read this, who may or may not even connect that what I am about to say is meant for him because my feelings are so disproportionately strong relative to our minimal history: Trust me, I don’t fully understand why I feel as much as I do for you either, but know that I am not angry or offended or crazy. I’ve just missed you more than I can justify, and I know there are many others out there who miss someone beyond justification too. I want those people to have someone real to relate to.

Happiness Tip: Be real.

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