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Navigating Social Media as a Recluse



According to the Dictionary -


rec·luse /ˈrekˌlo͞os,rəˈklo͞os/

noun - a person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people.

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I am not a "People Person".


I wish I was - because they always appear to have so much fun. They have actual meaningful relationships with other humans, they have families, travel, take vacations and party, they laugh and have cocktail hours after work, celebrate Holidays and have pizza parties and barbeques!


I decided to share this personal information with you today because -


This morning I was listening to a podcast about a study that was done on "Cuteness" -people's perceptions and reactions to it - sometimes being overcome - by the "cuteness" of a photograph shared online. We've all seen them - Babies. Puppies, Kittens, Red Pandas, etc.,etc.


While I do have a visceral loving response to seeing photos of cute animals, I do NOT have them when I am seeing photos of cute humans.


I have also never drawn humans. All my art work depicts objects or animals - never people.


Alone in isolation 319 days today due to the Pandemic and I have no complaints other than I'm tired of eating my own cooking - LOL


I am not sure how much my unique upbringing had to do with this. My young childhood was spent alone in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. I was an only child born to two alcoholic, self-interested parents. (They both died when I was in my 20's) My Dad was the first pontoon bush pilot to fly the Adirondacks and into South Eastern Canada. We had no neighbors, except for a few weeks in the summer when tourists would rent nearby cabins. I attended a one-room school house with approximately 8 other kids - grades 1 through 4. I never really formed any lasting friendships there.


My parents weren't just drunks, they were very violent drunks. I remember being 4 or 5 years old, hiding in my room, sitting on the floor holding tight to the family dog, scared out of my wits while listening to them scream and brawl downstairs. Although I was never physically abused by them, I was terrorized by witnessing their violence on a regular basis and I think this drove the message home to me, loud and clear - People are Dangerous.


Contrast that to my time spent in the forest as a kid. The rich aromas of the damp, leafy ground, the sounds the birds and the wind wafting though the tall pines and birch. In the winter - the Cathedral like stillness, the peaceful blanket of snow covering everything, silencing everything. I always felt safe while alone in the forest.


The trees in the forest always felt to me like Guardian Entities, lovingly watching over me and all the other creatures there. The animals I met in the forest never scared me, never acted violently. They moved and acted like me - cautiously, curiously, they wanted to know what I was, but they also knew they had to be so very careful ... because they knew what I knew - People are Dangerous.


Cut to the Present -


"But how can you seem so at ease and comical in your videos?"


The Universe mercifully gifted me with one thing to use as a shield when I am feeling nervous, scared or vulnerable - HUMOR. I naturally see the humor in many situations and I learned, very early on, that I had the power to make people laugh. This has become the hallmark of most of my interactions with other humans.


Thus - here I am, nearly 66 years on the planet as a recluse and now traversing "Social" Media as part of my job as an artist - LOL! Oh, the irony!


This morning I'm attempting to create some sort of calendar for Social Media - perhaps if I put it in a container, like a structure, it will feel less daunting and overwhelming. I also think the more I risk putting myself on camera, being real and sharing my work, the easier this will become. We shall see. I'm finding that the example calendars created for kids are so much more colorful and enticing than the ones created for adults. HA! It pays to stay young at heart!

This blog post will be uploaded to both my Patreon Page and Website.


Until next time ... Here's David Bowie with the very apropos "I'm Afraid of Americans"



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