Recently, I had signed up for Fizzle. It’s a place for people who either already own their own business or people who have an idea and just need some help getting it going. The community there has been pretty great and it’s encouraging to know there is a group out there wanting me to succeed when building a business. While I’m not anywhere near close to what I want to do to make some side cash, I know I enjoy writing and part of the process is honing my skills here.
When signing up for the community, they asked to provide a profile pic so people can put a face to the Fizzler. Being someone who has some image issues recently, I have very few images of myself to pop up. Sure I had tons of selfies with my kids making goofy faces, drinking beer (me, not my kids-but I hope that in about 18 years I will be doing that with my sons) or some that just aren’t appropriate for a forum like Fizzle. I did what any normal person would do. I put on a nice shirt, found the perfect spot in our beautiful back yard with the right light and had my wife take a picture.
Once we took about 10-15 pictures and found the right one, I began to edit in Instagram. I played with the filters. I messed with the contrast, shadows, and Vignette (whatever the bloody hell that is). After about 10 minutes of editing, I had the perfect photo. I loved the way I looked and immediately made it my Twitter (@nmaestas), LinkedIn (who cares) and Fizzle profile picture. I had a lot of Facebook comments saying how nice of a picture it was, how great I looked. The boost in confidence was great. It made me feel like a good lookin dude and immediately bought my wife a sword to ward off any oncoming co-eds who wish to make their passes at me.
But that night, I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see the same guy. I saw someone with hat head, bags under my eyes, growing grey hairs and poofy cheeks. I saw myself unedited. It was in that moment I realized that I only share the side of myself that make me feel better. What I shared wasn’t who I was, but how I wanted others to perceive me. I shared a lie. Ok, a lie may be a strong word, but it definitely wasn’t the every day Nick that people in real life would see.
The truth is, it’s rare when I share the real version of me. But that’s what social media is* (my English teachers would be disappointed in ending a sentence with a preposition.) Social media is a place for us to put out the vibe that we want others to see, not the 24×7 versions of ourselves. To steal a quote from Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch “You can fool everyone for a while, you know? It’s not like baseball. You can either hit a curveball or you can’t. That’s the way it works. You can have a lucky day, sure, but you can’t have a lucky career.”
As my friends, my family, or random Internetters, I want you to always see the real me. The unedited version. The good, the bad, the great, and the shitty. On the journey to find myself, I am going to choose to be as real with you all as possible. To not always be perfect. To not just get lucky on a 3-1 fastball when everyone in the park knows that’s the pitch you’re going to get. I want to be able to say in the end that they know who I was. Where I stood. And hopefully, with little editing, I could be someone that they could cheer for. Someone that they KNOW will get a base knock, regardless of the count.
What parts of your life do you edit in social media, emails, work, etc?