it kinda feels like hideouts are needed more now than ever.
there is something to be said about a really good hideout. nobody will interrupt you. you get a reprieve from basically everything. you get to let your hair down and connect with yourself at your most comfortable. now, it seems, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to do that. google is tracking everything about me including late night trips to mcdonald’s. social media is omnipresent. everyone has an opinion and is emboldened to express it. so i ask...where did all the hideouts go?
hideouts now seem to be limited to your home, your bedroom. outside of it, it can feel like there are too many eyeballs on you, watching your every move, watching your every fuck up, lying in wait to point out to you (and others) how you might not be good enough. you’re not sure just how much you want to open up and give people the opportunity and the room to judge because that would threaten the security of a place that is supposed to be safe no matter what--destabilizing your whole being as a safe space to the point that you’re uncomfortable within yourself. being aware of that, and in reaction to how people are with their judgments and unsolicited commentary, you develop another version of yourself. the one that is "safe for viewing".
there is a new? element of desensitization--which may not even be desensitization at all--where people are no longer able to connect with other people’s feelings. or at least there is some newfound reticence to it. and social media may have a major hand in that. (not to be the person who talks hella shit about social media but then promotes this site, and specifically this post, on social media buuuutttt i’m about to be that person. i’m not saying i’m innocent; i’m just pointing some shit out.) people are living major parts of their lives through a screen. *cue alllllllllll the black mirror episodes*
the hideout can be for many things, even protecting people from my own feelings. i feel things intensely. and for many years i felt like i wasn’t supposed to feel that way, maybe because i was surrounded by a lot of people who didn’t; maybe because i was made to feel like i was overreacting. “It’s not that deep.” oh, but it is. it is to me. that screen you’re swiping is devoid of heightened emotions. well here it is in real life. i have finally come to the point where i’m not going to apologize for how i feel. if something upsets me, it upsets me. anyone who can’t deal with that can dip.
there’s this idea that our lives are on full display, and it’s almost weird if it’s not. people are able to literally comment on your life--they comment on your pictures, they comment on your status, they comment on your job changes, they comment on your tweets. there’s just so much commentary within this medium that people are so used to interacting in this way. the way that they are on social media has become the default. they don’t understand the idea of privacy. they are able to open facebook or instagram whenever they want and go see what someone is up to. even if it’s not in a malicious way, that’s not really the point. they might “like”, they might comment. and from there, because this information has been given to them by way of social media, they feel like they can go and discuss their “findings” with someone else, and it just continues this commentary on another person’s life; reinforcing this false idea that you can and should have opinions about what other people are doing. the problem is when a person is taken outside of social media and they’re still operating in that same way, in which personal business is almost laughable. they come from a place of entitlement to people and knowing everything about them. so again, if that’s the way it’s going to be, only the hideout will get the real me.
we all know that social media is not broadly known as a safe space, but at the same time, you kind of don’t want it to be a place where whatever vulnerability you decide to share is going to be to your detriment. and i just don’t trust that. or the people consuming information about me.
so what’s the move? hide. hide from all the bullshit. hide from all the misconceptions and judgment. there is a lot from which to seek refuge. and i don’t blame anyone for doing it. but sometimes when you are feeling your most scared, your most vulnerable, your most uncomfortable, the answer might not be found in closing yourself off. you have to figure out how to be out there and not let some of these different elements of living in the 21st century, living in the age of instagram, living as part of the slash generation make us feel the need to hide parts of ourselves that we would otherwise share, presenting the total you. it is a lot, and you just want to figure it out in peace sometimes. but is there a point when you’re taking that “figuring it out in peace” a little too far?
don't get me wrong. don't be out here providing us video of your most recent colonoscopy. not everything needs to be shared. there’s definitely a time for solitude and a time to enjoy one's self. but that cannot be the default. feeling like you have to be at your best in order to put yourself out there. perfection is the enemy of progress. there will come a time to get the fuck out there and define what you need and want your life to be. because this passive shit is for the birds.
the hideout is meant to allow you to be who you are, all of who you are. it may be time that those outside of it got to see that.