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  • Writer's pictureJacke Karashae

the transformation will not be tweeted

hi.


it’s only one day after christmas and still six days away from the new year, but we’re go-getters, right? you all ready for a new year’s commission before everyone’s gotten around to their new year’s retrospectives?

i knew you would. let’s get at it.


here is one thing that i’ve learned in 2014: your twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest, tumblr, wordpress, blogger, ask.fm, my_ (that’s how we notate it now, right?) are great ways to feel like you are changing, growing, becoming while simultaneously cheating yourself of 90% of your own growth.

let me elaborate.


there’s this thing i heard a while ago about social media and artistic work, which essentially says that if you post to other people what you’re doing before you’ve finished doing it, you give yourself a feeling of gratification as if you had already finished, which makes it even harder to actually have the motivation to do the thing you are posted about.  this has proven quite true for me.  the moment i tweet or post a snippet of something i am working on, BOOM! the productivity grinds to a halt, and suddenly that desire to make something awesome to show which helped drive me through the doldrumic side of the creative process has vanished like a drop of errant dew in the saharan summer.


the same holds true for your own life development.


we are so intent on capturing what is happening, how we are transforming, slicing our minutes and seconds into some narrative of what we are to become, whether it’s in a tweet or small-talk conversations, that we feel like we have already transformed just because we talked about wanting to.

social media and the internet have proven to be great revelators: whether they are revealing pain or hope or passion or stupidity, they are putting it all on display. and the internet insists on us all having instant, in-the-moment responses to it all, even the things we knew nothing about. it demands our transformations be digital, flipping from “off” to “on” in a second.


but i don’t think we’re capable of working that way.


true transformation–true, meaningful, cut-you-to-the-core-and-inject-a-molten-vision transformation, requires time, introspection, effort, adaptation, and silence.  to become a person who acts rather than reacts requires one to develop some core, some root, that compels you forward.  if we fail (or refuse) to take the time to cope with the awkward, uncomfortable sides of the truth, we will never be able to embrace it fully–we will hold it at arm’s length, trying to do as little as we can to make ourselves feel like we have “done something” and can drop it and move on to something else.


aren’t you tired of doing that?


this isn’t a call for us to care less about things, to be less energetic in reaching out, or to insist on feeling fully comfortable with a group or cause before we help out.  those are all just excuses for laziness. no, this is a call to stick around with the issues after they’ve hit the limelight, to ask what we can do not only in the short-term but also in the long-term.  it’s a call to ask that one extremely difficult, sometimes terrifying question:

how will the rest of my life contribute to or fight against the things that have been brought to my attention?

–and grapple with the true and honest answer, hopefully to reach the end of being a more loving soul. this is the kind of thing you think about for weeks, that you discuss for months, that you try to overcome for years.

this is the kind of thing that can transform you.


this is a difficult call, my friends, and it’s not one that i tell you from some vantage of success but from the frustration of realizing i’ve been doing things all wrong.  social media informs us while simultaneously giving us the cheapest out: to get mad, write a few posts or tweets, get in a few arguments, and then feel like we’ve “done our part” by being sufficiently uncalm. live in this world long enough, and you’ll get anger whiplash from playing that same cycle every day, every hour: a new pain, a new frustration, a new post, a new, introspectionless conclusion that challenges nothing about who you are or the implications of how you actually live your life.


this is a truth, not an irony, of social media: it can inspire moments of clarity while preventing us from having more than mere moments of clarity.


be aware: your transformation will not be tweeted.  neither will mine.  you must allow yourself the time and privacy to analyze, meditate, and internalize.  sometimes that may be very difficult.  sometimes it may require you to rethink who you are and how you approach your life.  but when you do that, those robust roots of a transformed life will keep you from falling to the gravities of frivolous disdain. then you can effectively tweet, post, speak, and with such great passion proclaim!


good luck and godspeed.

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